Tuesday, August 18, 2009

ELKE KRAMER

Demanding Pendant in Amrita, Dionysus &
Split Rose Resin with Wine Beads and Rose Gold
Today we stroll along the southern coast of Sydney, Australia's Bondi Beach.

We see cyclists, rollerbladers, and of course surfers. Australia is also home to featured jewelry designer Elke Kramer.

Even at age 10 Kramer had a flair for the dramatic. "I turned up to my conservative school wearing tie-dyed stockings and dress with multi-colored, sequined Converse® sneakers," she recalls.

"My schoolmates were mortified. I was magnetized to lavishness and excess from a very early age."

Maintaining her edgy style sense Kramer designed the tattoos she sports as well as occasionally revamping her corkscrew curls, a la Tarina Tarantino (USA), with colors like soft pink.

Her independent, fearless style lends itself to many creative outlets that soothe her restless need for self-expression. "I can't confine my ideas to just one medium like jewelry," she acknowledges, "I'm constantly exploring new materials to manifest ideas."

Kramer's impressive assortment of creative outlets include art direction, graphic, textile, and web design as well as illustrating and publishing.  This Jack--or Jane --of all trades, however, makes certain to strike a balance. "I try my best not to do more than I can handle at a given time."

A graduate of the University of New South Wales' College of Fine Arts (COFA), Kramer did not consider jewelry design as a career although she chose it as an elective. Her passion for couture landed her positions at publications like Oyster Magazine and Sass & Bide.
Compound Ring in Ichor, Hera, Amrita &
Dionysus Resins with Brass Band
However, once fashion designer Michelle Robinson enlisted her to design baubles for a runway show, Kramer witnessed a strong public response to her bold, avant-garde aesthetic.

Reconsidering its function, she incorporated jewelry design into her repertoire of creative channels discovering she could blend her love of fashion into this one channel.

Using plywood, inlaid resin, brass beads, and copper, among other materials, some of her bangle bracelet creations resemble the inner structure of clocks painted with clean, geometric patterns; while other bracelet designs resemble origami. There are origami-like fan earrings, rings possessing the semblance of an Incan headdress, and neckpieces with subtle Aztec influences.

Her flamboyant design approach is purposeful. "I am true to my own aesthetic. I keep it personal reflecting my relationship with my work, not media response, or opinion," she says.

Remaining true to her varying needs of self-expression, Kramer has broadened her range of accessories to belts, purses, handbags, and silk scarves.

Inspired by everything from foreign travels to friends and family, she is looking to expand her creativity even further.  "I have an object background and would prefer to broaden into home wares, ceramics, lighting and wallpaper," she says.

Her most ambitious dream is to build and decorate her own home. "It would be a blend of the craft lifestyle of Martha Stewart, but on acid," she jokes.
Oversized Keep Watch Bracelet with
Dionysus and Hera Resin and Rose
Gold Details

Kramer is presently sharing creative space in a large studio setting with other creative minds including musicians, film directors, and photographers.
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