Hello, I’m Leonard Bloksberg, the founding artist and creator behind Crystillery. I’m a real person and the items you see are made by me, one at a time. There are 2 fundamental things about me that are the foundation to all the things I make. First, I need creative time and time in nature to restore my soul. Second, I delight in finding and nurturing the natural beauty in everyone and everything I meet. There is beauty all around us, if we know how to find it and appreciate it.
For me, cutting and polishing stones is a spiritual practice that starts in nature. I love going into the bush, walking up streams or digging in the mud to find stones. Yes, I do buy some as well but I love how my work brings me into nature. The cutting and polishing of stones is a slow, meditative practice. I start with a rough rock and study it and feel into it. Over hours of slow cutting, sanding and polishing, the natural beauty of the stone comes forward. I don’t create the beauty, I discover it. And then I nurture it so everyone can see it. In the stone cutting community, I have a reputation for being able to polish stones that “can’t be polished” and also for making the most beautiful things from stones that others declared unworthy. And just to prove that there is natural beauty in everyone and everything, I sometimes make jewelry from scraps of road metal.
My passion for my work has resulted in several awards, including the points trophy (winning in the most categories) in the New Zealand National Gem Cutting Competition in 2010 and 2018. Jewellers from around the country contact me for custom cut gems and I set my gems in my own jewelry. With Crystillery, I am presenting my own creations (Jewelry Space), and some sacred items I enjoy (Sacred Space), as well as tools and supplies for people who also enjoy working with stones (Creators Space). I hope you will enjoy browsing what I am bringing together.