I am Sarah McCulloch...a jewelry designer based in Oakland, California. I started making jewelry when I was sixteen and instantly loved the process of working with metal. I later attended the Gemological Institute of America where I became certified in Jewelry Manufacturing Arts.
My interest in other cultures is at the heart of my current work. In the 1990's I traveled to China on two separate extended trips funded by grants from the Durfee Foundation. The first expedition in 1990 was a four-month journey into the poorest province of Guizhou. There I traveled deep into the mountains and observed several Minority Nationality rural silversmiths making their traditional jewelry which was part of the girls' dowry. The following three-month trip was a journey into Tibet to research the sacred dZi bead and the myths and legends surrounding that bead which the Tibetan people believe.
I lived in Tokyo, Japan for six years and studied at the Kuroki Atelier. My teachers were Yoko Kamei, Asa and Ayako Kuroki. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to study with National Living Treasure, Mitsuo Masuda. I studied many uniquely Japanese metalsmithing techniques one of which was an inlay technique invented by Masuda-sensei called chidori-ishime zougan.
Sarah Boo Designs is my business established in 2009 which focuses on saw pierced designs based on Japanese traditional patterns. I use silver and patinated copper in combination to achieve color contrast. Although I have taken long breaks from metalsmithing along the way (rearing two children took some time!) my heart was always passionate about jewelry and metalsmithing.