Be sure to visit Crystal's shop after reading what she has to say about herself, and her work.
I have been a lover of all things sparkly from a very young age. Spurred by my grandmother’s collection of costume jewels, and a cast-off bead loom, what began as a child’s exploration and experimentation has grown over the years into a woman’s expression. There is a world of discovery and delight in the boxes, bags, and tubes in my studio… potential waiting its turn.Every piece is one of a kind, created by hand, one bead at a time, changing organically as they grow. Where each piece ends is rarely where I had planned. My work is about giving tangible form to a mood, a breath, a moment. The possibilities are endless. I work mostly in glass seed beads, the most miniscule fragments of color and light, and highlight them with semi-precious stones, art glass, Swarovski crystal, genuine pearls and carvings in bone and shell. I’m only now branching out into polymer clay, and recently some work with shrink plastic….the possibilities are endless! The more media and material, the clearer the message can be. And the message is, Inspiration is Everywhere!
What led you to start creating your art or craft?
I come from a family of crafters, artists, seamstresses...as long as I can remember I've been doing things with my hands...it's never occured to me to NOT craft.
How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
I often say that my medium chose me...there's a story about a bead loom that I salvaged from a family garage sale at the age of 6. I "invented" peyote stitch at Girl Scout camp a few years later...and I just never stopped creating, finding new ways to use those materials.
What aspect of creating your art or craft do you find the most enjoyable?
It soothes me. When I'm in a rythym, when my hands and the work have found their pace, I can free my mind to sort out other things...situations in my life, my day job, my relationships, problems I may be having with other projects (I also knit and sew, mostly for myself), or find inspiration for new designs. Like meditation, but way more productive.
What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art or craft?
I don't know that I'm going for any particular message....more of an aesthetic. Maybe the aesthetic is the message. So many of us do this thing of saving our good/expensive/interesting things for "a special occasion".... That imported lace shawl, the handmade brooch, the long singy earrings, even the good china. I try to encourage the people I come in contact with to USE those things.. wear them, love them. Their whole purpose is to bring beauty and pleasure to the world...why hide them away for "special"? Why can't today be "special" enough? We're beautiful and special, and we deserve to ornament ourselves in a like manner.
What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?
Do it for love.Don't be afraid to talk about it.... yes, it's interesting! Don't give it away! If you're trying to sell your work, sell it at a price that is fair to you as an artist... it sends the message that these handworks, this "woman's work" has value.
Crystal, those were some great thoughts and advice! Thanks, again, for taking the time to share yourself and your art with us.
Don't forget now....see what other beautiful works of art Crystal has in her shop below: