Ruth Reum – Artistic Creator and Gemologist

Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Ruth attended the Rocky Mountain School of Art, and then went to work in the jewelry industry, gaining experience in every aspect of the business from retail to wholesale, from mass market to entirely custom pieces, from wax castings to intricate cutting and polishing.

She became interested in the energy and vibration of gems and stones, and pursued a degree in Gemology to learn more about their special qualities and therapeutic (healing) properties.

Ruth began making gemstone necklaces, working in California, Oregon, Washington state and Arizona along the way. But the energy of New Mexico had always called to her and when she found the community of Truth or Consequences nestled at the foot of the Turtleback mountains, she felt she had found “home.”  She transformed the beautiful crystals she found on her hikes into necklaces and pendants, starting out with wire wrappings that evolved into leather backings, which found an enthusiastic following in Santa Fe and Arizona galleries.

As her work continued to evolve, the pieces became larger and less about jewelry – pins and pendants – and became more sculpture or altar pieces; creations that many people responded to as “energy grids” giving off the vibration of their particular crystals and stones.

One of the first pieces turned into a mythical creature – a God of the Sun – made up of a lot of amber and giving off warm reddish/goldish light and positive, hopeful, energy-giving qualities. Many of the energy grids started out as one thing and then evolved into something else with the gemstones and materials themselves guiding the process with their own energy.  A grid that combined coral and stones and gemstones became a sea horse/seascape with nurturing mother energy that spoke to one man so strongly that he asked to have it at his mother’s memorial service.

Ruth explains her process by saying, “The pieces started speaking up more and revealing themselves and what they wanted to express. The grids are really speaking to people, resonating with them, telling them something about themselves and their internal world. The pieces are in art galleries, a high-end crystal gallery, a jewelry store in Santa Fe; and no matter where they are, people are responding to their energy.”

“I’ve always set up rocks in certain arrangements and moved them around. I’ve always understood that rocks have certain energies and could teach you – affect you.  My mind thinks in mosaics; it pieces things together, so creating these grids out of rocks and crystals and pieces of nature is a natural for me.  And I love that these creations are speaking to people and connecting them with something deep inside themselves.”

“Crystals and stones have been around for hundreds of thousands of years. They’ve been here for so long and seen so many cycles come and go.  That’s a good energy to have around, to remind us of the cycles of life, and also what prevails.”

“One of my friends in the Northwest suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and I wanted to make some grids to help people transfer from season to season.  The idea blossomed and took on a life of its own.  I made smaller size grids and I sat them on these little fabric pillows that I associated with the seasons: black velvet and white satin in yin/yang, and one with white and black crystals with gemstones all around it, and then one with the energy of winter and but also spring and summer and autumn blended together.  It was just sweet how all these variations unfolded.”

“We have energies in our worlds that cycle, that create movement, certain things are best done in certain seasons; our bodies know this.  They feel this.  And if we can hold these grids in our hands, against our bodies, we can reconnect to some of these natural energies.  Reconnect to our own interior guidance that knows these things. It can help us heal and balance and remember.”

“I am so lucky to be able to work with these materials. I think of myself as a co-creator, never an artist.  I’m not sure I paid enough dues to earn the title of “artist” – you know “suffering artist” or the “struggling artist.”  That’s not how I see myself.  I live a clean and clear and balanced life.  I let the stones influence me as I work with them.  I work with color, shape, texture, and the spiritual qualities of vibration and light, radiance and shadow. I watch to see what bubbles up from the deep places inside of me and I bring those out. In the process I am more connected to my own self and more healed in my own self. 

And those qualities of connection and healing then go out into the world. I bless each grid as it goes out into the world to do its own work.  And I am blessed – and grateful – in return.”