Widely known for her metal mesh designs, Alabama’s Sarah Cavender handcrafts high-style jewelry and accessories that are wearable works of art.
The company: Sarah Cavender Metalworks is in an historic area of Oxford, AL. The company’s building has production space in the back and upstairs. There is a little shop open to the public.
She started her business in 1984 from her home at the time, in Philadelphia. She moved to Miami and then Alabama, where the company is now based.
The artist: Born in San Francisco, CA, of Air Force parents from Alabama. As a child she lived there before moving to Nashville, the Philippines, Alabama and New Jersey. She graduated with a fine arts degree (with a specialty in sculpture) from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and immediately set up shop.
The goods & materials: Primarily metal mesh jewelry, from earrings to rings, and belts. Also industrial wire knit and grommet handbags and sculptural flower and insect pins, perfect for a nature lover.
What’s popular: The triple strand snake necklace ($185) and the single strand necklace ($75). The triple strand necklace is a MoMA (moma.org) exclusive, but also available at shopsarahcavneder.com
Other favorites: Delicate leaf earrings ($75 to $100) and sophisticated hoop earrings ($90 range).
Inspiration: Nature and the material itself. And, of course, fashion.
Fun requests: Working with museums across the country to develop special collections based on their shows. Most recently, worked with the Nevada Museum of Art on a collection for its Victorian Radicals exhibit.
Claim to fame: Early in her career, her jewelry was featured in a photo spread shot by Karl Lagerfeld, the late designer, for Vogue – Germany.
Awards: Recently received awards from the Kentuck Festival of the Arts (AL). Also a “Best in Show” in Paris at the Bijorhca fashion trade show in 2002.
What’s new: Sculpted collars and earrings that appear to be crocheted.
What’s next: Designing new geometric shapes from industrial wire knit, which is open, airy and looks (and is) soft, while still made of metal.
Get social at: Sarah Cavender Metalworks on facebook and instagram.