Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Getting to know Gretchen Kramp

Gretchen Kramp's tile work features striking relief images on boldly glazed backgrounds. Her themes deal with everything from fairy tales, everyday items and animals to geometric designs. Her tiles range from an adorable 2x2" to highly detailed 8x8". We wanted to shine the spotlight on Gretchen and let you know a little more about the woman behind the tiles.

Gretchen Kramp received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. After majoring in painting she apprenticed herself to a local ceramicist. In the middle of the 1990s, her tiles were represented in the ceramic collection at numerous local galleries. In Winter 1997, she started Gretchen Kramp Ceramic Tiles, a business that produces art works composed of one or more tiles, including murals (constructed of tiles of multiple sizes and shapes) and tile tables for the home.

Kramp's murals have become popular features at the Detroit Zoological Park. In 2000, she produced a mural for the entrance of the National Amphibian Conservation Center, located at the Detroit Zoo. In 2002, she installed a similar work at the entrance of the Nunavut Gallery in the Arctic Ring of Life exhibit. The eight-foot by ten-foot mural is constructed of more-than 650 iridescent and matte tiles. An immense polar bear stands under the motto NUNATSIAQ, which means "the beautiful land" in Inuit.