Meet The Artist

Eric K. AhernSawyer,

B.A. Environmental Science,
M.S.c in Conservation Biology,


"No other medium so easily lends itself to covert meanings as jewelry does. Granting jewelers unique responsibilities to create uplifting work. In 2020 I fully embraced the artistic aspect of being a jeweler, culminating in a moment of reckoning : "if I claim myself a contemporary artist I must advocate more than just the fairly safe, sustainability". Around this time, a close friend shared her experience of protecting her trans student terrified for their life of going home. Being queer in the 90s, I understood. Inspired by my trans siblings and the want to support normalization and acceptance in the community, I designed a series of upcycled jewelry covertly promoting trans rights. Each allows the wearer the ability to be proud or secure depending on their surroundings." 


 #1 The first of my trans-normalizing covert jewelry pieces is this 3-strand choker of sterling, sodalite, rose quartz, and pearls. I chose these materials for nonbinary cryptid identities because beautiful jewelry needs to be made for them, not just men or women. Each jewel echoes colors from the trans flag with a darker blue and grayer pink, which help keep the wearer's secret. The choker is proudly worn by my friend Bear Waldorf; a strong, resilient, nonbinary transgender person of color.
#2 This piece presents the unevenness within the LGBT community and the relative safety of gay, lesbian, and bisexual; even white trans is represented by a solid strand. The strand representing trans POC is purposefully broken, to highlight their horrifying murder rate. Though it is broken, it continues on; representing the resilience and humanity of trans people. This bold piece shines as a beautiful necklace on the strong, resilient nonbinary transgender person of color Bear Waldorf.
#3 It is critical when addressing such heavy subjects as discrimination and murder to leave one with a sense of hope at the conclusion. This piece represents expectation and ownership of success for the future; it's the most opulent of the series, with finer pearls, brighter rose quartz, gold, luscious imperial jasper in an infinity spectrum. The symbol subtly hints those included in the know, that trans identities are nothing new. Theirs is a rich heritage, hopefully soon to come back into their own. The elegant choker proudly worn by my friend, Bear Waldorf, a skilled linguist, musician, artist, and nonbinary transgender person of color.

Eric was raised in an environmentalist family, leading to his studies and work in the field. He began making jewelry as a hobby in 2013 and soon he was designing both beautiful and unique, one of a kind, jewelry. All made from materials picked up at thrift stores, estatessales, and charitable organizations. Realizing that this fit his goal of living in a sustainable manner, he also realized that he could make a difference by selling the jewelry he made. Jewels of The New Antiquity, (old becomes new again) was created.

To date Eric has been juried into shows several times, including Creative Spirits in West Linn, Cellar 55 in Vancouver, America's Largest Christmas Bazaar in Portland, Angst Art Gallery in Vancouver, WA, OPS Homesteading Faire in Corvallis, OR, and ReClaimeIT, in St. John's, OR.  His success as an eco-jeweler has grown rapidly and his work is known around the Pacific NW, New England, the Southeast, Chile and Brazil. He lives in Portland, OR with his dog, Missy Thuglife, and enjoys antique shopping, and traveling to Eastern Oregon whenever he gets the time.