Thu | Jul 2, 2020

What’s in Matthew Delfosse’s Crystal Box?

Published:Friday | January 31, 2020 | 12:20 AMPaul H. Williams/Gleaner Writer
A section of Matthew Delfosse’s table at a recent event.
A section of Matthew Delfosse’s table at a recent event.

In Matthew Delfosse’s Crystal Box, there are a variety of crystals, of course, to embellish what you already have, and to enhance what you might not have, accessories made of natural and man-made materials. It is a business with a clear purpose. To make you look sparklingly good.

There are necklaces, pendants, wristlets, copper cuffs and rings, earrings, scented candles which he and his mother have made, little pieces of special stones.

Delfosse, when he was growing up, did not for moment dream of making a living from a Crystal Box. The avid rock collector harboured thoughts of being an engineer, but not which type. It was not an obsession, he just wanted to do something creative.

After high school, he enrolled at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. He chose to do animation. At the time, it was 2D technology that was being used, but he was more interested in 3D.

His sojourn at this popular arts institution lasted for only a semester. “I don’t know if it’s how the teachers taught the classes, or if it’s the programme itself, the software, but by the end of the semester, I didn’t feel it, and I just did not go back the next term,” he said. Leaving ‘Edna’ abruptly was not the death of the creativity that was raging inside the Jamaica College graduate. He used to collect stones, but stopped since there was not enough variety in Jamaica. “I didn’t know how to get more of them,” he shared.

When he started to travel, his passion for stone collection was reignited, and then the pieces were now taking over his living space. His mother told him to give them away, and he did in fact donated some, only to realise he was giving away things from which he could make some money.

self taught

Then he taught himself how to make jewellery. “Just for the fun of it,” he said. People started to admire his pieces, and he began to notice that they were seriously noticing his pieces. He set out to improve their quality, and started to make necklaces with stone pendants encased in copper wire for sale.

He sells the rocks by themselves, or strung up as wristlets and pendants, and he does custom pieces. He noted that he does not buy stones online. He goes to the natural sources, dig up the rocks, and sends them to a friend in Australia to be converted into beads. This can be an expensive venture.

“But, it’s worth it, knowing that you have the genuine quality, the authenticity. I built a name for myself from it,” he stated. The stones from which he makes his pieces include malachite, agate, obsidian, tiger’s eye, turquoise, Amazonite, sapphire, smokey quartz, bronzite, jasper, and others.

But while most people buy his pieces for ostentatious and aesthetic reasons, as adornments, they do have healing properties, and Delfosse has made a commitment to study the things he sells to inform his clients and patrons.