Conversations with an Artist: Krista Gambrel of Ende Collective
We discovered Krista, the creator behind Ende Collective, at a trade show and listened from the sidelines as she told some visitors to her booth about a piece she designed. We were captivated by her storytelling, inspirations, intellect, creativity and modern jewelry design. We invited her to spend some time with us at the shop. And are excited to carry her collection. We are thrilled to introduce you.
Describe the moment you realized art fed your soul.
When I first discovered art I was 6 years old. It was through the vein of music. That year I started piano lessons from this white haired lady named Mrs. Shoe. She lived in an eccentric lime green Victorian style home; it was hideous. But she showed me Scott Joplin’s, The Entertainer and I fell in love with the feeling of music; you could say that’s when I fully felt the power of art. Once I learned a few notes from her, I decided to create my own songs and creativity came really easy to me. I’ve always asked that question, “what if?”
What themes do you pursue in your art?
Common themes that arise in my work are the potential and actualized possibilities of science and technology. I've always been fascinated with 'how things work' and science has been a really valid way of identifying why the material world is the way that it is. I also love telling the stories of people who have uncovered those possibilities or identified ultimate truths in our universe to cause shifts in the current paradigm. The stories behind those breakthroughs tend to be really fascinating and sharing those stories through my work is an overarching theme. Moreover, I like to share the stories of great women who have made those breakthroughs. I want women to be recognized for their contributions to our society to inspire other women to be great. It’s really important that we give women the credit they deserve. For far too long, they have been diminished or shamed and I hope my work helps women (and anyone else) to recognize their full potential. Most of all, I like to celebrate the wins of the world and my work, ultimately, comes from a really positive place.
My fascination with science started in 6th grade when I became obsessed with astronomy and the make up of the universe. My obsession with technology came when I was 9 and we got the Internet at my house. Keep in mind I grew up in a tiny town of 30,000 people, so the Internet was my way of discovering the world without leaving Idaho, where I was born and raised.
I seemed to have an instinct for software and was always downloading new programs to learn and make my art. My parents still call me to manage all their software and technical questions; this probably describes really well why I wanted to work in technology for a few years. I thought it might have been “where I fit” in the world of business. But after 4-5 years of it, I realized that I was indeed the artist I always wanted to be.
As for science, I continue my personal education and have gotten really deep into quantum physics, and the science behind cognition and consciousness. That feeds into machine learning too, so that is my other secret nerdy fascination. I believe we can use models of neural networks and machine learning to better identify intuition and quantify emotional aspects of the human experience. Humans have been really great at quantifying a lot of things in this universe except the most important things like love and emotion.
Tell us about what influences the direction for your jewelry collection.
My work is influenced by the thoughts I allow in my headspace. It may seem weird, but those thoughts are really just wavelengths and non-linguistic. They are emotional and intuitive. My process taps into the physical form of those intuitions and my ideas are expressed through my hands and the shapes of objects I make with my hands. It’s really special.
When it comes to designing a piece of artwork that tells a story, it mostly just starts with being conscious about the story and learning about a person's experience while achieving greatness.
For instance, when I created the Zaha Stacks, I was captivated by the way Zaha Hadid was called "The Queen of the Curve," and how she was known for liberating architecture. Her aesthetic fluidity inspired me and, similarly, I wanted to create something that evoked a lot of movement. (I also used to study Architecture before getting my degree in Fine Art so there is no doubt that I use this knowledge when I create.) When it came time to design my next line, I had been playing with this curvature ring that nested within another curved ring. I kept playing with the configuration of them together and thought “if the wearer has a few of these rings, they will actually have the tools to create a different architectural structure on their hand by turning the rings around or stacking them inside one another differently.” Allowing a person the ability to be the architect of their own jewelry was so cool. I went with it and made a few variations to add dimensionality to the stacks. Then, the dots connected and I decided I would dedicate the piece to Zaha.
However, it isn't always pre-determined thought. I love listening to podcasts about amazing people. I like the “Tim Ferris Show” and “Inside Quest” for this reason. While working and listening, I'm able to build a connection, because as I said, these are the thoughts in my mind and it's all about the energy passing through me at the time of creation. To me, it feels really authentic.
How has your work developed over time?
My work has developed by way of growing my processes. I grow my processes through practice and play. I’ve always been passionate about metal casting and each step that goes into making a piece of jewelry with this process. Learning different techniques and refining my skill sets have helped me to develop best over time. My relentless curiosity about the universe helps to keep me inspired.
What’s the most indispensable item in your studio?
My wax and wax files. They are the foundation in which my work stems from. Also, music. I’d die if there were no music or sound in my studio. I listen to Etta James and Unknown Mortal Orchestra the most.
Do you collect anything?
Yep! I love collecting books and my library is filled with art history, physics, philosophy, and poetry. F. Scott Fitzgerald is my favorite.
I’ve also been told that l collect friends. I love the people who come into my life because I feel like there is some purpose for our relationship. I love the stories and experiences they share with me and I like to think about these when I’m making my jewelry or writing music. Everyone has a special perception and story and therefore a different energy. I like exploring those energies. Whether they come or go, time spent with friends is eternal.
What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen, read, watched or listened to recently?
There are two things: Ethereum – a block-chain technology that will help democratize currency, data, and liberate society. This has been blowing my mind lately. I can’t communicate in words how revolutionary this is yet because it’s so new, but I feel that the concept of decentralizing power in various ways gives people control and that inspires me.
On the creative front, I’ve been working with this French producer to make music. He’s really talented and I’m honored to work with him. We met at a coffee shop when I was singing and from then we started to play. Working together has been a different means of expression and the creative process is a lot more fluid. He has been my muse lately.
What advice would you give to your younger self about your artistic journey?
I would say, “Hey girl, don’t be too hard on yourself!” I’ve always had high expectations for myself and for the others around me. So, I’d tell myself to drop the expectations and just listen. Listen to my inner self, listen to what my heart and body are telling me, and listen to the world around me for it is wise and expansive. By doing that, I’ve been able to get into sync with things and that feels so right. I’d also tell myself that anything is possible – I believe that now.
Check out the selection of Ende Collective in the shop and if you'd like more information, please do get in touch, email@example.com or 415-569-4383.
See you soon,
Bonnie & Jeffrey