STORY

THE CRYSTAL HIVE

Original Swarovski Crystal Artwork

Handmade with love & genuine Swarovski Crystal

Hi I’m Carol

I’m from Manchester and I’m married to Lee. I have two gorgeous daughters and 2 Persian cats, Pandora and Willow (The cats not the daughters)

I am happy to share this info as none of my passwords relate to them. I’m telling you this bit now to reinforce my GDPR compliance (there’s more about that in the Privacy & Policy bit on here somewhere)

I still do crystal bridal pieces on request, but for the last couple of years I have been creating bespoke pieces of artwork, most recently the focus has been The Manchester Worker Bee. Clearly, the Manchester Bee has been very visible since the Manchester Arena bombing, and rightly so.  Although having worked for Manchester Council for 11 years I knew the significance of the bee & what it represented a long time ago.

I came to make the first Swarovski Manchester bee, not long after arena attack.  You see my friend tragically lost her stepson that night and I was going to see her and I wanted to take her something, but I didn’t know what.

So, the 1st little Swarovski Bee was made – She loved it and said she would treasure it. I had lots of interest after that & started to make them in various sizes and colours. Using anything from 140 on the little ones to 7,044 crystals for the largest one so far!

And so, The Crystal Hive was formed, making bees and other bespoke artwork commissions.

I’m often asked how I have the patience to produce my pieces, bearing in mind every crystal is applied by hand with tweezers. The answer is it’s my therapy, my happy place. It helped me forget (for a little while) the stress of having a daughter that has gone through years of cancer treatment.

Things are good now, so let’s crack on.

Since then my little bees have travelled to new homes across the UK and have gone to live with Mancunian ex pats all over the world in France , Italy, Turkey, USA, Australia & New Zealand 

Last year I made a donation for every Manchester Bee sold to the Lord Mayor’s charity - We♥️Manchester.  This year I think I will also donate to a PTSD charity for young people.

Commissions are taken for the larger bees and company logo’s 

HOW ARE THEY MADE

My artwork is a combination of laser cutting, crystal design & application, embossing backgrounds and framing – smaller pieces are supplied in pre-made frames in a range of colours & sizes.

All larger pieces are professionally framed. We can discuss framing options including type of frame, frame colour and glazing options.

Glazing options – I've decided now to only use True Color SuperClear glass in all my pictures, even the small 4" frames. This special glass is anti-reflective and protects your mount & background from sun damage and fading. Obviously its more expensive but really worth - its around 3 times the price of regular glass. 

Fingerprint marks show up as pink smudges, so they are easily seen for cleaning. This glass is used in galleries & museums. It’s almost invisible! You can see the difference in the photo below. I love it.

 

 

SWAROVSKI CRYSTALS

Swarovski crystals are man-made gems manufactured in Austria. In 1892, Daniel Swarovski invented a machine for making precision-cut, beautiful, high quality lead glass crystals using quartz, sand, and minerals. The exact proportions of these raw materials has remained a company secret.

Swarovski Elements is the brand name for the loose precision-cut Swarovski crystals used by the fashion, jewelery, and accessories industries.

All the products made in The Crystal Hive are made with genuine Swarovski Crystal Elements. My supplier, Bluestreak Crystals is an authorized Swarovski Partner.

Bluestreak Crystals