Global Market by fjzhangweiqun

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									                                         Carolina Artists



Global Market
With an appreciation for simple beauty, Crim Bassett of Stecoah and her husband, Jeff, make all-natural
beeswax candles adorned with flowers from their garden.

By Di a n e Si lcox-Ja r r et t




                                   F
                                            or Crim Bassett, the simple act of lighting candles at the dinner
                                            table each night inspired Bee Global, the company she began with
                                            her husband and co-owner, Jeff. “It didn’t matter if my mother was
                                            serving a big meal or something simple, she always lit candles for us
                                            at the dinner table,” she says. “She was a single mother, and the fact
                                   that she would take the time to light candles for us is something that will stay
                                   with me forever.” Crim recalls the warm light of the candles from her youth
                                   as she handcrafts her beeswax globes.
                                     Jeff draws similar inspiration from the mountain beauty that surrounds
                                   their home. As a young boy growing up in Greensboro, he spent summer
                                   vacations near Almond. “We would stay in a cabin for a few weeks, and my
                                   brothers and I always said that we’d love to live in the mountains when we
                                   grew up,” he says.
                                     Jeff’s dream came true when he and Crim decided to make a small
“I knew I wanted                   mountain-ringed valley in Stecoah their permanent home. “We were young
to do something                    and had no fears,” Jeff says. “Crim is the artist. I have the business mind.”

interesting with                   Finding their niche
candles since falling              Crim has fully combined an artistic flair with her love of candles. “I knew I

in love with them                  wanted to do something interesting with candles. I’d been making them for
                                   many years since falling in love with them growing up,” she says. In 1996,
growing up.”                       she and Jeff hit upon the idea of beeswax globes. Much research went into
                                   moving from concept to final product. Knowing that their candles had to be
                                   unique, they started visiting libraries and looking into past candle-making
                                   techniques. “We came upon a picture book dating back to the 1970s showing
                                   a method of making globes out of beeswax,” Crim says. “We knew then we
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                                   had hit on something.”                                                                                                                    PhOtOgRAPhy By BeALL + thOmAS PhOtOgRAPhy

                                     With their idea better defined, the two moved into Jeff’s father’s cabin on
                                   Fontana Lake, which just happened to be located next to where Jeff’s father
                                   raised bees. “The book gave us the basic idea, but we had to come up with
                                   our own technique,” says Jeff. “We started experimenting in the basement of
                                   the cabin in a little workspace.” Thinking like chemists and artists, the couple
                                   created a globe made of beeswax that would not melt when a tea candle was
                                   placed in it.                                                                                                                                                                                the Bassetts consider form and function
                                     While they’re secretive about the details, they will divulge that their method                                                                                                                when conceptualizing their lanterns,
                                   requires many layers of beeswax and that the globes are made by dipping                                                                                                                               pillar candles, and ornaments.

124 Our State   APRIL 2009      Reprinted with permission by Our State magazine.                w w w. o u r s t a t e . c o m                                               Reprinted with permission by Our State magazine.             APRIL 2009    Our State 125
the form into the wax. Getting the            owner Susan Leveille. “Crim herself       starting to find the area, and the arts
process just right took a lot of trial        is a delight and such a soft, gentle      center was a perfect place for us,”
and error. The beeswax does not               soul.” Leveille sold out of the globes    says Crim.
burn when the tea light is put in the         the first weekend and was soon              Eventually, the business grew large
globe because the heat escapes from           asking for more.                          enough that, in 2004, the Bassetts
the top, and also, beeswax has a high            “They smell so good,” says Laura       built a studio in Stecoah, which they
melting point. “It took us six months         Spreitzer, manager of Asheville’s         call the “honey house.” The couple
                                                                                        buys their beeswax from a supplier in

 “I had some explosions that included                                                   Kentucky, but eventually they hope
                                                                                        to have their own hives.
      wax in my hair and eyebrows.                                                        The studio itself is a piece of art,
                                                                                        with siding made from pine trees that
   We were definitely self-taught.”                                                     had died during a beetle kill. Inside,
                                                                                        the Bassetts have room to showcase
to come up with the right way to              Guild Crafts Shop. “There’s nothing       their globes, taper candles, and
make the globes,” says Crim. “I had           like the aroma of beeswax.”               ornaments. Vases of flowers from
some explosions that included wax                                                       their garden decorate the gallery,
in my hair and eyebrows. We were              Into the honey house                      with the Bassetts’ works of art
definitely self-taught.”                      Bee Global grew out of those first        surrounding them. In the back, Crim
  When they finally felt the globes           days of selling in local shops. They      and Jeff still make all the globes
were ready for the public, Crim               moved their operation from the cabin      by hand — about 20 a day — and
visited Oaks Gallery in Dillsboro.            basement to their own home and            sign each one. “People come here
“[The globes] being all natural and           later to a studio at the Stecoah Valley   and can’t believe we do everything
handmade is what I like most,” says           Cultural Arts Center. “Artists were       here and we are the ones who make




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Crim uses a delicate touch when applying pressed leaves and petals to her creations.


