February Artist Interview – Sarah Chapman

pendants © Sarah Chapman
I recently came across Sarah Chapman’s work online and I absolutely loved it! She uses mixed metals, found objects, and cold connections, so you know exactly what drew me in. You can find her online at Sarah Chapman Metals or on her Facebook page.

1. How did you get started in your craft? (using your media)

I was at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago working towards a double major of secondary education and fine art. My concentration at that point was in photography. I took a metalsmithing class as part of the studio art requirements and I fell in love!

Sarah's bench filled with inspiration.

2. What has been inspiring/influencing your work lately?

While I try to resist the idea of being a collector, I definitely am. A compromise with myself is to try to limit my “collections” to small things. I’ve been collecting pebbles, rocks, and seed pods for as long as I can remember. In the last twenty or so years I’ve added beads, fossils, shards of glass, feathers, fancy rocks, nests, and other do-dads to the list.

A large range of my work has been inspired by and continues to be inspired by these objects. Both the aspect of incorporating the found objects themselves into my work and by the shapes, colors, structures, and textures inherent in them.

Wall sculpture in situ © Sarah Chapman

3. Who are your favorite artists in your field?

Right now I’m really loving work by- Sandra Enterline, Nancy Deal, Andy Cooperman, Karen Gilbert, Kiff Slemmons, Bettina Speckner, and John Iversen.

4. What is your favorite customer quote or story?

I recently went over to a customer’s house to help with the installation of a wall piece. It was fun to meet the person who had bought it for her husband and to see the house it would be a part of. They really didn’t need much help from me; the piece had been up for a few weeks by the time I visited. The sculpture was put up in a hallway and I loved hearing how they would shout out to each other as they passed by it, noticing another detail of the sculpture. “Did you see the cars?…No, did you see the keys?”

The family portrait.

5. What is your favorite piece of art or fine craft that you own?

I’ve been fortunate to have talented friends who have given me beautiful things, to have met awesome artists at shows and get to do trades with them and to get to live with a wonderful photographer, my partner, so it is hard to choose. But the one thing I would have to grab in a fire would be an oil painting by my grandmother.  It is a portrait of my mom when she was about ten or eleven.