Meet an upcycler from the industrial city of Katowice, who tackles the serious problem of electronic waste creatively.
During a period of increasing global climate challenges, more and more artists are seriously considering environmental awareness. First, there’s an inspiration, and then passion, which leads to wonderful art. Among them is Wiola Krauz, who makes stunning jewelry from industrial metal waste.
Unique upcycling jewellery
Every year we throw away 2.12 billion tons of waste, but only 9% of that waste is circular. This single fact provides ample food for thought and motivates artists all over the world. Few take the extra step and change waste into art or everyday items.
In the case of Wiola Krauz from Fanny and Franz, it was something that always interested her and came naturally. - Everything I did as an artist was in one way or another connected with upcycling - says Wiola, thinking back to around 1997, when she started.
Inspiration can come from anywhere and is even found in her day-to-day life. Rugged post-industrial parts are very interesting to Wiola, for whom the post-industrial theme became distinctive. She always looks at everyday items and wonders, ‘How can they be reused and upcycled?’
Hooked from the beginning
Wiola says it comes from her background. She was born in Poland's Katowice – a coal town with many derelict factories and monumental historic buildings. It was in this region, a few years ago, that INDUSTRIADA took place - a festival for everyone interested in the region's industrial past. Wiola's jewellery was chosen as an official product to promote the event. - I searched for inspiration and the right materials for a few months. Right then I was hooked. - she claims. - The most fascinating thing for me was the old clock mechanisms, which is still true to this day.
Drawn to beautiful shapes and forms
Now her rugged metal bracelets with and steampunk earrings with delicate gears and cogs are recognized not only in Poland. The flexibility of them means they can be an everyday item when paired with classic clothes or worn with a total steampunk look. Some of her clients are simply drawn to these beautiful shapes and forms. For others, to buy something upcycled and re-used is a statement. They don’t only give old and used objects a new lease of life, but also say ‘No’ to the part of our civilization that is repeatable and standardized – she has observed.
Wiola at her workshop
Special kind of waste
She deals with a special kind of material every day, which is electronic waste An increasing number of people are aware of how devastating to the environment it is for old computers, phones, and clocks to end their product life cycles in landfills. By using old parts from these products, Wiola is part of the movement of people who try to reduce the amount of harmful waste we leave behind.
A visible commitment to social responsibility
Wiola Krauz sells her art and jewellery through a stationery shop in Katowice and a few internet platforms. She mentions Deko Eko especially, as it focuses on the B2B sector. Selling through the platform allows her to sell directly to businesses and companies, as well as use electronic waste that some of them pass to Deko Eko. It is a unique kind of partnership based on a win-win model: The artist can get inspiring materials, companies can utilize it safely through Deko Eko, and clients can get final products made with care for the environment. This allows creators to scale their work without environmental concerns and discover new opportunities.
It is a constant adventure to work with Deko Eko - agrees Wiola Krauz. - It lets me work on many different levels. Through this partnership, I can see that what I do is important. I can work with different materials creating new pieces, which lets me evolve constantly as an artist.