Kristina “Pyrate” Skillin has been sewing since she was 11, and has been interested in costumes even longer. “I never grew out of the dress up phase, that’s why I went to college for costume design." She graduated in 2006 with a BFA from The Savannah College of Art and Design. With a major in Metals & Jewelry, and a minor in Costume Design, she is a One Woman Outfitting Freak. Or, a Happily Diverse Attire Specialist, if you prefer to be less blunt.
Being an accomplished seamstress before entering college, she decided to learn more about other art forms that appealed to her. “I like the idea of being able to play with metal’s permanence” She’s said several times. She strongly enjoyed shaping metal, and always fancied a job as a blacksmith, making more sculptural art rather than jewelry. In 2005 she got a summer job doing just that. Working for a blacksmith in Round Pond she found joy in moving iron, and shaping steel. Returning to school, however, made her realize that she had more resources, experience, and tools to continue her metal work on a small scale. She would still like someday to work in a bigger scale, but for now enjoys the fine details she can bring out in silver.
Her sewing on the other hand is always developing, along with her knowledge of different techniques, periods, and styles. Her favorite periods to work in are Elizabethan England, 14th century Turkish, and 16th century Germany. “I love trying to be as historically accurate as possible, we can learn so much from how we used to do things” The last few years she’s taken a large interest in Hats in general, and more recently she’s been doing research into the Victorian era.
Most everyone is interested in where Pyrate got the name Pyrate. “I tried to tell people that my parents were sea gypsies, but it only worked once.”
She spent the summer before college working at the Maine Renaissance Faire in Lebanon Maine, which is where her interest in history was able to take off and be realized. When she got to school and heard there was a brand new fencing team being started she joined right away. There she learned that in fencing you need to wear pants that stop below the knee so that they are covered. She happened to have purchased a pair of bloomers from her summer at the Faire that had skull & cross bones and roses on them and that fell below the knee. It was a brand new team, and no one knew anyone’s name, and apparently her teammates thought her knee length bloomers with lace trim looked rather piratical, so they dubbed her "Pyrate."