I had the pleasure of meeting this delightful artist from Belgium when I entered her "giveaway" for one of her charms. Lo and behold....I won the charm, and was so impressed with her Etsy shop and jewelry that I wrote and asked her if she'd like to be a featured artist on my blog. Happily, Elke said yes! To find out a little bit about Elke and her delightful jewelry, read below to hear what she has to say in her own words. Her charms are quite charming all by themselves,
To find out a little bit about Elke and her delightful jewelry, read below to hear what she has to say in her own words.
Her charms are quite charming all by themselves,
What led you to start creating your art/craft
When I was younger I was always looking for something creative to do but I couldn't think any further than painting. And that isn't my favourite thing I guess. One day, someone in my class, that I didn't even like, told me she made jewelry. I visited her and asked her to teach me something. We made this pendant according to a pattern. Mine wasn't even done right. Then I asked my mom for some beads and a book with patterns. I showed this book and creations everywhere, and that's when some people asked me to make them something. I guess that's how it started. Soon I tried other things than just following those patterns. I didn't think of that as very creative when your own input is just choosing the colour of the beads. Family and friends bought some of my jewelry so I could buy new materials and that's how it started.
How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
Lots of crafts aren't really suited for a 16-year-old girl. They often require lots of space or are really expensive just to make one thing. With jewelry, I could decide what to make up front, and buy what I needed for it. I could also wear it myself and make gifts for friends and family. I was also interested in gemstones before I thought about making jewelry, and now I'm using these too. At that time it seemed I chose it because it was something I could do but now it's a passion.
What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?
The thing I enjoy most is the moment when someone sees a piece of jewelry and falls in love. Then they try it on and it is meant for them to be worn. I can start crying when I see that. It is so rewarding. I know a girl who worked all weekends when she was 15 just to be able to buy one of my necklaces. Now she wears it everytime I see her. When I'm working on a piece of jewelry and after trying and trying and trying it's suddenly all right, I love that moment.
If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?
I would choose cherries. I try to make jewelry for very feminine women. I also think it is important to have something for everyone. Lots of people love cherries, but they were also used ages ago in paintings with high society woman. So cherries are a bit for everyone. When you buy a bag of cherries, they all taste a bit different. This is also something I want to show, and that's why most of my pieces are one of a kind.
If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your “creativity”, what would that be, and why?
Two weeks ago I would have said sewing. I wanted to make dresses to go with the jewelry I created. They go really well together. But I bought some fabric and made some wallets and I just don't feel the same passion. I tried scrapbooking, but it wasn't my thing either. I thought about soap making, but my mother wouldn't let me. I did make some paintings for our living room, but I was happy when they where finished. I guess the answer to this question is a bit weird. I would use acrylic. I'm a artificial nail technician and make-up artist and I just love making nail art with acrylic, like flowers and things like that. The fun part is that you can use it to decorate everything.
What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?
Everybody deserves a special thing for themselves. I want all women to feel good about themselves, and having something to treasure. When they are alone they should be able to imagine they are a glamourous movie star or a cow girl, whichever they prefer, but they should always be themselves.
What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?
No one ever said it would be easy so keep doing what you love. Crafting is about true love.
Elke, thanks for such a delightful insight to you and your art! May you be successful in whatever you do with your creativity! To see the variety of Elke's jewelry,and to learn more about her, be sure to visit her Etsy shop, blog and also her website (which is in Dutch), by clicking on the links below.