A Florida woman used Swarovski crystals to cover a 10-foot marlin. The finished piece weighs 41 pounds, and is available for sale.
PALM BEACH GARDENS - It took Rene Gibson two years to decorate a 41-pound marlin with 100,000 Swarovski crystals, and now it’s for sale.
Gibson, a 55-year-old Palm Beach Gardens fine artist, worked a total of 535 hours - more than 22 round-the-clock days - to complete the multi-colored piece, which is the largest and most valuable of her mixed-media collection.
The piece recently was showcased in the holiday edition of Marlin Magazine.
"It took a lot of thought and time," Gibson said of the piece, which carries a six-figure price tag. "The work was extremely tedious."
Gibson, a mother of three, has spent nearly a decade creating art using crystals, beads, gemstones and other media.
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A former interior designer who holds a master’s degree in women’s studies, she focused primarily on cow and deer skulls during the early part of her career.
Gibson decorated the skulls with a variety of materials including beads crystals and turquoise, and sold them through her website, www.renegibson.com/.
They also were displayed in galleries and magazines like Western Art & Architecture and Palm Beach Illustrated, and they appeared on the Food Network show "Restaurant Impossible."
Gibson’s skulls attracted a following among national and international collectors, but after battling breast cancer several years ago, she decided she wanted to try something new.
"I didn’t really want skulls around me anymore," she said. "I kind of stopped doing that, and I wanted to do something big."
When she saw a marlin inside a store, she found her next project.
The 10-foot piece, which an investor helped to finance, featured 100,000 Swarovski crystals in 36 colors, including 13 special coatings.
The work to complete it was painstaking, Gibson said, but she’s thrilled with the result.
"It is an amazing piece, especially when the light hits it the right way," Gibson said.
Gibson is selling the piece through her website, and is offering potential buyers the opportunity to see it in person. To set up a showing, contact Gibson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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While she waits for a buyer, Gibson has turned her attention to her newest projects.
The Pennsylvania native is about to begin work on a blue lobster, followed by a white sailfish and a turtle shell.
This story originally published to palmbeachpost.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the new Gannett Media network.