The impacts of nostalgia and neglect of industry and urbanization are depicted in my enameled jewelry. Photography has documented the rise and decline of American industries. Manufacturing presence deeply affects the identity of local communities. When no longer used, industrial structures have two possible fates. If neglected their deterioration negatively impacts the surrounding community while repurposed factories honor the past in a post-industrial era.
As reclamation is essential, I use both photography and historic events as material that can be repurposed. Photo transfer decals allow me to reproduce an image and fire it into enamel. I pair industrial images with the wildflowers that remediate and reclaim the soil of shuttered factories. Weeds emerging from sidewalks and buildings demonstrate nature’s resilience and suggest that we are not as in control of our built environment as we may believe.
Current discussions also permeate my work. Cleaner sources of energy represent a new era of precious American industry. They have the potential to provide a returned sense of manufacturing pride and new monumental structures to decorate our landscape. However, wind energy is seen as a threat to those nostalgic for the steel mills and coal mines of a pre-Rust Belt era.
Sarah Loch-Test studied at Kent State and East Carolina universities, where she embraced the art of enameling. Her time spent living in Pittsburgh, a resilient city in a post-industrial era, continues to influence her metalwork. She is currently the Metals Technician at the University of North Texas. Her work has been included in the biennial Enamelist Society Exhibitions and is in the Enamel Foundation’s permanent collection.
2016 M.F.A Metal Design, School of Art and Design, East Carolina University,
2007 B.F.A. Crafts, Jewelry/Metalsmithing/Enameling, School of Art, Kent State University, Kent. OH (cum laude, Honors College Scholar)
2017 Art Technician for Metals & Jewelry, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
2016 Development/Marketing Intern, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN
2016 Instructor, Emerge Art Center and Gallery at Pitt County Arts Council,
Greenville, NC (metals and enameling)
2014-2015 Instructor of Record, Art 1005 Design 1, Foundations Department, School of Art and Design, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
2014 Workshop Instructor, School of Art and Design STEM to STEAM Summer Camp, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
2013-2016 Graduate Assistant to Kenneth Bova and Timothy Lazure, Metal Design, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
2013-2014 Graduate Assistant to Catherine Walker, Foundations Department, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
2013 Instructor, Society of Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA (Metalsmithing Fundamentals, Plique-a-Jour Enameling)
Exhibition Record (Recent)
2017 Alchemy 4, 16th Juried International Enamel Exhibition (traveling exhibition: Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Ohio Craft Museum, National Ornamental Mueum)
Collective Voices: A Juried Alumni Exhibition. Burrough's Wellcome Gallery, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
2016 Shades of Metal. Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN.
Seared Collaborations, ZOOM Milwaukee 2016, Kenilworth Square East,
Image of Industry: Preserving a Deteriorating Identity. MFA Thesis Exhibition, Greenville Museum of Art, Greenville, NC
Becoming, Burrough’s Wellcome Gallery, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Momento, Burrough’s Wellcome Gallery, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
It Came From Under the Bench, Burrough’s Wellcome Gallery, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
2015 Metal V, Light Art + Design, Chapel Hill, NC
Graduate Student Art and Design Exhibition, Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC (juried)
Nature/Nurture, Sulfer Studios, Savannah Georgia
Alchemy 3, 11th Juried Enamelist Society Student Enamel Exhibition, (traveling exhibition: Montserrat College of Art, Worchester Center for Crafts, League of NH Craftsmen, McGowan Fine Art, Anna Maria College)
A Sense of Color: Three Generations, Creative Metalsmiths, Chapel Hill, NC (invitational)
Manic Frantic Antics, Greenville Museum of Art, Greenville, NC
Influence, The Art Room, Greenville, NC (juried)
2016 Enamel Foundation
2015 Ebendorf Scholarship, School of Art and Design, East Carolina University,
2014 Metals Graduate Seminar Research and Creative Activity Grant, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Where to Buy
Work is not available for sale through the SNAG website. Please contact the artist directly to inquire about making a purchase.