Sahar Husseini, Beaded Jewelry Designer
Photo of Sahar Husseini, Jewelry Artist

About the Artist

I was born totally blind, but I was always intrigued by colors and the energy they emanate. When I was a young girl, I did well in the world of academics, but I received a low C when it came to handicrafts. When I worked with my hands, I was "all thumbs." I could not make sense out of art. I think I got that C because my art teacher felt sorry for me and did not want to give me a failing grade. It would have looked bad next to my academic grades. I survived art class, and for some reason, I was content simply to survive, which is not at all like me.

In 1999, a friend of mine was convinced that I could make jewelry instead of continuing to feed my addiction and buy mountains of it. I had no idea that I could create anything. I always thought it was beyond me. After all, I told myself, I can't succeed at everything. It turned out that my friend Mary was right. I sat at her table, after Easter dinner, and designed a necklace in ten minutes, and the rest, as they say, is history.

In addition to designing jewelry, I am a counselor at the Nebraska Center for the Blind. I received a Bachelor and Master’s in Social Work from San Diego State University. As a counselor, I provide instructions in the alternative skills of blindness and provide adjustment counseling to help blind individuals recognize that it is respectable to be blind, and that blindness can be reduced to a mere nuisance with the right skills and attitudes. It is the National Federation of the Blind that taught me this empowering philosophy.

I always tell my students that they can do whatever they want in life if only they put their mind to it. As a jewelry designer, I want to convey that blindness is not the disability the world thinks it to be. I put a part of me in every piece I create. My jewelry gives me both pleasure and pride. Because of it, I know that "the sky is the limit." I consider my blindness to be a characteristic, and not a handicap. Michael Jordan said that "If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. We all have bridges we need to cross, walls we must climb, and challenges we have to overcome. What we need is the right tools to help us to reach for the stars, determination, and a positive attitude. Attitude is the pigment that colors our lives. Winston Churchill said that "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."

As a jewelry designer, I strive to produce one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. In my designs, I mainly use gemstones mixed with pewter and sterling silver. I also do work with other materials such as bone, glass, and silver-or-gold-plated metals. My favorite gemstones are black onyx, carnelian, lapis, tiger-eye, and mother of pearl. Shells hold a special place in my heart; however, each gemstone has its unique quality and its place in jewelry designs.