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Studio Elke Relaunches With New Ceramics, Hand-Made In Her Off-Grid Studio

Studio Visit

Studio Elke creative director Elke Kramer first made waves as a successful jewellery designer more than a decade ago, known for her geometric and playful designs.

But in 2019, when her business was growing at an unsustainably rapid rate, Elke felt she needed to taking a break in hopes of returning re-inspired and ready to rebuild.

Now, after a pandemic, and few years of self-reflection, she’s finally back with a relaunched website, a new dreamy studio – and her own range of ceramics!

4th May, 2022

Studio Elke now sells ceramics! Photo – Christopher Morris

Elke Kramer has taken some time away from her creative business across the last two years and has finally relaunched her online store. Photo – Christopher Morris

The unique ceramics include unique bowls and vessels. Photo – Christopher Morris

Elke works from the amazing home studio on her property in NSW, which is all off-grid! ‘It’s taken me a long time to get the hang of firing in a gas kiln, which I have to use because of our limited solar power,’ she says. Photo – Christopher Morris

‘I get deep joy in getting lost in the rhythm of throwing, as it’s a very peaceful, rhythmic, grounding experience and gives me a chance to breathe, settle my head and slow down,’ Elke says of her creative process. Photo – Christopher Morris

‘I am very blessed to have my own large studio space, which I inherited from the previous owner of our house, Gwenna Green,’ Elke says. Photo – Christopher Morris

 

Some of Elke’s new bowls! Photo – Christopher Morris

‘While I have been building my confidence, I have been blessed to find space to work in the studio local ceramicist, Ian Jones (Laughing Frog) in Gunderoo. He is an incredible source of inspiration and generous support, and I have learnt so much technique from him, as well as his firing practice with his gas, wood or salt-fire kilns,’ Elke adds. Photo – Christopher Morris

‘It’s so important to soak in time spent with master craftsmen, I am literally a sponge, my eyes soaking in everything across running a studio, making, glazing, firing and also living off-grid.’ Photo – Christopher Morris

Her dreamy studio enjoys abundant natural light and tranquil bushland views. Photo – Christopher Morris

Some larger pieces before they’ve been glazed. Photo – Christopher Morris

And her new ceramics mix and match perfectly with her classic jewellery designs! Photo – Christopher Morris

Christina Karras
Wednesday 4th May 2022

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

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net