Elé Karela creates contemporary jewelry featuring geometric forms and labyrinthine motifs.
Par Sandrine Merle.
Elé Karela (whose first name is really Eleftheria) is a trailblazing, connected designer who collects vintage items. On the face of it, this Athens-based graduate of St Martin’s School seems to have freed herself entirely from Ancient Greece. But in truth, this heritage deeply imbues her abstract, graphic pieces (sold by Moda Operandi, Twist and RoseArk in the US).
“I’m very much influenced by Art Deco,” says Karela – hence the angular lines and geometric shapes. She chooses vibrantly colored stones, forming solids from turquoise, electric blue lapis lazuli and orangey agate. Meanwhile, mingled sapphires in every shade evoke sunsets in the Cyclades during the Seventies, her other favorite period. She is also inspired by nature, particularly small archetypal flowers, placed in the hollows of hoop earrings, and the snake, an omnipresent figure in Antiquity. In her hands it becomes totally abstract, with a diamond-shaped head.
The stylized amphora
“I reinterpret the amphora in a fairly figurative way in every collection,” says Karela. She stylizes the ovoid form ending in a point, turning it into a clipped diamond or a triangle, as with the “Spear” model. She repeats the forms, multiplying and diffracting them in a confusion of clashing lines, as if the terracotta amphora had broken into a thousand pieces. The original motif is nowhere to be seen! For Paul Schneider and Lauren Eulau, founders of the Twist store (Portland), “her infinite combinations create a highly personal style.” And that’s hardly surprising, for Eleftheria means “freedom”.
SHOP NOW “Balanced Variations”, Elé Karela