|Photo by Loren Crosier|
KATE ELLEN is a 'Best Of' jewelry designer and metalsmith based out of Oakland, California. Her flagship retail boutique, CROWN NINE, is located in the historic Old Oakland district and houses her work alongside the work of over 20 jewelry artists and serves as a gallery/host for Oakland First Friday receptions.
KATE ELLEN'S work is entirely handcrafted in her lofted studio above the Crown Nine. She focuses on marrying the industrial with the natural and uses a mixture of ancient techniques to craft her unique work. Her design philosophy centers around simplicity, timelessness, with rough hewn textures that feel dug up from the earth.
IN HER OWN WORDS
"Making jewelry is my total unexpected dream-life come true. I never expected my life would be what it is, but I couldn't ask for anything more. I always knew it would be special to be involved with a couple's wedding rings, but each time I am so surprised by how deep this honor is, it is such an intimate thing to be a part of."
HOW SHE STARTED
KATE ELLEN grew up on the wild fields and tall misty redwood forests of West Marin, California. As a child she roamed free in the creeks, trails, and hilltops, deeply rooting her connection to the earth and nature. She earned a degree at California State University, Monterey Bay in social work and public health. After years working as a social worker, sex education teacher, 2nd grader teacher in the Bronx, Kate Ellen found her creative calling. "I always daydreamed about being a painter, a singer, a dancer-- but none of these things came very naturally to me. When I found metal work, I was instantly in a groove. My hands just seemed to know what to do. And I enjoy the thrill and excitement of wielding dangerous tools and getting dirty at work everyday. The process very much appeals to the tomboy in me."