Student turns hobby into career
Studio Arts major Kristen Gurule said she has loved art her whole life, but when she started making jewelry she became crazy about it.
She began crafting a year and a half ago but she has only been producing quality work for the past year, she said.
“I look for pictures on the internet. Stuff I would want to buy myself, but either I can’t find it or I don’t want to pay that much for it. People give me ideas to do different stuff and I’ll branch off of that,” said Gurule.
She used to make beaded jewelry but she said it is too cliché and now uses mainly polymer clay, and resin.
“Polymer clay is easy because it can be baked in the oven. I found patterned silicon ice trays too that I can use for the resin,” said Gurule.
She makes most of her emblems from the clay and resin, but can combine things like pins or bottle caps with pictures inside and seal it with resin, she said.
“I make alternative style art. Kind of weird, creepy, rockabilly, greaser or punk,” she said.
She started selling the jewelry when her friends would see the heaps of art work in her home and offered to buy them, said Gurule.
“I thought, maybe I could actually sell this stuff. People actually like it,” she said.
Gurule loves making jewelry and she said she would continue to craft even if she was not selling because it never feels like work to her.
“I’ve made hundreds of pieces. It takes me 10 to 40 minutes per piece. I try to make new things all the time. That way I can keep selling and so people don’t get tired of it,” said Gurule.
Co-owner of Free Radicals John Morningstar said the store carries Gurule’s accessories because her products encompass the store’s image.
“It’s fun, quirky, incredibly reasonably priced and sells well. It’s local, represents what we want to do and fits into our overall theme very well,” said Morningstar.
Her products meet the need of the customers they are trying to serve and he said the look fits in with everything else they have.
“The fact that it’s local, and that Kristen is fantastic, makes doing business with her extremely easy. We love having her stuff in. It has always sold well,” said Morningstar.
He said every dollar spent is a vote cast and he and fellow co-owner, Nan Moringstar, try and be careful who they vote for.
“Voting for Kristen is a vote well cast, and giving her money is money well spent,” said Morningstar.
Jewelry making is special to Gurule because of the time and thought that goes into each product, said Gurule.
“It’s different. I’m not just trying to throw crap onto people. If I make a bad one or if I don’t like it, then I throw it away,” said Gurule.
The first jewelry she made was a gun necklace, and ever since then she said her artwork has progressed.
“My boyfriend always wants to go out but I always want to stay home and craft,” said Gurule.
Gurule spends most days making jewelry from the time she wakes up until the time she goes to sleep. “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” said Gurule.
Students can see her accessories at facebook.com/kristintorresgurule and make purchases at 66 Pin-Ups, Charlie’s Record Store, or Free Radicals.
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