Monday, November 22

{Interview with} Gara Martin Kraus of GMK

Hello everyone,

Today I am launching a new column that you will be able to follow monthly here on ECS. I want to introduce you my talented and creative friends whom I have studied with or met while travelling the world.

I am super happy to start with my fantastic friend Gara of GMK. We've known each other for eight years now, and it has been very interesting to see the paths we both took over the years. We met in 2002 in Florence (Italy) while studying jewelry design at Le Arti Orafe Jewelry School (which I highly recommend ).
I have very fond memories of this time filled with amazing people, good food and endless laughs.

Photo credit: Gara Martin Kraus

Gara had already in mind to create her own jewelry brand and she did so soon after finishing the course... 
I think she is better qualified to talk about her work and what inspire her as a jewelry designer:

Tell us a bit of your story: where are you coming from, places you have lived in, where are you currently living (and why), your studies etc…

Hi! My name is Gara Martin Kraus. I am Spanish and was born in Madrid in October 1977. I have been influenced at an early age by the great artists in my family coming from the Canary Island (Spain). As far as I can remember, I have always been interested in art, fashion and handmade things.
I got so inclined that I started studying jewelry and gemology (the study and science of gems) in Madrid in 1998 and I completed my studies with a course in jewelry design in Florence (Italy) at Le Arti Orafe Jewelry School in 2002.

Meanwhile I was making my very own pieces and experimenting new materials; finding my path and eventually discovering what truly inspires me.
Coming back from Italy I then decided to move back to where my ancestors were coming from: The Canary Islands and I set up my studio in Fuerteventura, a beautiful volcanic island with long sandy beaches and lots of volcanic rocks too!

Country town of Corralejo Pueblo - Fuerteventura - Canary Islands
Photo credit: Gara Martin Kraus

It truly inspires me to contemplate the island and its amazing landscapes (I am often feeling like I am moonscaping), the incredible light, the ocean, all textures and colors...
The Canary Islands, my roots. Volcano, magma, fire, water... are the essence of the islands and by extension the essence of my work.

Living by the sea... sand and volcanic rocks
Photo credit: Gara Martin Kraus

I am currently working on a special collection for the Christmas season with oversized pieces of jewelry, expressing the energy that fuses in Fuerteventura. Jewelry imagined for day and night, for fun and extraordinaire people!

Silver, lava, turquoise, coral, pink quartz
Photo credit: Gara Martin Kraus

Describe your creative process. What are you communicating through your jewelry? Where are you finding your inspiration?

The creative process is varied and very intense. Sometimes a simple stone, a particular shape or the metal itself can inspire me to create a piece or an entire collection. Some other time I have a design in mind and I start searching for the stones and various components.

I am filling up my sketchbooks with hundreds of drawings and sketches until I find what I need to develop an entire collection. I love to look for new stones with shapes and textures that work well with silver... In a sense I am in constant evolution myself!

Once I have a clear idea of what I want to create I start sculpting the metal with fire; I shape every piece with my hands, and embellish the metal with semi-precious gemstones (amethyst, agate, opal, turquoise, smoky quartz to name a few), raw material like lava and seeds, fabric, ceramic beads...
One the creation process is completed, it is time to care about packaging and presentation to the customer.

Gara making jewelry at a fair... silver rings of the Atomic Beauty collection
Photo credit: Gara Martin Kraus

 What are your favorite materials to work with?

 My favorite material is silver. I love the way it shines and the possibilities that it offers. 
 Lava stone represents is the heart of my inspiration. I adore natural stones! 

Atomic Beauty rings - Pink quartz, pearl, amethyst and black onyx for the ring on the left;
Red ceramic bead, pearls, amethyst, black onyx and smoky quartz for the ring on the right.
Styling & photography by Etincelle Creative Studio

What makes your jewelry so special?

GMK is an exclusive jewelry brand with an original and unique twist. I am creating contemporary jewelry pieces that are inspired by landscapes, textures and raw materials from the Canary Islands. 
My aim is to communicate all the energy and beauty from the islands in to each and every piece.

Pair of earrings with turquoise, pearl and coral - Atomic Beauty collection 
Styling & photography by Etincelle Creative Studio

Your wildest dreams are...

I would love to:
  •             Have my work recognized worldwide and give a new and audacious vision to the world of jewelry and accessories.
  •             Have my very own workshop  and develop a special relationship with my clients
  •             See the handmade movement flourish and more people to appreciate the quality of one’s creation and art 

Silver, lava and seeds necklace - Lanzarote collection
Styling & photography by Etincelle Creative Studio

Hobbies: what are you doing when you are not at your desk creating jewelry?

I love to take long walks on the beach with my dog. I like staring at the ocean for meditation and as a way to get inspiration flowing in. I love to listen to music, to go shopping...  and to surf the internet!

Playa de Jandia - Fuerteventura - Canary Islands
Photo credit: Gara Martin Kraus

Fashion magazines and fashion blogs are amazing sources of inspiration and allow me to keep focused on trends and stay informed of what is going on in the world while living in a stunning but quiet remote area.  

Ring from the Atomic Beauty collection 
in silver with pearl, pink quartz, black onyx and amethyst
Styling & photography by Etincelle Creative Studio

Thank you Gara for sharing  your story with us!

GMK's collections are available online: {website}{etsy shop} and you can become a fan and follow her on {Facebook} too.

I hope everyone enjoyed the interview, I would love to hear from you about it and about the new column too. I will post later today or tomorrow photos of the jewelry pieces that are available here in Singapore. I have sampled a few of them for you so contact me if you are interested!

Have a good week!


notabilia said...

Great column. I look forward to future interviews!

Marie said...

Thanks Pooja, I had planned to start this column back in October but I couldn't manage it. I plan to only interview my friends to start with, it is going to be fun :)

Cookie Cutter said...

Yay to your column! It's always nice to read about other creative souls.

I love Nakameguro too. My Japanese friend has a tiny apartment there and I bunked with her for a few days. The area is so understated cool!

Marie said...

Hey Sandy, nice to see you here! understated cool is the right word :) it is got everything you are looking for with that "village" feeling in the heart of Tokyo... bliss!

#RosyVousConseille said...

That's amazing! I love the relationship between Gara's creation and the environment.

{ to be charmed } said...

Oh I see here that you did all the photography work. Awesome job!

#RosyVousConseille said...

That girl is so talented!

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