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Etsy Phavorite: Krista Peel

By AML Publisher
Photos courtesy of Krista Peel

Amber Resin and Glass Necklace, $55. Peel’s pieces are all one-of-a-kind, handcrafted works of art using some of the earth’s most gorgeous gemstones.

Amber Resin and Glass Necklace, $55.
Peel’s pieces are all one-of-a-kind, handcrafted works of art using some of the earth’s most gorgeous gemstones.

Artist Krista Peel is a self-proclaimed “rock fanatic.” Peel grew up surrounded by the picturesque plains of Cheyenne, Wyoming where her childhood days were spent appreciating the undisturbed elements of nature. “It was very serene, and as a child in a rural area I was surrounded by these intricate rocks and stones. There were not the distractions children have today, so I developed a very keen sense of the land around me and nature,” explained Peel.

Fast forward to 2009 and Peel is one of the most successful Philadelphia-based jewelry lines showcased on Etsy.com, the world’s largest online marketplace for designers and artists. That’s quite an accomplishment considering the tens of thousands of designers from the Delaware Valley who showcase their wares on the site. “Etsy allows me to have an audience that I can interact with. It really is a friendly community, a positive environment of artists that all support each other. And, looking around at the company of awesome talent on Etsy is so inspiring for me to keep producing beautiful pieces. Whenever you are in a situation like that (as a designer) there is nowhere to go but up. Etsy has been just great.”

Castaway. Peel discovered these beautiful shell fragments recently at the Jersey shore and converted them into one-of-kind wonderfully dimensional earrings, a perfect complement (and conversation piece) to any summer outfit, $25.

Castaway
Peel discovered these beautiful shell fragments recently at the Jersey shore and converted them into one-of-a-kind wonderfully dimensional earrings, a perfect complement (and conversation piece) to any summer outfit, $25.

Gem lovers will be salivating as they peruse Peel’s collection (kristapeel.etsy.com) and her crisp cornucopia of semi precious gemstones and vintage materials. Among the dizzying-and delightful-choices of materials that are mounted on silver and gold wires: amber, blue chalcedony, moonstones, opalite, green quartz, dark brown freshwater pearls, pale green jade, smokey quartz, lava rocks, rainbow flash labradorite, apricot moonstone, lapis lazuli, vintage salmon acrylic, Botswanan agate, milky white sea glass…and more. “It’s always evolving what I design with, what I gravitate towards and how I find my materials. I started out in bead shops looking around at the endless possibilities-after a course of time some stones appeal to me more than others. I just found micah and a slew of quartz rocks on my mother’s property in Delaware. So, this morning I already researched how to take raw materials and translate them into beads,” explained Peel.

Howlite dyed large yellow turquoise nuggets on silver hand formed earwires, $27.

Howlite dyed large yellow turquoise nuggets on silver hand formed earwires, $27.

Etsy Site: kristapeel.etsy.com

Started on Etsy: May 2007

Price Range: $19 and up

Sales on Etsy: 275

Website: kristapeel.com

Hometown: Cheyenne, Wyoming

Current Residence: West Philadelphia

Age: 35

Education: Art Institute of Chicago

Current Favorite Gem: Crab Fire Agate

Publisher’s Pick: Agate and Vintage Lucite Nuggets Necklace, which boasts tones of chestnut, cinnamon and beige, is the ideal fall statement piece for your wardrobe-$75

Favorite Etsy Sites: dressgreen.etsy.com, dikua.etsy.com, spartasoap.etsy.com, lolabags.etsy.com, jennanewton.etsy.com, threesistersink.etsy.com

Favorite Etsy Shopping Feature: Peel loves the Time Machine 2 feature on Etsy, where shoppers can browse very quickly over recently listed, about to expire, or recently sold items. “I visit and browse there all the time!”

Favorite Philly Coffee Shop: Satellite Cafe, 50th & Baltimore

Favorite Place to Dine in West Philly: Vientiane Cafe

Last Etsy Purchase: Peel and her husband Zak purchased their wedding rings from Etsy jewelry designer Zoe and Doyle (ZoeAndDoyle.etsy.com)

Design Philosophy: “I really want my pieces to be these small, sculptural objects that are unique and beautiful and simple. And, with my jewelry, it is also about the touch and feel of the gems, the material, the antique resin or sea glass.”

Design Crush: Jonathan Adler (www.jonathanadler.com)

First Job: Helping her father who was a renowned taxidermist in Cheyenne. “My dad would ask me to go out and gather grass and elements for the animal so it was mounted correctly. I think that really forced me to study nature and this intricate world inside a world, and the details it offers. Wyoming has such a neat geology. There’s no doubt that shaped my view of nature and the art it offers.”

Huge nuggets of green gaspeite turquoise and multi-toned botswana agate faceted beads hang on silver wire, 17" long, with a handmade silver clasp, $85.

Huge nuggets of green gaspeite turquoise and multi-toned botswana agate faceted beads hang on silver wire, 17" long, with a handmade silver clasp, $85.

Hitting the Books: Peel has a voracious appetite for literature that explores the history of rock formations.

Future Plans: “I feel like recently I have just gotten my (artistic) voice, and I’m ready to extend my line beyond earrings to necklaces and other pieces. Ideally, I would like to evolve into interior design as well.”

Backyard Find: The collection of quartz materials recently discovered in her mother’s Delaware backyard will someday be transformed into beautiful and unique pieces for Peel’s ever-evolving line.

Pet Project: Peel and her husband Zak Starer, a video tech at Moore College of Art, started a groundbreaking program for visiting artists called PhiladelphiaArtHotel.org. In the beginning of July, the art hotel (currently their home in West Philly) welcomed its first artist to its residency program for about a week’s stay. Having a designated period of time where artists can focus on their work can be crucial for their creative process. By the end of ’09, there will be a new building and locale for the visiting artists. “If, through the hotel program, Zak and I can enrich the art community each and every day, that will be one of the most rewarding personal ventures and a dream come true,” enthused Peel.

A full collection of Krista Peel’s designs can be found on Etsy.com at kristapeel.etsy.com. Her other sites include kristapeel.com and philadelphiaarthotel.org. To contact Krista directly email: kristapeel@gmail.com

Know a great Etsy vendor that’s based in the Delaware Valley? Send us their link for consideration for our Etsy Phavorites series. Contact: info@aroundmainline.com

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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Melanie Says:

    very cool designs

  2. emily Says:

    Sweet! Krista is a fabulous designer and super nice lady too. I have a handful of her pieces available in my shop, VIX Emporium in West Philly. I’m really coveting one in particular right now, in blue lace agate and vintage lucite…

  3. eric Says:

    i love Krista’s designs too. the sense of color is a prevalent in all her works, so i celebrate her starting career as interior designer!

  4. Linda Says:

    the colors!

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