★ Ela Bauer ★ Contemporary jewellery design

The first thing that strikes me about Israeli artist Ela Bauer’s work is that it’s very clearly based on natural structures, and is sometimes incredibly visceral – yet always remains perfectly delicate.

Comprised primarily of silicone and thread, Bauer’s work depicts organic networks such as roots, vein and capillary networks, cell networks and even the heart and lungs:

Ela Bauer - silicone, pigment, thread necklace - Gerrit Rietveld graduateNecklace (unknown year)                                                                                  (silicone rubber, pigments, thread)
Ela Bauer - Ring '05 - silicone, silver, copper-mash, threadRing (unknown year)                                                                         (silicone rubber, pigments, copper mash, thread, silver)
Ela Bauer contemporary jewellery designer silicone and threadNecklace (unknown year)                                                                           (silicone rubber, pigments, thread, pearls)

^ This one reminds me of coral more than anything else Ela herself describes in her work (below).

Ela Bauer jewellery - ringRings (unknown year)                                                                           (silver, latex, thread)

^ These rings look quite fungus or mould-like. Or perhaps just cell-like? Either way, they look very fragile…

Ela Bauer blood ringRing (unknown year)                                                                           (silicone rubber, pigments, copper mash, silver, smokey quartz)

^ I hate the word I’m about to say, but….. The ring above reminds me of a blood clot.

Ela Bauer - Necklace heart lungs siliconeNecklace (unknown year)                                                                           (silicone rubber, pigments, thread, garnets)

^ Reminds me of the heart and lungs all at once.

Ela Bauer's heart necklace - contemporary jewellery design. Silicone & threadNecklace (unknown year)                                                                           (silicone rubber, pigments, copper-mash)

^ This one’s incredibly heart-like, I love it! Not sure I’d actually like to wear it though…

Ela, who is yet another successful graduate of Amsterdam’s Gerrit Rietveld Academie, explains her work on her website, below. However, I suspect that since writing this back in 2009, she’s moved from taking her inspiration from plant organisms towards taking it from the human body, seeing as though her later work seems to be much more reminiscent of the human body:

“My work is to a big extent coloured with the notion that ‘things’ are not clearly defined. Events and things do not begin or end at a certain moment, but rather are a result of ongoing processes that often don’t seem to have any connection with each other, yet are crucial in creating an ‘event’, a certain reality.

This notion in itself is of course nothing new, but for me this aspect of reality is very fascinating, puzzling, disturbing and comforting at the same time.

In the last period, I have made works, which are constructed out of cell- and root-like particles. These ‘cells’ and ‘roots’ are made of different materials such as silicone, porcelain, minerals and fabric, often connected by means of sewing. 
The Act of Sewing symbolizes for me the eternal, human attempt to create, protect, mend and reconstruct.

Sewing has evolved in my latest works into an inevitable part of the work in terms of creating meaning and constructing form at the same time.
While sewing I embody the process of development, step by step, creating paths, recognizing patterns and directions, reacting on them … creating realities, making some unplanned, improvised embroidery. At the same time I realize how an insignificant line can become substantial, meaningful in the total pattern that emerges.

The organic, cell and tree – like forms, express my preoccupation with the fact that everything is in continuous process of change.
The processes of change in the organisms; growth, development, and disintegration, are in my view the ultimate metaphors for this feeling.

Another couple of lovely pieces:

Ela Bauer Dutch jewellery designEla Bauer – Ring (unknown year)                                                           (plastic)

The aesthetic of Ela’s body of work is really diverse – you can find more at Barcelona’s Klimt gallery.

Leave me a comment and tell me what you think of Ela’s work… And if you have your own blog, leave a link to it so that I can check it out – I’m always on the hunt for more sources of inspiration!

422 thoughts on “★ Ela Bauer ★ Contemporary jewellery design

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