Crystal Lallego

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We all have the desire to belong and to connect. From the first cave drawings to today's company logos or school mascots, we have used shared symbols to communicate with each other, form social and religious communities, remember together, comfort or inspire each other, and share our life stories.

I seek these shared symbols in the form of medieval, antique and vintage wax seal stamps, wax seals on antique documents and antique intaglios.  When I find them, I use them to handcraft fine silver and bronze jewelry and other accessories that have unique meaning and enduring symbolism.

 

As a first generation American, I experienced first-hand how language barriers affect the way we communicate and connect. While I never heard my parent's heavy accents, friends would often say "I called your house, but some foreign person answered the phone." As a child, I didn't correct my parents or speak for them in public and what I saw when people couldn't understand them was the same thing most people do - first, we speak louder, as if somehow the change in volume will translate our words, then we revert to drawing or acting out common actions and symbols.

 

Inspiration for my symbolic wax seal jewelry came after I created fine silver wax seal pendants from the initial "W" wax seal stamp I had used on the invitations for my husband's grandfather's 90th birthday. Granddad, the patriarch of our family, had suffered a stroke and I felt the women in the family needed something to better connect us to him and to each other. I was surprised to see the reaction to this symbolic pendant, even from those who usually aren't sentimental.

 

When Granddad passed away, I searched for the symbol for deep sorrow—which is the willow tree—to create a charm for my mother-in-law, but couldn’t find a stamp anywhere. I carved the willow tree out of wax and cast a stamp from my carving to create a charm for her in time for the funeral. The response to that charm fueled my passion to search for symbols and to create my handcrafted symbolic pieces which are thoughtful, meaningful, uplifting, sentimental, and even thought provoking. They are all created to help you share your life story, comfort those in need, or just connect with someone in your life.

 

Each item is handcrafted from symbolic medieval, antique or vintage wax stamps, wax seals from antique documents, or intaglios from the Grand Tour in fine silver or bronze with each item slightly different and uniquely yours. I love the nature of the handmade process with every piece differing slightly with its own variations and beauty. The Japanese refer to this as wabi sabi - a beauty of things imperfect. It's the appreciation of the quirks and anomalies arising from the process of construction, which add uniqueness and elegance to the object.

Between my home studio in Katy, Texas and my studio/showroom in Northwest Houston, I handcraft each piece individually, with the support of my loving husband and two loyal dogs by my side.

© 2010-2019 by JoMar Visions. All rights reserved.

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