There is a mystical sense to Kristin Merrill’s work, which comes from its connection to the earth and natural environment. “My passion is creating beautiful things out of natural materials,” she says. “ I am especially connected to the sea, in both a literal and a psychic sense. It gives my work meaning and a reason for being.”
Kristin’s sculptures incorporate pieces of driftwood indigenous to the Connecticut shoreline. To them, she adorns pearls, hand-cast sterling elements, copper and symbolic found objects.
“The driftwood,” Kristin explains, “was once a tree, vibrant with life and growing. It goes through a metamorphosis at the end of its life, falls into the sea, and finds its way to the shore. By resurrecting it in my sculptures, I create a new phase in its life. It is re-born and immortalized as art.”
That same transformation echoes in her jewelry, where individual elements — sterling silver, semiprecious stones, amber, pearls — join together to become something new and different.
From your first glance at her distinct pieces, you can tell that Kristin has an intrinsic sense of art and beauty. Which should come as no surprise. “I have been surrounded by art all of my life. My father is a potter and sculptor, and my mother was an avid gardener and writer.”
Not bound by her right-brain talents, Kristin is equally adept at managing the intricacies of the business side of creative work, which she has proven as a former CEO, Vice President and Business Manager for small and large companies over the past 18 years. The combination of these two skill-sets reveal themselves in the success of the Shoreline ArtsTrail, which she oversaw from 2009-2013, and her own company, Riverside Consulting, which provides bookkeeping services and support for artists and creative professionals.
by JEN PAYNE, WORDS BY JEN