Sara Fell initially trained as a jeweller but found herself rebelling against the confined space and outlook of the jeweller’s bench. In 2005, whilst on her BA (Hons) Applied Arts course, she was introduced to glass and has never looked back.
Despite discovering the medium later in life, Sara has already been awarded multiple accolades for her glass designs. Inspired like so many other glass artists by the work of Prof. Keith Cummings, Sara continues to push the coefficiency boundaries encountered by combining glass with metals. Whilst still a part time student in only her second year she achieved a prize at the International Pewter Live competition, using her own unique combination of pewter and glass. The following year she was selected to exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum, winning their Access Prize sponsored by the Louvre Museum, Paris and was also runner up in the student category of the Warm Glass Prize. Upon graduating in 2011, her BA work ‘Precious Integrations’ collected the prestigious Contemporary Glass Society’s New Designers Associate Prize – awarded to the U.K. graduate in the field of glasswork whose work is considered to be outstanding in design and quality.
Not content with simply producing jewellery as ornamentation for the body, she is fascinated with the concept of ‘preciousness’ and why we choose to hide away our most treasured items of jewellery. Sara’s award winning ‘O’ Precious series of cast glass rings and caches, illustrated the start of this journey of intrigue. In her latest work chosen for exhibition at the British Glass Biennale 2012 the continuing theme of hidden jewellery objects is taken further in the installation piece ’Precious Integrations’: The High Altar to Femininity, which deftly combines Sara’s skills as both conceptual jeweller and glass artist.
Aside from her passion for glass making, Sara is also dedicated to the preservation of the endangered Orangutan of Borneo and their rainforest habitat. She spends a portion of the year on the island of Borneo with her Veterinary Surgeon husband at an Orangutan rehabilitation centre.
The successes following her graduation in 2011 have established Sara as an up and coming artist; she now has the unenviable task of combining both these enviable passions.
I would best describe myself as a jeweller with interior intent; often my work is a collaboration of jewellery and glass making skills, with a conceptual twist. Being in possession of an enquiring mind, I found myself looking to jewellers who took the medium out of its usual context and into the realms of design and fine art. Interiors profit from adornment as synonymously as the body and scale does not form any boundaries for me.
Naturally enough when I discovered glass, as a jeweller, my inclination was to play with perceptions of preciousness, was it possible to breakdown the hierarchy of material status and imbue a sense of preciousness on glass, this ‘everyday’ material? This is a constant questioning theme which continues throughout my work.
My latest body of work ‘Precious Integrations’ takes its inspiration from the glass dressing table sets of the 1920’s, which crossed boundaries of social class and status. The series celebrates the ‘High Altar to Femininity’ and the ritual beautification which forms the essence of the dressing table. I integrate hidden elements of jewellery, such as rings, neckpieces and bangles within each of the individual Perfume bottles and Powder puff Boxes. By bestowing a contemporary take on the sets, nothing is quite as it seems. By exhibiting this body of work as an installation piece, it enabled me at last to take jewellery out of its constricting body adornment or object roles and into the realms of jewellery as art, glass as precious, thus playing with preconceived notions of both.