Rose and Bolt: Dead Inspired Jewelry Made by Sarah Lewis
Colorado-based artist Sarah Lewis remembers her first connection the Grateful Dead fondly, “I was brought into the music by my parents at an early age. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see Jerry, but I was so close to it because my parents brought me to the Furthur Festival in ’96 when I was in sixth grade.” Since then, she’s seen everything from RatDog to Phil and Friends to The Dead, and more recently, Dead & Company.
Her young love for the scene intersected with her teen art practice. “I always made jewelry as a kid. Even in the ’90s I was making blown glass beads with the hemp necklaces and selling them on Phish lot. I started selling jewelry at the shows. I ended up going to Savannah College of Art and Design for jewelry and loved it. I went from hemp necklaces to soldering, stone setting, fabricating, casting and all the jewelry techniques.” Out of college, she designed for Free People for a year, learning all the real-world business and creative acumen she’d need to start her own brand. For the last fifteen years, she’s realized her dreams in her line of bohemian and nature inspired designs she named Hiouchi Jewels.
“I love the design process and I love wearing it myself. I really think my design aesthetic is my personal aesthetic, I design things that I want to wear and that I think I could see my friends wanting to wear. That’s what makes it fun, to think, ‘Oh, wait. There should be a necklace like this,’ and it doesn’t exist yet, so I’m going to make it and then it exists,” Sarah explained.
About two years ago, she launched Rose & Bolt, the Grateful Dead Collection. A passion project many years in the making, the beautiful jewelry line features the iconic Grateful Dead rose and 13-point bolt. “I love the kind of duality and dichotomy of the images in that the bolt and the rose almost to me feel like masculine-feminine. The rose is such an organic, soft, beautiful form, and the bolt is jagged, it’s hard and soft,” she shared.
Photograph © Jay Blakesberg
The gorgeous collection includes tee-shirts, pins, rings, bracelets, pendants, necklaces, and earrings in silver, gold, and of course, rose gold. Set with crystals and gemstones, the jewelry is well-made and exquisite in its delicacy while the traditional Grateful Dead imagery makes it iconic. The rose and bolt have been found in so many designs, Sarah knew she had to make hers stand out. She related, “That was the huge factor in designing. I didn’t want to step on any toes, and I wanted it to be something different. The Prism Stealies, which are my bestseller right now are a great example of that. I hadn’t seen anything like that before. I had seen those prisms in glasses that I had, those crazy festival glasses that you can’t really even look through. I got the prism idea from these funny glasses I had.”
Sarah and Steve Steve Parish
Shifting design gears but not losing sight of her Hiouchi Jewels style, she carried over her aesthetic in the Rose & Bolt Collection. “Hiouchi is Bohemian jewelry, there’s moon phases and mountains. I live here in the mountains, so I’ve got my mountains necklaces and sacred geometry. I’ve always done a lot with the flower of life and seed of life symbol. The materials, the crystals are a huge part of it. I have translated some of those elements to the Rose & Bolt Collection and a good example of that is the Move Me Brightly Crystal Ring. It’s basically my Crystal Talon Ring that I’ve had in my Hiouchi Jewels Collection for over 10 years that I added roses and bolts to,” she shared.
Recently, Sarah made a splash at Playing the Sand with her first Rose & Bolt Grateful Dead Jewelry Treasure Hunt. Deadheads on the scene in Mexico for the festival followed her socials for clues to find jewelry mysteriously hidden in her “Playing for Silver” game. This spring, the “Play for Silver, Grab that Gold!” treasure hunt will go down at Skull & Roses 2023. Clues will be posted on @RoseAndBolt and @SkullAndRosesVentura Socials (FB & IG). Not on Socials? You can stop by the Rose & Bolt booth, in the Oasis, to get the clues. Thirteen Steal Your Prism Necklaces will be hidden around the festival, all beautifully made jewelry miracles! The fun begins on Wednesday, 4/19. Happy Hunting!