Jewelry
Upshur County
304-439-4612
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Jewelry making

Chistine Keller

I am a jewelry-maker from Buckhannon, West Virginia and owner of Chrizart Creations. Chrizart is shown in over 72 galleries and shops coast to coast. I strive to create one-of-a-kind pieces of unique design and color, appealing to women of all ages, with an inclination toward whimsical, fun, and edgier pieces that make a bold statement.

I began expressing her creativity as a woodcarver in 1995. In 2008, I took up pottery, leading to experiments with jewel-like cabochons of clay and melted glass. Having a lifelong love of jewelry, I began wire wrapping in 2009 as a medium for incorporating the cabochons into pendants. I have since expanded the line to include earrings, rings, and bangles.

In addition to these handmade elements, my jewelry may include semi-precious stones, crystals, Czech glass, beads, repurposed materials, and other accoutrements either wrapped (sterling silver, copper, 14K gold-filled, colorful, anodized aluminum wire) or handwrought of silver, brass, copper, etc.

Life on top of a West Virginia mountain with my husband Warren and a wonderful dog inspires my creative spirit. It is the beauty which surrounds me, the love of friends and family (10 grandkids), and the time to create anew which sustains me.

I am grateful to my teachers Bill Crouch, David Smith, and Lexi Erickson for showing me the way, and to West Virginia’s Tamarack artisan programs, and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History for helping to make my dreams come true.

Biography

Never be afraid to follow your dream! I started making jewelry when I was 47 years of age. It all began in my pottery studio. I had a small piece of clay left at the end of the day and made a small depression in it with my thumb. After the bisque firing I melted some colored glass into the center during the glaze firing. What happened next was the birth of Chrizart Creations. The beautiful pottery and glass cabochon that emerged from the kiln became the first pendant that I wire wrapped, and these geodes are still a part of my collection today.

I continued to work a full-time, high stress job for the next three years. During that time, I was able to place my jewelry in eighteen West Virginia galleries. As I turned 51, I felt it was time to take a chance on me. I realized that I couldn’t take Chrizart any further without more time invested, so in the middle of one of the worst economic downturns, I quit my day job to become a full-time jewelry designer. Four years later, Chrizart can now be found in over seventy-five boutiques and galleries across the country.

My creations consist of wire wrapping techniques, having trained with Master Wire wrapper Bill Crouch, silver smithing techniques, enameling and forging. I use gemstones, aluminum, copper, brass, sterling and gold in the pieces I create. Color is the theme that runs prevalent throughout my pieces.

My accolades include:

• 2015 Tamarack Foundation Board member- 3-year term;
• President of Artistry on Main co-op gallery- Buckhannon WV since 2012;
• Featured in many articles and television appearances as president of Artistry on Main;
• Featured in Crafts Report magazine- January 2015 issue;
• Featured in Smart Retailer magazine- December 2014 issue;
• Featured in West Virginia Focus magazine- June 2014;
• Featured in Niche Magazine- summer 2013 issue;
• Received 3 grants from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History for the years 2012, 2013, and 2014;
• Featured in online article by Arts Business Institute- 2013;
• Featured in online article by Les Femmes Folles- Women in Art, published in their book- 2014;
• Featured on WBOY-TV in an in-studio interview- September 2013;
• Featured in numerous articles in the following publications: The Inner Mountain, The Record Delta, The Charleston Gazette, The Upshur Connection, and the Greenbrier Resort’s in-house publication;
• Featured on WDTV in an interview at United Hospital Center’s Artisans’ Crossing gift shop open house;
• Awarded 2nd highest jewelry sales at Tamarack for 2012 and 2013, highest in sales in 2014;
• Awarded 3-year grant from the Tamarack Foundation Urban Arts Program