Jewelry Designer / Founder
Renée was born and raised in Oklahoma to a creative mother and physician father. Exceling in both art and science growing up, she chose the “practical” path, as many do, to get a BS in Microbiology and pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry in Colorado. After 28 years and raising a daughter, Renée gave into her right-brained urges to create. Having done some wax casting in high school art class to make a gold ring for her father, she decided to take a basic jewelry making class and quickly rekindled a passion for the craft.
Starting with wire wrapping then off loom bead weaving techniques, Renée’s designs rapidly outgrew her crafts so she picked up a torch, started soldering and was hooked. Seeking to accelerate her learning, Renée reached out to Gemologist John Heusler of Heusler Academy, who became her summer-time mentor. Renée’s mentorship with John lead to her meeting Lexi Erickson, who is also now mentoring and teaching Renée. Renée sells her work at art shows and in local galleries. Her work can also be found in her online boutique on her website, GaiasJewels.com.
“Being a life scientist and an artist, I am completely in awe of and inspired by Mother Nature, the beauty and elegance of her dynamic processes and the resulting treasures and life we enjoy on our planet today. I see the act of creating as an extension of that process. When I create something out of a glimmer from my mind’s eye, I pour my energy and soul into the vision and materials and watch it evolve. Later, when I hold the finished object in my hand and feel its new energy coming back to me, I am thrilled by the transformation from vision into reality.
Creating gemstone jewelry is my passion because I get to engage in my creative process with the goal of showcasing Mother Nature’s treasures! I will often mimic natural structures or natural events in my work, creating a mystery, a reason for a viewer to stop, look closer. When they do, I know I have been successful. And if they choose to take the item home, it’s like sending a little billboard advertising the magnificence of the earth upon which we are so lucky to live, out into the world.”
– Renée Crum