The short version:

I’m a jewellery designer/maker working exclusively in precious and semi-precious gemstones, freshwater pearls and sterling and fine silver.  The gemstones are my inspiration and I work with them in the same way a fine artist works with oil paint, selecting colours to harmonise or contrast, textures that may be smooth or faceted, shapes varying from the jagged shapes of chips to the seductive curves of smooth polished rondelles and briolettes.  Textured silver components – hearts, stars, bars, circles – catch the light.

I sell mainly through craft markets in Cornwall; in particular the St Ives Craft Market in the Guildhall St Ives on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the season, and the monthly Truro Cathedral City Market.  Recently I’ve ventured into online selling via the British online marketplace, Folksy.com. https://folksy.com/shops/sarahdelarrinagajewellery

If you would like to get in touch, please contact me on sarah@sarahdelarrinaga.co.uk

The long version:

Twenty years ago I was working in Higher Education when I went to Leiden in the Netherlands for work.  One free afternoon I tried some sightseeing, but it was December and the wind was whipping off the North Sea and driving the sleet horizontal so instead I ducked into a random shop and got hooked.

It was a beading shop, and that freezing afternoon the assistant showed me the basics of jewellery making and sold me a starter kit.  Back home, I bought more tools and even more beads (way too many, except you can’t ever have too many). I took classes in jewellery making, then silver smithing. I read everything I could about gemstones and jewellery making, and took more classes and courses.

At the beginning I made a lot of mistakes buying stones; now I can spot the dyed, low-grade or resin/reconstituted stones. Most of the stones I buy today come from Jaipur, where I’ve built a relationship with a gemstone cutter who specialises in AAA grade gemstone beads. Jaipur is considered the gemstone cutting capital of the world, and the stones I source from there are truly beautiful.

I like small and delicate jewellery, and that’s what I make – jewellery that can be worn every day but is also special enough for going out, and always made from the best materials I can find, while staying affordable. I find I have an inner extra confidence from wearing the real thing, and I like the idea that the pieces will last and can be passed on to the next generation.

It’s fair to say jewellery making became an obsession and provided welcome relief from the increasing demands of the day-job: not the actual work, but the peripheral paperwork, politics, computerisation and tick-box attitudes.  A nagging voice insides started to suggest chucking it all in and running away to the seaside…and in the end I did.

Now I live and work in the far South West of Britain, near Marazion.  Home is a converted C18 Methodist chapel, where Wesley himself once preached in 1766, and thirty years later it became the chapel of the infamous smuggler-turned-Methodist preacher Harry Carter, of the notorious Carter Gang. Most days I walk down our little no-through lane and onto the Cornish coast path overlooking the beautiful Mounts Bay and the fairytale St Michael’s Mount.

I’m not very technologically minded but have ventured into online marketing using the British marketplace, Folksy https://folksy.com/shops/sarahdelarrinagajewellery 

Or you can contact me directly at: sarah@sarahdelarrinaga.co.uk

When I’m not making jewellery at home, I have a stall at the weekly St Ives Craft Market in the Guildhall, and the monthly Truro Cathedral City Market – if you come to Cornwall, come and see me!

PS My surname is Basque in origin and rhymes with lime-and-lager. Not very romantic, but accurate!