126 Our State   APRIL 2009                Reprinted with permission by Our State magazine.
                                                                                                           w w w. o u r s t a t e . c o m
them,” Crim says. Wholesalers              Petal power                              sure we live as simple as possible,”                                                               by seed. It’s a wonderful place to         Carolina. When lit, they take your    creating beauty from the simple act
now call them from as far away as          Although their business has grown,       says Jeff. “We try not to take on                                                                  come and just enjoy the beauty of the      mind to a place where bees hover      of lighting a candle, just as Crim’s
Chicago, Illinois. “People are looking     the Bassetts still live much like they   the problems of the world and to                                                                   outside.”                                  over the flowers of spring and        mother taught her.
for something simple, something that       did when they first began. “Not only     appreciate the life we have made for                                                                  The globe designs convey the beauty     summer, fallen leaves make a carpet
when they look at it they can relax,”      are we dedicated to our business,        ourselves.”                                                                                        of their mountain origins with each        that captures the autumn sun with     Diane Silcox-Jarrett lives in Raleigh.
says Jeff.                                 but we’re also dedicated to keeping         Their appreciation of simplicity                                                                embedded flower or fern. “We have          their bright colors, and winter’s
                                           ourselves grounded and making            is captured in each globe. They                                                                    a flower press for the thicker flowers     ferns peek out from under the snow,
                                                                                    delicately press flowers from the                                                                  but also use old phone books,” says
                                                                                    studio garden into one of the outer                                                                Crim. The preserved petals and leaves
                                                                                    layers of the globes. Flowers of                                                                   shimmer in the backlight of the
                                                                                    blue and yellow give the “Wreath”                                                                  tea candle.
                                                                                                                                                                                          “When I place one of my globes in
                                                                                                                                                                                       a dark corner and light it, it reminds
                                                                                                                                                                                       me of a full moon glowing in the
                                                                                                                                                                                       sky,” says Leveille. She and Spreitzer
                                                                                                                                                                                       both say their customers like the
                                                                                                                                                                                       colorful globes that sport pansies and
                                                                                                                                                                                       the larkspur lily.
                                                                                                                                                                                          But the two agree the “Queen
                                                                                                                                                                                       Anne’s Lace” still remains one of
                                                                                                                                                                                       their favorites. “When I hold the
                                                                                                                                                                                       ‘Queen Anne’s Lace’ globe up to the
                                                                                                                                                                                       light, it reminds me of the Fourth of
                                                                                                                                                                                       July,” says Spreitzer. Adds Leveille:
                                                                                                                                                                                       “To me, it’s the prettiest and best
                                                                                                                                                                                       shows the link between nature and
                                                                                                                                                                                       the creator. It’s so delicate and speaks
                                                                                                                                                                                       of spring.”
                                                                                                                                                                                          Each globe evokes a different
                                                                                                                                                                                       season of the mountains in North


                                                                                    As the Bassetts’ garden grows, so do
                                                                                    their ideas for candle designs.
                                                                                                                                                                                         if you’re going
                                                                                    globe an old-fashioned look. The
                                                                                    “Dogwood” globe is full of Southern                                                                 Bee Global
                                                                                    charm, while the vivid reds of Indian                                                               1633 Lower Stecoah Road
                                                                                    paintbrushes lend an Asian feel                                                                     Robbinsville, N.C. 28771
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                                                                                    to others.                                                                                          (828) 479-8284
                                                                                       Crim cultivates her flowers with
                                                                                    the same affection she devotes to                                                                   For a link to Bee Global’s website,
                                                                                    her beeswax creations. Stroll into                                                                  go to www.ourstate.com, and click
                                                                                    her garden on a spring day, and a                                                                   on “This Month’s Issue.”
                                                                                    slight breeze ripples through banks
                                                                                    of striking purples, yellows, oranges,
                                                                                    and reds. “There are 40 different
                                                                                    types of flowers in the garden,”
                                                                                    explains Crim. “I start most of them

128 Our State   APRIL 2009               Reprinted with permission by Our State magazine.              w w w. o u r s t a t e . c o m                                               Reprinted with permission by Our State magazine.                                                APRIL 2009   Our State 129

								
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