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2/21_ jewelry2

Prolific artist crafts jewelry of all styles

One CNM student spends time between classes making earrings out of cereal boxes, anatomically correct heart pendants and Harry Potter charm bracelets.

“I go through phases,” Kristin Gurule said. “Lace, steampunk, rockabilly … I’ve gone through everything and I just expand, because I don’t like to make the same stuff twice. I’m always looking for something new.”

Gurule, 23, began making jewelry five years ago and has been selling her creations since 2010.

“I liked painting and drawing, but so many of those types of artists don’t get recognition, because they don’t do ‘Southwest’ art,” Gurule said. “Unless you’re a kid. But if you’re a kid, you’re broke.”

Gurule makes dozens of pieces a week. She sells her pieces for between $5 and $25, depending on their complexity.

The drawers in her apartment are filled with hundreds of different adornments.

Gurule uses a variety of materials, but her primary crafting ingredient is polymer clay. She uses a home pasta-maker to flatten and condition the clay. She then molds it, carves it and finally bakes it in her oven for about 15 minutes. Afterward, she primes and paints the piece, photographs it and lists it for sale on her personal Facebook page.

“It’s my laziness,” Gurule said. “I didn’t want to make a separate page, because I wouldn’t check both of them, so I just threw them together.”

The Octopus and the Fox is one of the venues around town that sell Gurule’s jewelry.

“She has a punky aesthetic, but she also does geeky stuff like Tetris bracelets and Super Mario earrings,” said Jessi Campbell, co-owner of The Octopus and the Fox. “There’s an incredible gamut of things that she’s interested in. But her stuff’s super popular and we sell a lot of it.”

Gurule’s jewelry is also available at Free Radicals, 66 Pin-Ups and sometimes Buffalo Exchange. The vast majority of it, however, is obtainable directly through Gurule.

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“I love all those stores, but if someone wants something special and they don’t find it there, I don’t want them to be disappointed,” Gurule said. “Because I can make it for them. I’d love to get more commissions and do more stuff for boyfriends/girlfriends. I can do all kinds of stuff, but a lot of people don’t ask.”

Gurule said some of her most memorable sales include a Catbus pendant — Catbus is a character from the film “My Neighbor Totoro” — custom-made for a UNM art department employee, as well as an anatomical heart pendant that was sold to a New York woman who then had the pendant’s likeness tattooed onto her body.

Gurule plans to expand her business by finding additional boutiques to sell her jewelry. She also wants to have a table at the upcoming Albuquerque Comic Expo and the ASUNM Arts & Crafts Fair in the fall.

_To learn more about Kristin Gurule or purchase her jewelry,

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