Marylou Kirstein sits at her work station

Crystal re-purposed to capture sun’s rays

A longtime volunteer is giving discarded chandeliers new life, as sun catchers.

member of the Peace Arch Auxiliary is transforming damaged chandeliers into eye-catching keepsakes with a little patience and a lot of beads.

Marylou Kirstein, who has been an auxiliary member for more than 20 years, has taken the discarded light fixtures – which were turned in to the Superfluity shop – and created sun catchers with their crystals.

After hearing how one of the chandeliers dropped off at the thrift shop was more than 100 years old, Kirstein said she decided to try and salvage the crystals and turn them into something other people would be able to cherish.

“You get to take home something that someone has treasured, and by taking it apart more people can enjoy it than the people who had it originally,” Kirstein said.

All of the chandelier pieces used for the sun catchers are real crystal, said Kirstein, who is selling her pieces for between $8 to $30 this week to raise funds for the Peace Arch Hospital. All of the crystals are accompanied by various beads and baubles that Kirstein finds or is given. One of her latest sun catchers is adorned with gold-flecked amber beads that were given to her by a friend.

“You try to put something in that catches somebody’s eye – I have heart-shaped beads, wooden beads and costume jewelry. There are so many options,” she said.

But having all the beads can be too much of a good thing, said Kirstein.

“If creativity hits, it doesn’t take too long to make one. But sometimes you get stymied when you’re looking at these beads and all these beautiful colours,” she said.

Despite the occasional slump, Kirstein has dozens ready to be sold at the sale, except for the two she has placed in her own White Rock home.

After hanging them up, she said she knows first-hand the benefits of having sun catchers.

“Just the way the sun is coming in today, sometimes the whole ceiling is full of rainbows,” said Kirstein. “It’s a very, very different idea – and a great gift idea.”

The sun catcher sale will be held on Oct. 26-27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Peace Arch Hospital, in front of the elevators. All proceeds will go to the hospital.

 

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