Durango street style: Handmade jewelry and dress pockets

by Patty Templeton

When you meet Crystal Hartman, you get the feeling that she is not of this earth. She’s something more, like she fell from Neverland or has elfin magic sliding under her skin. Hartman, a local jewelry artist with work on display at Studio &, is a bubbly, beautiful human who, after you’ve met once, you can’t wait to meet again because she shines a smidge brighter than most with sincerity and whimsy.

DGO spoke to Hartman at “Art in the Afternoon,” a fundraising event at Willowtail Springs.

The necklace“This is one, singular chunk of moose tooth that was salvaged off of a jaw found in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. A dear, dear friend of mine was on a boat fly fishing and he saw this jaw. It was too big to take on the boat so he broke teeth out to bring to me. He broke them out, carried them down the Kenai Peninsula, took a helicopter back to their place, then brought the teeth all the way back to Colorado for me to put into jewelry.

I carved the silver around it. The chain came from when I was about 13 years old and my family lived in Bali, Indonesia, for a while. I made it earlier this summer … The tooth itself was filthy when it got to me. I polished it a tiny bit with pulverized sapphire powder. [laughs] It’s probably the most epic piece I’ve ever made, honestly.

The dressFor ages and ages I have been that one girl who didn’t have a little black dress. I was at Sideshow Emporium and Heather (Narwid) was like, “I have this dress, it might be perfect for you.” … I fell in love with this dress because of the pockets. Later, I found out that the removal of pockets from dresses was an intentional move by designers so they could sell more purses. They truly wanted to sell more accessories so they took away pockets.”

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Patty TempletonDGO Staff Writer

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