When you do a first general informational search on crystals, you are bombarded with the sort of spiritual folklore generally associated with the “healing powers” that such gems are thought to carry. Throughout history from the earliest human graves found to documented history beginning with the Sumerians and Egyptians, there is evidence of people carrying amulets and talismans made from crystals for help and protection. Many people still today believe that they possess “magical” powers to aid in physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and general life issues. This history is attached to a very traditional and conservative understanding of jewelry and preciousness. That being said and with all honesty, when I found out I needed to write a review on an exhibition of crystals, all of the usual stereotypes began floating through my very visual mind – consisting of hippies, and cliché/ new age inspired crystal jewelry that makes a fine artist’s, and especially a fine art jewelers’, skin crawl. So, having entered into this particular exhibition with a healthy dose of skepticism, I was more than pleasantly surprised.
This past fall Lucy Sarneel became the main advising tutor for Alchimia’s second year MFA program. Marissa Ryan Racht, one of her students and an on-going contributor to Alchimia’s blog, has been asked to interview her. The outcome is a short story on her practice as an internationally acclaimed jewelry maker, as a professor and as a mother.