We walk along the Krakowskie Przedmieoecie Boulevard in Poland observing and exploring the many landmarks like the bronze statue of King Zygmunt; the Holy Cross Church; and the Old Town Market Place.
An aura of times gone by encompasses everything. Poland is also the home of featured jewelry designer Ela Bauer.
Bauer's varied contemporary art jewelry is unlike anything I have seen. With the exception of some of her necklaces, the items are so organic in form they are indistinguishable (meaning I did not view a piece knowing it was a ring or brooch).
Upon observing the forms--composed of a variety of components that include multi-colored silicone rubber, wool, and a few gemstones--I noted that despite their abstract shapes, many items resemble tangible forms.
One of her silicone necklaces, for instance, composed of sewn silicone disc clusters are such a deep, cherry-red hue it looks like a bloody, misshapen heart. Another item resembles a plethora of entangled nerve cells; while another item resembles arteries, and still others resemble nondescript versions of pale green and red bell peppers.
"To a large extent, my work is colored with the notion that "things" are not clearly defined," Bauer says. "Events and things do not begin or end at a certain moment, but rather are a result of ongoing processes.
This notion, of course, is nothing new, but the aspect that an insignificant line can become substantial and meaningful in the total pattern is fascinating. The process of development and change is a continuous one, involving growth and disintegration. A creation of realities that are unplanned and improvised."
Bauer's first steps into the world of jewelry making began 20 years ago while studying in the jewelry departments of universities in Israel and Holland. Bauer approaches her creations not unlike an expressionistic artist; producing abstract embodiments of concrete ideas.
"I was occupied with redefining the term "jewelry." I tried to get to the roots of what makes something a "jewel" as such. Through this process, my jewels became more of an object. In fact, they were statements about terms such as decoration, preciousness, and wearability."
For the last 16 years, Bauer's pieces are regularly exhibited in galleries across the globe including Holland, Japan, France, Portugal, Switzerland, and Austria.
Photo 1 (top right): Red Silicone-Rubber, Copper Mesh, Thread and Wool Necklace
Photo 2 (bottom left): Green Silicone-Rubber, Copper Mesh, Thread, and Wool Necklace