Sarah Graham’s newest jewelry collection speaks to vivid childhood memories of a big oak tree in the front yard of her family home in Morada, Calif.
“I have such fond memories of long, hot, summers playing in the shade of this tree, and the beautiful shape of the leaves is permanently imprinted in my mind,” the San Francisco–based designer told the media upon release of the news. “Images of leaves and stones and water remind me of another childhood memory—rain. My father was a farmer, and waiting for the rain was always a topic of conversation. When the rain finally came, everyone was in a good mood, and I will always associate happy times with the memory of wet oak leaves plastered over the rocks and on the pavement as I walked to school.”
Buyers can see the 24-SKU collection at the Couture show next week, inspecting the rain-soaked-leaves-inspired 18k gold motifs clinging to seemingly wet oxidized cobalt chrome stones. This collection also cements the seriousness of Graham’s new relationship with Formlabs, makers of the Form 1+ 3D printer, with which she started working last fall. The reason: This collection required Graham to work with castable resin molds in order for her to create “technical details that are tough to achieve in wax or metal,” she told JCK. “I can design with a level of precision that I am just not capable of in any other material. I can print out the model in an hour, take a look, make changes, and reprint it. I can go through three versions in one day!”
Graham spent three weeks playing with textures and printing ideas until the aesthetic was perfected. In fact, Graham’s experience with the resin molds was so positive that she now uses the printer as a prototype modeler. “The castability is still not where I need it to be for gold, but it works beautifully for platinum and cobalt chrome because those castings use a ceramic shell, which provides the strength needed to counterbalance the thermo expansion of the resin,” she says.
Retail prices start at $1,295, and some styles feature colorless or cognac diamonds. The collection ships to stores in mid-June, and no buy-in exists. The pièce de résistance of the collection will be a necklace loaded with diamonds that was still on the bench at press time. See it in person at Couture booth no. 102.
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