Crystals & fossils – Katrina Phillips Ibiza
“I didn’t get into crystals because of their healing properties,” says Ibiza interior designer Katrina Phillips. “I got into them as objects of beauty. They reminded me of playing in rock pools when I was little and they just had a magic about them. But now I can’t deny they have a therapeutic effect. Just looking at them is transporting – it’s like William Blake said, ‘to see the world in a grain of sand’, you can leave the mundane world for a moment and experience a bit of heaven.”
Here in Ibiza, Katrina’s beautiful interiors store is home to many gorgeous crystals of all shapes and sizes – no matter where you look, the glittering stones catch your eye, whether the huge piece of Himalayan Nirvana crystal on the counter or a small, sparkling geode on a shelf. Providing the perfect contrast is her collection of ancient fossils – objects of beauty that preserve the history of our planet.
“I do think crystals may be the only thing from nature that man simply cannot replicate very well,” says Katrina, who admits to loving the romanticism of trading in crystals and fossils. “It’s a little bit like the Raiders of the Lost Ark – trying to track down a great specimen is not easy because there are many inferior crystals. You can feel a little bit like a pirate, and at times you have to take enormous risks
The crystals at Katrina Phillips Ibiza hail from all over the globe – Madagscar, Brazil, the Lake District of England, the Himalayas – while the fossils were sourced in Portugal and the south of France. We asked her to talk us through some of the special pieces and share her wisdom on the subject.
“Here you have a collection of smoky quartzes, obsidian and tourmaline. Apparently the darker the colour, the more protective the stone is,” Katrina says. “Children, for example, are always attracted to black stones in my store. The stone at the front is labradorite, and it has so many flashes of colour about it – it’s like the iridescent wings of a butterfly. This stone is meant to enhance psychic powers and is also very healing. They say that it has properties only ever found in materials from outer space, which is how it got its otherworldly reputation.”
“The Himayalan Nirvana Quartz is extremely healing. This type of quartz was only discovered in the 1990s. It’s an ancient crystal, but a newly discovered one – it was hidden for so long. It can only be taken out of the Himalayas by people and animals, on their backs – you can’t take a truck or machinery in there. It has such a beautiful pinkish quality to it, like the Himalayan salt. When I first saw the giant Himalayan quartz, I fell in love with it. It was so untouched. The energy I felt from it was that of an innocent and it called to me. I wish I hadn’t fallen in love with it, it wasn’t easy for me to obtain it, and get it to Ibiza – it takes four men to move it! But I felt it wanted to be here, and that it belongs somewhere special. Whether that’s as the centrepiece for a spa, or it sits on a big table, next to an enormous sofa and a big fireplace where lots of people, or even just one special person, gets to enjoy it. I don’t mind if it never gets sold and it ends up being by my fireplace in Ibiza.”
“There are mainly clear quartzes here, found in Madagascar. The good thing about keeping clear quartz in your house – apart from it being beautiful, gorgeous, icy and reflecting the colours of the sun like natural bling – is that they are self cleaning. I don’t mean in terms of dust! I mean clear quartzes don’t hold the energy of other people. I love this little geode here – like a little bit of magic, it’s so crunchy and hard on the outside, like a horrible dirty rock, then you open it and it’s gorgeous and sparkly like sugar on the inside. The pink stone is a Himalayan crystal, as I spoke about above, and the beautiful shard of clear stone at the front, and the darker grey piece at the back, are selenite. This is a salt-based crystal – you find them in South America and Morocco – and they are very fragile. They were used in Medieval times as windows, using big slices of crystal. You can still see this in Santa Sabina in Rome. They’re good for resolving family issues and also bad dreams. They say if you put a lump of selenite under your bed it will take away your nightmares… but that would be sad because you couldn’t see it!”
“On the left is a beautiful fossil of a sea urchin that was found in the south of Portugal. It’s around 100 million years old. I think it looks like the earth in Ibiza, and it really makes me think of my own mortality. We don’t have these types of sea urchins anymore. In the centre is ancient Bronze Age currency, made from fossilised agate stones from the Sahara. It’s quite weird that you were once able to ‘find’ money. Currency back then was portable, so that’s why it has holes in the centre, it may have been threaded onto something and worn around their necks – and they probably would have only had one piece. To the right is a very rare double fossil. The first part of it is a fossil of a murex shell that is about 150 million years old, and then on top of it are fossils of little flat shells that are around 50 million years old. And then there are lots of little tiny shells on top of that. It came from Portugal too, and I love the colours, the ochres and the fact that it reminds me of discovery and unearthing.”
“This beautiful piece is a 200 million year old fern fossuk from China, broken into three pieces. It’s subtle and gorgeous, and you probably need to know that it’s a fossil to really appreciate and understand what you’re looking at. It’s easy for people to mistake something like a pectin fossil, for example, as a caste. I had another that was similar, that has now gone to live on the wall of a yacht and is sailing around the world.”
When you take home a crystal – whether it’s a tiny piece of rose quartz to keep by your bed, or a statement piece for pride of place in your home – Katrina says it’s a good idea to cleanse it properly, as crystals are known to hold the energy of another person. One way is to burn some incense over it, while setting your own intention, another is to put it under the light of the full moon. But Katrina tells us there’s a good old fashioned way that’s not so esoteric, yet equally as effective. “Get a toothbrush and some Fairy Liquid, scrub andclean the crystal and then leave it for seven hours in sea salt and water. Throw away the toothbrush and then do it again with a new one, and as you’re cleaning you can put your own intention into it.” Easy.
“Now there are two parts of me,” says Katrina of her fascination with crystals. “One part believes in the spiritual, ethereal side of crystals and the other just admires their beauty and wants to give people something of soul and authenticity to live with. I’m not trying to push crystals onto anyone – I find that people simply come looking for them when they need them.”
In addition to her beautiful store on the Santa Eulalia road, Katrina Phillips now also has a stand in the all-new CoQoc, open daily (excluding Tuesday) in November from 10am – 8pm.