Elke Kramer has always been a proud creative. But over the years, the designer, maker, and creative director behind Studio Elke has developed the ability to shape shift and change lanes when necessary – which is why she decided to her take a year-long sabbatical from her work in late 2019.
Or so she thought. Elke’s original plan was ‘to take a pause on the pace of working on commercial jobs in order to explore ideas and make room for play’. But, the onset of the pandemic just months later quickly derailed that timeline.
‘I was holed up in a tiny house in [Sydney’s] city with my children feeling suffocated. That was the trigger that made us relocate to rural NSW, and instead of rebuilding my creativity I was trying to stop our compost toilet from flooding and side-stepping venomous snakes,’ Elke explains.
She had established Studio Elke a few years out of university, where she’d majored in graphics, textiles, jewellery and ceramics, after deciding to focus on jewellery.
‘It’s only been recently that I have fell back in love with the process of making with clay, and the radical alchemy of the firing process,’ Elke says of her renewed interest in ceramics. ‘Adding it to my brand offering has helped reinvigorate my creative practice.’
Her new range of pieces are all hand-made and gas-fired, which means each creation is a little different from the next – whether it’s a special one-off tint in the glaze, or the individual, textured lumps and bumps.
‘I am constantly intrigued by the alchemy of glazing. I am fascinated by the chemistry of it and am slowly gaining an understanding on the science of creating colour, finish and texture by combining basic minerals. Despite this, there is always an element of unpredictability that adds a little spice to the process!’
When Elke’s family made the tree-change to their off-grid property in the Southern Tablelands, she was also lucky enough to inherit an amazing studio space from the previous owner, and ceramicist, Gwenna Green. The beautiful stand-alone studio has its own wood fired stove, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows that frame the towering eucalypt rainforest!
Now, Studio Elke’s new online store sells her signature jewellery designs that we know and love, alongside her unique vessels, homewares and objects, all imbued with personality.
Shop Studio Elke’s new work here.