MEET THE MAKER: Crystal Hartman

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Crystal is new-ish to our community and a new friend to us here at The Hop. We felt an immediate connection to her work and had to display it in the shop. Since reaching out to Crystal we’ve discovered that she is a passionate, motivated and inspired by the world - just like us! We can’t wait to get to know her better and see where her art takes her here in CU!

You are relatively new to Champaign-Urbana, what brought you here? And how do you like it so far?

I fell in love! He teaches at the University and brought me along from southwest Colorado.  Everything here is so new and inspiring to me.  First the trees grabbed me, the sycamores and elms, then the magnolias and peonies, and the vastness of the horizon!  The creative community here is amazing, textured and full of incredible stories, I feel so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.

What importance does nature play in your work?  

I have the intention to be of service to the trees and to the water.  I am increasingly interested in conscious creating -awareness of the stories we tell and where they create space for conversation, the materials we use, where they come from, where they will go- sustainability and harmonious living are at the center of my thoughts and practice.  When I get busy, distracted, or simply need refreshment, I find my way outside to move and breathe… this inspires the stories I tell.

You're also a jewelry maker, how does your 2D work play into your 3D work?

I found my way to jewelry with a desire to bring the creatures and concepts from my paintings into a functional and accessible form.  I draw in wax and cast in recycled fine metals… this process led me to the world of beeswax, bees, and pollination!  Now I find myself largely focused on sharing the story of pollinators and life through beauty, reminding us why we love nature and creating space for conversations through this love. I find that changing format and scale keeps creating fresh, and my body and mind active.  When I’ve worked for a long time on a small scale it I enjoy switching over to a large painting.  Too long with golden wax, switch to blue and green paints.  

What is your favorite goodie at The Hop?

Oh! How to choose?  I love sharing a babka on a Wednesday afternoon, I love that Hopscotch has gluten-free and vegan options.  I love the macaroons - the rose one is like some magical, heavenly cookie from unicorn land!  And my dog Lola Honeydew is crazy for the K9 cookies!