Sara AmrheinLauren Mouat
Sara Amrhein’s Floral Statement Jewelry
Where fine art meets fashion (and flowers!)
A bright pop of color, a delicate gold detail, raised textures and bold colors – Sara Amrhein’s pieces might be worn as jewelry but each one is an artistic sculpture in miniature. She focuses on pattern, texture, and forms derived either from nature or from chic graphic design. Her medium? Polymer clay.
I’ve long admired Sara’s jewelry from the lens of social media after an acquaintance of mine started making polymer clay jewelry, entirely inspired by Sara. Each piece I saw was like a miniature bouquet of brightly colored flowers, a riot of color, a confluence of texture. When I finally had the chance to see some of her exquisite pieces up close and meet her in Florence, I found her as cheerful and radiant as the pieces she designs.
Sara Amrhein’s background is in Fine Arts and art history, something that really comes across in her careful attention to detail, form and color in each of her pieces. While she graduated as a painter and has often worked in collage, when the American artist found herself in a teeny tiny apartment in Florence, there was quite simply no room for grand canvasses and mountains of art supplies.
One day she came across some colorful polymer clay in a local craft store and what started as an experiment turned into a passion. “In my collages, I used paper stickers, and jewels – they were always decorative and colorful – and I think this translated easily into jewelry,” she said. What started as mini flower sculptures soon became brooches, earrings, and statement necklaces as fine arts blended with fashion. “I love color, pattern, and texture, and mixing them all together,” she says. And certainly, one great benefit of polymer clay is no matter how layered and intricate the design, each piece remains light as a feather.
“I love color, pattern, and texture, and mixing them all together”
From the jewel tones of a Renaissance painting and the texture of a Florentine tapestry, it’s clear that her work is influenced by Florence, but her pieces have a fresh, modern edge to them too. Traditionally, Florence might be known for its jewelry in gold, silver or precious stones but it’s also on the forefront of Italy’s artisan scene and, as Sara says, “polymer clay is having a moment (even more so because of the lockdowns),” making it the perfect place to develop something new and noteworthy.
Sara had opened a shop in the center of Florence at the beginning of 2020 but the first lockdown caused her to close her doors heartbreakingly soon after opening. While her plans for a shopfront might have been put on hold, polymer clay became even more popular as the world turned to the indoors and crafting. Business has continued online and this last year, Sara was featured on Season one of Meet your Makers Showdown on Discovery+ which did an entire episode on Polymer clay creations!
“Sara Amrhein offers a garden of floral statement jewelry that combines romance and adventure while bringing out your ultra-feminine side”
Sara is also a craftswoman who gives back to the local community in Florence. She and fellow artist Anna Rose are the founders of Creative People in Florence – a cultural association with a mission to establish a community of contemporary artists in a city so often prized as the birthplace of Renaissance masterpieces. There’s a lot going on in Florence today as their artist takeovers on Instagram can attest. They also organize workshops, studio visits and tours, collaborating with local artists, designers, tour guides and businesses.
Sara has plans to open her store again someday when the time is right, but for now she works from her apartment where she lives with her husband Luigi and curious kitty (aptly named Michelangelo) and while she’s based in Florence, she can ship her work worldwide. Each piece of Sara Amrhein’s jewelry is a blend of realities, from the historic to the contemporary, from the romantic to the bold and, just like her, they’ll leave everyone who encounters them with a smile on their face.
Shop Sara Amrhein creations here
Green and gold circle earrings€48,00 Artisan: Sara Amrhein
Blue skies and flowers statement earrings with gold hook€58,00 Artisan: Sara Amrhein
Black and White Statement Necklace€285,00 Artisan: Sara Amrhein
Blue Skies and Butterflies Teardrop Statement Earrings€55,00 Artisan: Sara Amrhein
Burgundy Floral Necklace with Leaf Details€220,00 Artisan: Sara Amrhein
Blue Skies and Butterflies Statement Earrings€55,00 Artisan: Sara Amrhein
Big flowers statement necklace€185,00 Artisan: Sara Amrhein
Handmade Baroque Style Gold Frame Statement Necklace€290,00 Artisan: Sara Amrhein