Meet The Maker
Hello, I'm Christine - the owner and magic maker behind Celestial Closet!
For my whole life, I've been a geek of many domains - I was a maths nerd as a kid, and studied graphic and website design at university. I spent years dressing up in elaborate fantasy costumes and cosplays that I had created to escape my everyday life. These days, I design and create detailed magical wearables – inspired by fantasy, nature and adventure, to make everyday life just a little bit more magical.
Born in Melbourne, Australia, I had always known I had Cantonese-Chinese ancestry. It took me years to fully embrace my cultural heritage - but it's now come through proudly in my jewellery designs and I'm grateful that so many others others identify with my work too. In 2015, I learnt that my paternal great-grandmother was of Portugese heritage, and this is another chapter in my story that I'm still discovering more about.
Why laser cutting, you ask? I'd describe myself as one of those rare unicorns who has a great art brain and also a strong analytical and logical brain as well. I love the process and the challenges of designing pieces for laser cutting, as it is a perfect blend of art and technology. Vectors and bezier curves are mathematically generated. Laser cutting requires vector paths to tell the machine where to cut. All of that input still requires a human!
I am hoping to return to some local artist markets in late 2023 after a 12+ month hiatus due to chronic illness - stay tuned! At the moment, you can find selected designs of mine in person at my stockists in.cube8r (Fitzroy and Melbourne Central), and The Old Auction House in Kyneton.
A History of Celestial Closet
In late 2016, the idea for Celestial Closet came to life when Christine was working on some side jobs in the spaces of millinery and theatrical costume, alongside her main work in IT, website design and software consulting. At the start, Christine was creating original alternative millinery and headwear designs for costume and event wear.
In 2018, Christine started adding some original laser cut jewellery designs to her shop, teaching herself to create the designs in Adobe Illustrator using her digital design knowledge, and initially outsourced her laser cutting to an Australian small business until she purchased her own desktop laser cutter from the Flux Inc Kickstarter in late 2019.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, Celestial Closet needed to pivot, like many other small businesses - stuck in lockdown in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment with her new laser cutter, Christine focused on growing her business online with markets and events being indefinitely paused. She cut out and posted over 1,000 acrylic mask clips for customers and donated a number to healthcare workers and teams.
In March 2021, Christine launched the “Metamorphia Recycled” range utilising the acrylic offcuts and scraps from the Celestial Closet wearables and from other jewellery makers, to create unique and esoteric heat pressed, recycled material sheets which are then laser cut again into new shapes.
Coming into 2022, Christine prepared to scale back her full-time work hours so she could keep up with the increased amount of orders she was receiving, but her body had other plans. After three hospital visits in 2022, getting Covid-19, and then developing long covid symptoms including chronic pain and fatigue, Christine has spent the last 12-18 months putting her health first and aiming to make Celestial Closet a more sustainable business to manage.
Meet The Machines
With the help of my two laser cutting machines and my industrial heat press, I produce all of my original designs in-house - from design right through to production, assembly and finishing. Why do I give them names? They're very much a part of my team, and sometimes I talk to them too.