Meet the Maker: Sarah and the Wolf
Sarah Law from Sarah and the Wolf is a metalsmith based in Glasgow, Scotland, who makes micro batches of hand-crafted eco silver and brass jewellery, forged in her small studio under the watchful gaze of Pheobe, her three-year-old Samoyed dog – and ‘The Wolf’ of the title. In our first Meet the Maker interview of 2021, Sarah talks to artist and fellow Folksy seller Kim Onyskiw from Konyskiw about sustainability, the magic of ferns and how the pandemic pushed her to take her creative business seriously…
Treat yourself to 15% off all jewellery by Sarah and the Wolf and free UK shipping with code WOLF15 – only valid until Sunday 17 January 2021. Shop Sarah and the Wolf on Folksy >
I’ve always made things… but it took a pandemic and my husband working from home to push me into taking myself seriously. I set Folksy up in March 2020 and have never felt so fulfilled.Sarah Law, Sarah and the Wolf
Hi Sarah! Please introduce yourself and tell us about starting your business.
Hello! I’m Sarah, a metalsmith, originally from Northern Ireland but now living in Glasgow. I’ve loved jewellery for as long as I can remember. As a child I was referred to as The Magpie because I collected everything shiny – pockets full of colourful sweetie wrappers, bits of glass and anything small and circular became a ring.
I’ve always made things. I get such a buzz from creating tangible objects but I ignored all that and went to uni to study Spanish and English Literature. I subsequently joined the world of work when it became clear that I couldn’t make a living from travelling and eating croissants. It was only when our beautiful dog Phoebe came into our lives that I was nudged to take the leap and try a career change. Still, it took a pandemic and my husband working from home to push me into taking myself seriously. I set Folksy up in March 2020 and have never felt so fulfilled.
Your shop is named after Phoebe. Tell us a little about her. Does she help in any way with the business?
How long have you got? Apart from jewellery, she is my favourite subject! I named the shop after Phoebe because without her, it wouldn’t exist. She just turned three and it’s been a whirlwind! She is full of life, mischief and joy. She has relentless energy and, in an effort to tire her out, we have seen so many bits of Scotland that we wouldn’t ordinarily have visited. She keeps me calm, inspired and much fitter than I have ever been!
When you really start to see and hear the things around you, inspiration is everywhere and it is endless.Sarah Law, Sarah and the Wolf
What are the biggest inspirations for your work?
I’m inspired by textures, animals, plants, science and mythology. When you really start to see and hear the things around you, inspiration is everywhere and it is endless.
Your pieces are beautiful – and it all looks as if it must be so fiddly to create. Do you have a favourite design to make and why?
Thank you! I’ve always been fascinated by complicated things – mostly to see if i can make them! I like to make small batches of work, this makes the pieces more special for the wearer and it keeps me on my toes.
Ferns are one of the few plants that remain unchanged from their primeval roots. They have long been associated with faeries and magic because they don’t flower or have seeds. I love combining these elements of nature and mythology. Every piece has a story.Sarah Law, Sarah and the Wolf
I love the big fern hoop earrings I made recently. Ferns are one of my favourite plants and are one of the few that remain unchanged from their primeval roots – they are living fossils. Ferns have long been associated with faeries and magic because they don’t flower or have seeds. It was thought, for a very long time, that they sprung up by magic. I love combining these elements of nature and mythology. Every piece has a story.
What are the most essential tools for your jewellery making?
There are three tools that I couldn’t be without: my saw, a bench peg and my barrel polisher, which is like a washing machine for jewellery. You finish your piece, pop it in the barrel with a steel shot and let it tumble to a gorgeous high shine.
More than the satisfaction I get from making things with my hands is that the piece has made a difference somewhere in the world to someone or something else.Sarah Law, Sarah and the Wolf
I see you donate a portion of your sales to planting trees. Please tell us about this project and what made you decide to do this?
To live a life with intent and meaning is vital to me. More than the satisfaction I get from making things with my hands is that the piece has made a difference somewhere in the world to someone or something else.
Planting trees to rewild the Caledonian forest we spend our weekends in or protecting the wild salmon in British Columbia so the killer whales can eat and thrive gives my work a purpose – it has value over and above the sum of its parts. I hope to be able to donate much more in 2021.
Are there other ways you try to make your business environmentally friendly?
I think it’s important as makers to be aware of the impact our businesses can have on the environment. I try to be conscious of my output and make it as environmentally friendly as possible. I work with eco silver (and solder), which means that it’s not mined from the ground but recovered from unwanted jewellery, scrap silver, electronics and medical equipment. It has exactly the same quality as sterling silver, it’s just a greener alternative.
I try to be conscious of my output and make it as environmentally friendly as possible. This does mean that everything takes a lot longer but being mindful is a vital part of my work.Sarah Law, Sarah and the Wolf
I don’t use any harsh chemicals in my work. The pickle (the solution used to clean the metal after it has been heated) is food safe citric acid. All of my packaging is from recycled sources and can in turn be recycled. I stamp my own business cards and wrapping paper using stamps crafted from recycled material with vegan ink. This does mean that everything takes a lot longer but being mindful is a vital part of my work.
Do you like to receive custom work? Is there anything you’ve particularly enjoyed making?
I love custom work! It’s hard to pick a favourite but I would have to say the rings I have made have been my favourite. Partly because they are technically very challenging and because they have all been very meaningful to the wearer. My first custom was a silver monstera leaf ring and my most recent collaboration was a thick honeycomb ring, which was made to signify connections and love between the wearer and people close to her. There are pictures of how they turned out on my Instagram @sarahandthewolf.
Finally, what are you looking forward to the most in 2021?
So many things! I’m looking forward to being able to create a dedicated workshop and upgrade my tools.
I got over my fear of making rings this year, so in 2021 I have plans to make a range of them, which I’m so excited about. Other than that, I’d like to get back out adventuring with my Phoebe and Chris, be able to make more donations to projects that make a difference in the world through my work, and be able to support my little family through my craft.
Get 15% off Sarah and the Wolf with free UK shipping – use code WOLF15 before 17 January 2021.
Meet the Interviewer
The maker asking the questions this week was Kim Onyskiw from Konyskiw. Kim is an artist based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, who paints cute, colourful creatures and bold landscapes. You can read our meet the maker interview with Kim here – https://blog.folksy.com/2020/12/21/kim-onyskiw
Shop Kim Onyskiw on Folksy – https://folksy.com/shops/konyskiw