Positioned in the Intramuros district of Manila, Philippines is the ominous Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica. During the course of more than three centuries, the structure underwent numerous reconstructions due to natural catastrophes. The Philippines is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Crystalyn Yason.
Ladies, sometimes we feel the stirrings of our inner goddess, and on those occasions we feel the need to make an unforgettable entrance to a party or even our workplace.
We often respond to those stirrings by getting a new haircut or trying out a new hair color. We try a different clothing style, or look for a great accessory like a bold jewelry piece.
Yason's statement making, one-of-a-kind bead jewelry collections are a perfect contrast for adding just the right amount of oomph to a solid-colored turtleneck, or tank dress.
The self-taught designer's first foray into the jewelry industry came in 2001 after establishing a small jewelry business with her mother. "My mother taught me some basic techniques on bead stringing and wire working. The business lasted for almost a year," she recalls.
"Several years later my husband and I moved to the United States due to his occupation. My visa does not allow me to work in the United States, so I had a lot of free time and since working with my mom I felt that I should be doing something in terms of jewelry making and design.
One day, while in a bookstore, I found some books about bead weaving and bead embroidery techniques, and I wanted to learn them. I read books like the Bead Romantique by Lisa Kan, and The Art and Elegance of Beadweaving by Carol Cox Wells, as well as finding information on the internet.
It took me around three years of study, and a lot of trial and error before setting up my online store, Cryst Jewelries, to share my passion with others."
Two of Yason's brilliantly colored collections, Hollywood Glamour, and Fit for a Queen, highlight bold, chunky pieces reminiscent of designers Ayala Bar (Israel), and Elizabeth Wahyu (Indonesia), while her collection Simple yet Elegant displays her panache for streamlined proportions.
She builds her incredible designs from vintage glass, seed beads, semi-precious stones, and Crystallized Swarovski Elements making certain Mother Earth informs many of her creations. The polychromatic assortment of beads and crystals brings to mind shaved ice drenched with multi-colored syrup.
"The details of the things I find in nature--the color combinations and variety of shapes influence how I create a piece. For instance, my Abstract on the Beach Necklace is inspired by the shape and color of ocean waves," she explains.
"A nature photograph I saw from the book The Nature of Wisdom inspires the colors of my A Walk in Nature Necklace. The image is of a lake surrounded by trees that are different shades of green, and I emulated the color combinations."
Nature is not Yason's only source of influence and inspiration, her homeland plays a large role as well.
"My designs are also influenced by my birthplace, a municipality named Lucban. It is known for its annual Pahiyas Festival. Houses are adorned with colorful decorations made of fruit, vegetables, and miscellaneous handicrafts," she says.
"The creativity of the people here – how they create magnificent and colorful decorations by using native products and sharing them with people from around the world--is such an inspiration.
Whenever I lay out a bunch of beads on my work table, design ideas start to pop in my head until a complete design emerges from mixing and matching the beads."
To create her designs, Yason implements four stitching techniques: Peyote, Square, Brick, and Ndebele, as well as Right-Angle Weave and Fringe.
"I express my individuality through my jewelry and my mission is to provide women with truly distinctive pieces they won't find on anyone else."
Yason's skillful arrangement of materials is visually stunning, and also very affordable.
Yason's jewelry prices are listed on her website in Php (Philippine Peso) beneath photos of her jewelry items, so be sure to enlist a conversion table to obtain prices for your region. For example, 1000 Philippine Pesos is the equivalent of $21.62 in USD.
Photo 1 (top right): Abstract on the Beach from Fit for a Queen Collection
Photo 2 (center): Awesome Beauty Necklace from Fit for a Queen Collection
Photo 3 (bottom left): Red Flower Necklace from Fit for a Queen Collection