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CRZyBest! Who's that and what does she make?

CRZyBest: Silversmith & Sculptor; maker of unique creations; metal clay expert; copper clay whizz; designer; creator; artist; maker; real ale enthusiast; dog lover; craftsperson; tutor; teacher; workshop host; award winner; the list goes on of things I am and titles I've been given!

CRZyBest is me: Claire R. Zwozny-Bestwick, I often say that it's a good job that I got married or I'd just be CRZy!

Claire is wearing pink dungerees and a blue t-shirt, she is standing in the doorway of her CRZyBest Shedquarters
Hello, from my CRZyBest Shedquarters!

What do I make? Stuff, that's what! I spend time in my CRZyBest Shedquarters, developing and making tiny sculptures of things I like and stuff that other people love, or maybe that's the other way around? You choose?

CRZyBest is sat on a stool at a workbench with her back to the window, which the photograph has been taken through. She is wearing pink dungarees and a blue t-shirt.
Working away in my CRZyBest Shedquarters

If you have an idea of something that you would like, that you think perhaps I could make, then don't spend time pondering the question, get in touch with me and ask if I can. Usually the answer will be a resounding 'yes' with only a few exceptions... please don't screen shot someone else's work and ask me to make it, because I won't as that's just so wrong in many ways. It might not be a great idea to ask me to create a traditional stone set ring or piece of jewellery, because whilst I could make it, there are plenty of talented jewellers out there that would love to make it for you! And, whilst I'm at it, gold, yuk! My degree is in 3-dimensional design silversmithing and jewellery, if I'd wanted to work in gold then I would have trained as a goldsmith and although I appreciate the values of gold and I studied Egyptology (those guys loved it big time) as part of my degree, gold is not my thing, I don't know why, perhaps it's the consistency, who knows, so, sorry about that, I can however recommend other talented people who love it, if that's what you're looking for.

A close up of one of CRZyBest's Alternative Bouquets. The bouquet is copper and pink. There is a copper beer glass and copper dog in the bouquet.
CRZyBest Copper Clay Creations in an Alternative Bouquet

The back end of a tiny silver dog on a pinky purple background
CRZyBest Silver Hallmark

So, what do I do then? Well, my favourite thing to make are sculptures, preferably of animals or beer inspired and using my favourite medium, metal clay as shown by the dogs and beer in the alternative bouquet above. I love working in silver clay and I always use 950 silver clay, which I kiln fire and can be hallmarked as 925 sterling silver if required, that means if the piece is over 7.78g

legally it has to be hallmarked, if it's below 7.78g then it doesn't, but you can still have it hallmarked if you like just like I did with my tiny silver dog sculpture. Find out more about hallmarking in my blog or on the Assay Office website.

The picture shows two boxes of Copper Clay kits, they have pink and blue branding
Create in Copper Clay with CRZyBest

If you fancy having a go at making something in metal clay yourself, then I do offer my 'Create with CRZyBest Copper Clay Kits' , the firing process is often the bit that really flummoxes people, so I do that bit for you and the cost of firing your creations is included in the price of a copper clay kit. You can buy a copper clay kit from my website, in person from Sharpe's Pottery in South Derbyshire, or come find me at one of the events that I take my CRZyBest bar. If kits aren't your thing, then I also offer 1-2-1 workshops, tailored to your imagination, my Shedquarters even have enough space for you to bring a friend, I even offer workshop gift vouchers!

From tiny stud earrings to interior design installations, I've created a whole assortment of things in metal clay, not to mention a whole assortment of other things using different materials and methods, sometimes I relish a challenge of creating something a bit different. when someone throws me curve ball. After many years of being an award Art Teacher, specialising in 3-dimensional design, ceramics and mixed media sculpture I have learnt a lot and as CRZyBest I enjoy working in a whole variety of materials to fulfil a brief, from creating unique headdresses for stilt walkers to family trees full of symbolism for wedding anniversaries.

Combining my knowledge and skills to create things that have only previously existed in a person's imagination is so exciting, working from my customers verbal descriptions, rough sketches on scrap paper and Pinterest boards of inspiration is the best. However, ask me to do a drawing of your idea and you will most likely get a maquette and a load of work in progress photos, why flatten something to build it back up!

My 'Pink Beer, Hops & Stars' styled shoot is a great place to discover some of the more regular creations that I make: showcasing my favourite tiny stud earrings; dangly hop leaf earrings and matching necklace; a statement hop leaf neck piece; my popular tiny hop leaf hair vine; tiny hop leaf ring; beer glass lapel pin; tiny sculptures on the ceremony handfasting cord and not forgetting a massive alternative wedding bouquet with matching buttonhole complete with tiny sculptures of a beer glass, dog and hop flowers. There were many other elements in the shoot too, including a pair of tiny copper bespoke tankards as cake toppers, these also make great keyrings for special birthdays! Check out the full story and details of this shoot on the Pretty & Punk Blog or grab a copy of last Autumn's Quirky Wedding Magazine, where it was given six whole pages to celebrate!

I've made a promise to share more about what I make in my CRZyBest Shedquarters, rather than presuming that people already know! So, what would you like to know more about from CRZyBest? If you don't want to know more, that's fine too, thanks for reading this far! Let me know what you want to hear on my social media posts for free, or spend money, buy my stuff and gain lovely handcrafted things whilst supporting my business! I'll then know what you like best and develop those collections whilst giving you more insights into how I create them.

To help you get started here's a little thank you code to use when buying stuff from my website: the code 'HelloCRZyBest' will give you free 1st class standard UK postage on pretty much anything listed on my website... so, what are you waiting for? Go by my stuff and get free delivery on me!

Photo Credits

Shedquarters FoyeTography

Styled Shoot Products Kirsty Rockett Photography


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