The Story behind Seaside Harmony
Hi- I'm Sarah. The owner, designer, Metalsmith, Enamelist, and one-woman show at Seaside Harmony Jewelry.
My handmade jewelry is inspired by the healing nature of the ocean. Do you feel like you've come home when you are at the water's edge? I certainly do. The ocean gives us glorious gems like sea glass, polished rocks and gorgeous shells that I love to collect while I'm enjoying the sounds of the surf and breathing the sea air.
I design and create my pieces in San Diego, California. At 17, I felt a strong pull to the Pacific and moved from Maryland to San Diego. Being in La Jolla for college provided access to the ocean that brought me healing and tranquility. Some of my favorite pastimes are running and walking along the beach, looking for sea glass, and climbing among the craggy cliffs. I even got married by the cliffs in La Jolla.
I create my pieces using torch soldering, kiln enameling and metal smith techniques. I fabricate all my settings from metal sheet and wire. I also use enamel, which is powdered glass, to create colorful and layered designs. I layer the enamel onto the metal by sifting or "wet packing", then fire it in my kiln at 1500 degrees F. until the glass fuses into the metal.
I also love that metal can be manipulated with heat and force. I use forging techniques (hammering) to shape the curves and natural rustic beauty of the metals. When setting sea glass, stones, or other natural materials, I use fine silver bezel wire and sterling silver plate. Your unique piece is created with strength and durability in mind. I make these pieces with the hopes that they will be passed down lovingly to future generations. I stamp the metal with a ".925" stamp (sterling) and my brand initials, SHJ. I use copper and fine silver for enameling.
~Why I create it~
I credit jewelry making as one of the critical factors in my recovery from severe postpartum depression after my second child was born. I had left my law enforcement career and was at home struggling to cope with my new role as stay-at-home mom. As I began to recover, I gifted myself a class in making wire wrapped jewelry. The surge I got from expressing my long dormant creativity was like a fire in my belly. My friends encouraged me to sell my creations and I tentatively dipped my toe into business in 2011.
Since then, I have obtained my skills through a combination of classes and self taught toiling at the bench. I learned the basics of metalsmithing from Jay Whaley at Whaley Studio in San Diego. I learned copper enameling from Rick Schneider at San Diego Continuing Education in Pt. Loma.
When I'm not in my garage studio, I'm being mom to my two lively kids, spending time with my hubby and friends or out and about doing yoga, running, biking and hiking. You can also find me at a nearby shore...looking for sea glass or just feeling the calming effects of the waves.
Thank you for expressing interest in my work. It is my goal to create quality artisan jewelry that will bring a piece of the ocean's power to those who wear it or gift it to others. Always keep creating and learning.