“I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.”
My name is Khrystyna and I’m the designer-dreamer behind the Irish botanical jewellery brand Ruby Robin. I specialize in creating enchanting miniature naturescapes and plant talismans for my fellow stargazers and daydreamers using real dried flowers encapsulated in eco-resin.
Since I was little I’ve found myself intoxicated by the natural world. Perhaps thanks to a mostly solitary childhood, I have walked in love with the plants, mountains and streams for as long as I can remember. Plants especially were never inanimate others to me, I’ve always known them as friend and teacher. So in those earliest days of my life when I planted my first herb garden and made my first plant medicines I was unknowingly treading my tentative first steps as a plantwyfe. This lifelong love affair with the world of mud and roots and worms has led me to view my world through a somewhat unusual lens and to explore the disciplines of craft, design, science, wild food, plant medicine, restorative and organic gardening, ecology, folkore and mythology.
Since founding Ruby Robin in 2012 I’ve had many studios and even some employees, but these days you’ll find me quietly working the land and creating my talismans from my home here on the Mizen peninsula, here in West Cork. I spend my days in the company of my garden, cats and a miniature dachshund called Heidi where I’m free to roam the mountains and meadows gathering wild foods and flowers for my work. I tend my gardens, make medicine and teach myself the old ways with the slow turning of the seasons. I gather my plants with intention and loving care, often from my garden where the wildflowers are prized as highly as any rose.
My little studio is now homed in a room overlooking a salt marsh rippling with the song of curlews. Here is where I press and dry my plant pickings to ensure they’re vibrant and fully preserved. Only then can I encapsulate them in into wearable microcosms of the land in which they grow, be it forest, meadow or mountain. Through the alchemy of resin I create crystal-clear prisms, worlds within worlds which have the almost enchanted effect of focusing ones attention on the infinitesimal which so many of us are sadly ever more divorced. It’s my hope that these little objects may reveal an opportunity for connection with our plant allies, which so many of us seem to crave in this fast moving human-centric world.
I take such pride in my craftsmanship, especially in the intricacies of the tiny worlds I build but also the attention to detail I pour into each step of my process; from the selection of individual flowers to the hand-wrapping of each and every order. I truly hope that this care and the spirit of the plants will be felt by whoever treasures one of my pieces.
Each of the pieces here at Ruby Robin are crafted in small, seasonal batches with a strong sense of responsibility to the land and plants around me instilled in every step of the process. I am fully committed to creating a sustainable business with a minimal earth impact and am always looking for ways to minimise my footprint.
In this spirit, I work only with plants from my own organic garden or local eco-systems with which I am very familiar. I pick plants only in small quantities and only those which I know to be common and abundant.
The resin I use is known as bio or eco-resin which is derived from recycled plant material. This is a non-toxic, renewable and sustainable alternative to more traditional and toxic petroleum based epoxy resins which create significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.
My gift boxes are plastic-free, fully recyclable and made from a minimum of 40% recycled materials. The mailers I use are designed to be easily separated into individual parts for recycling.
I am an advocate for organic and restorative gardening, much of my garden is returned to nature where the weeds and wildflowers are free to flourish. I also cultivate many native wildflower species from seed to grow in any nook or cranny I can find among the raucous abundancy of wild things that I share my garden with.
Ruby Robin has been featured in…
Skona Hem, Cloth, Lost at E minor, The Dainty Squid, Catraca Livre, El Republica, Bored Panda, the Irish Examiner among others.