Thomas & Patricia Bauman / Matrix DesignsIn our Ridgelines series we use traditional jewelry making techniques to explore the timeless contours and patterns of the Appalachian...
Robert & Lucy Gibson
Media: Mixed Media
Bob and Lucy Gibson live in the mountains of Western North Carolina. They are the sole proprietors of Cruso Studios which produces contemporary, handcrafted jewelry, one of a kind and limited production forms ranging from digital imagery and wall art, to clocks and decorative objects.
"Being creative was an everyday part of life in my family."
My interest in fine art was fostered by my mother, who taught us kids to draw, paint, and sculpt with paper mache and homemade play-dough. She also enjoyed reclaiming objects from the curb and giving them new life with paint, stencils or a good stripping.
My father was an inventor and a ham radio buff. His workshop was full of fascinating tools and beeping instruments. There were cabinets crammed with tiny radio parts ~ transistors, resistors, little fuses and glass tubes that cried out to be made into necklaces, bracelets, rings and things.
Grandma was a tailor. She would give us her button box to play with and there was no end to the delightful doodads that ended up in there. When I was older, I would look for button boxes in thrift stores and at auctions and it was buttons, snaps and antique fasteners that comprised much of my early jewelry.
In 1993, I enrolled at HCC and learned the basics of jewelry design and fabrication. I also met my future husband ... and the rest as they say, was destiny.
Lucy O'Brien Gibson received her BFA in Illustration from Parsons School of Design and a Metalworking degree from the Professional Crafts Program of Haywood Community College.
“The process of making things has been a part of my life since childhood. There is a challenge and excitement in discovering a new way to solve a problem, a new way to see a form. Everything interests me. I want to try it all. There just isn’t enough time but I’m going to give it a good try.”
I can't remember a period in my life when my mom wasn't drawing or painting. When I was old enough to handle a brush, I would paint along with her at the dining room table. This exposure eventually influenced my decision to get a degree in painting and drawing.
My dad was a business executive, but he also loved to build things. When I was very young, he bought a surplus Craftsman table saw and lathe to build a maple drop leaf dining table which I sat at every day until I left home. When I started to build my house, he gave me the table saw, which I still use.
After a sabbatical in Southeast Asia, I finished my BVA degree and got a job as the Art Director at the Georgia Historical Commission. It was a great job! I got to draw, paint and build things and they paid me to do it.
In 1973 I moved to Western North Carolina. It was love at first sight. What a beautiful place to live. Eventually I got a job teaching drawing and design in the crafts department at Haywood Technical College (now Haywood Community College). This was my first experience with teaching and fine handcrafts. It opened a wide door to new ways of thinking and making. In the nineties I met my future wife who was a student in the metals program. With her influence, I started making jewelry... and the rest, as Lucy says, was destiny.