Columbus Makes Art Presents Sonja Sheriff on Accentuating a Face with Jewelry Design
With more than 35 years of experience, jewelry artist Sonja Sheriff brings classic designs to Upper Arlington. Sonja will join over 100 other artists to exhibit her work in this year’s Labor Day Arts Festival, Monday, Sept. 6.
Jodi: How many years have you been designing jewelry? What have you learned over those years?
Sonja: I have been designing and creating jewelry for more than 35 years, as well as maintaining my own custom jewelry business of which I am very proud. Throughout each year I have continued to participate in several major arts festivals in Ohio and three-to-four of the surrounding states. I love creating clean and sculptural designs.
I like to design clean, classic and timeless jewelry. I don’t like busy or frou-frou. I like my work to complement a person’s eyes and best facial features. I found a long time ago that not all shapes and sizes complement a person’s best features. An earring is only as good as you look in it. Your face is an existing composition and I always want to accentuate a person’s best features.
Jodi: How did your art career begin?
Sonja: My love of the arts began as a child. I loved picking up shiny rocks and uniquely shaped found objects to create sculptures. I also loved art classes in school. I experimented with several different arts forms and processes before signing up for jewelry classes at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center. I immediately loved making jewelry and I started ordering metal texturing hammers and files after the first week of classes. I had a great, well-accomplished teacher. I just kept growing and creating and loving what I was doing. I couldn’t wait until my next class. I also took jewelry-making classes in Florida.
Jodi: What inspires you?
Sonja: I continue to learn new metalsmithing techniques and I am always creating new designs. I am extremely proud and honored anytime someone identifies my jewelry with their look and/or they purchase it as a gift for a loved one. I pride myself in creating jewelry that customers really look good in.
I am inspired by everything good. I am still like a kid at Christmas when it comes to designing and making jewelry. I think I can usually look at someone and know what would bring out their eyes and know whether a particular earring would look great on them. I especially love and appreciate the customers I have had for a long time as well as my new customers. I love when they get excited about my work.
Jodi: What do you enjoy most about exhibiting in the Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival?
Sonja: I am proud to say that the UA Labor Day Arts Festival was the most important contribution to the start of my jewelry business and career by being the very first arts festival where I exhibited and sold my jewelry. I am really looking forward with great anticipation for this year’s festival. Not only do I get to see many excellent fellow artists who also participate in many of the other shows that I do, but also I look forward to seeing the numerous returning patrons who faithfully support the Upper Arlington LDAF.
I also look forward to all the new people who attend. I am fortunate to have several repeat customers who have become longtime friends that I really look forward to seeing. The majority of patrons who attend are very loyal and dedicated and rarely miss this show. This show has continued to have an excellent reputation as a high quality art show as well as a popular family event as it provides activities and entertainment.
Additionally, my family and I have been longtime residents of Upper Arlington. For many years I attended the annual festival as a patron. However, being an exhibiting artist has and remains one of my most proud accomplishments that I will be forever grateful for.
See Sonja’s work at booth #37 at this year’s Labor Day Arts Festival on Monday, Sept. 6. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information visit upperarlingtonoh.gov/parks-recreation/labor-day-arts-festival.
Columbus Makes Art Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting and advancing the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus. The column is a project of the Art Makes Columbus campaign, telling the inspiring stories of the people and organizations who create Columbus art. Learn more about local artists, organizations, public art and events at ColumbusMakesArt.com.