Kremmling: Couple live life in creative way
December 7, 2007
Stephen and Kriss Mossman have a good thing going. Aside from their successful salon in Kremmling, which they share with “special blend” dog Cliff, the two live in a community that is supportive and inspirational to artists like them.
Stephen started painting with oils as a teen and started constructing furniture, his true passion, about 20 years ago.
“I built some stuff in New York, but nothing like now,” he said of his work. His talent really got a kickstart when he and Kriss moved to Silverthorne and realized they didn’t have any patio furniture.
“I found a cool piece of driftwood and that’s what started it,” he said.
When he’s not working at Park Avenue Hair, Stephen is creating one-of-a-kind chairs, chests, shelves, desks, benches, armoires, coat racks, cabinets and picture frames.
“It’s not your basic log furniture,” he said. “Haven’t made a hillbilly hot tub yet though,” he said with a grin.
With such a good sense of humor, the licensed cosmetologist takes life as it comes.
“It’s the being creative, seeing something and bringing it forth,” he said. Sometimes the inspiration comes from the material, like the stack of doors that he turned into shelves. “I really like using reclaimed material, once forgotten,” including beetle-kill wood. “A lot of times people give us something we might be able to use.”
A three-legged chair, with hints of antlers and gnarled wood, is one of his prized pieces. It sits quietly in the salon window as a testament to the talent of the business owners. Stephen said it was created from donated material he “knew some day would all come together.”
Whether customers sit in that chair or his stylist chair, Stephen’s got a bright future ahead of him. He’s got a studio now and says he’ll be getting back around to doing more painting and he’s started to dabble in making very unique floor lamps.
“I’m adding a little spark, or electricity, to my wood now,” he said. “It’s a true self-satisfaction and not so much that I’m making it for the money. I’ve got to create to be happy. When I’m not creating I’m not happy and you don’t want to be around me. I don’t even want to be around myself. It’s whatever moves me. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not.”
Kriss feels the same way about her jewelry, which she’s been creating for more than 30 years. Her passion was sparked at a summer camp where she learned to make sterling silver jewelry. She later went on to earn a bachelor of arts degree in studio art with a concentration in sculpture from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.
For a couple years after college, Kriss created designs for a jewelry manufacturer in Baltimore, Md. She realized it could become a rewarding business venture.
“I’m addicted to it. I love jewelry. I love wearing it. It’s also a type of artwork that’s easy to share with people and it’s accessible,” she said. “It’s nice to see people enjoying it.”
She said she likes to combine a lot of materials.
“I really enjoy the freedom of costume jewelry, any type of materials really.”
She likes to include stones, freshwater pearls, fossils, leather, glass, and especially likes to work with polymer clay.
“I like to make the more dramatic, one-of-a-kind pieces,” she said, as well as simple, every day pieces. Her works span necklaces, earrings, broaches, bracelets and pendants, but Kriss, who’s also designed clothing since a young age, also dabbles in vintage fabrics and purses. “I love clothing and fabrics. The materials are exciting to me.”
Some day, Kriss said she’d also like to get into making glass and rekindle her knack for interior design.
“I really like anything where I can be creative and combine different elements,” she said. “I like to cook, too. It’s about putting things together.”
She said she hopes her customers enjoy wearing her jewelry, “that it’ll be part of their expression.”
When asked if there are some pieces she just can’t see to give up, she said, “You should see my supply. I’ve got more jewelry in my own closet than I have at the store. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like it.”