Last week I had the privilege of journeying to Gdansk, Poland (think way, way up in Northern Poland near the Baltic Sea) to attend the Amberif jewelry show. While I’ve always admired the contemporary designs of Polish designers from a distance, it was a treat to be meet many of them in person and see their work. If you like modern designs and are intrigued by amber—that lightweight, 45 million–year–old fossilized tree resin that sometimes features insects captured in tawny- to caramel-colored time capsules—check out these four designers I met last week.
Art 7: Wojciech Kalandyk heads up this company, which has exhibited at JCK Las Vegas in the past. Its jewelry is modern, fun—think massive, modern-cut chunks of amber that make a statement—and set in silver. These styles are more mass-produced than others, but that doesn’t detract at all from their quality or visual appeal. There were so many terrific pieces at the booth that it was difficult for me to leave!
Ambermoda: It’s a family affair at this firm, with papa Mariusz Gliwinski designing the jewelry, mother Danuta buying the amber, and daughter Gosia heading up marketing. Their jewelry features clever uses of amber—like tiny beads clustered together in necklaces—and larger chunks accented with diamonds and other precious stones. The aesthetic is bold, youthful, and well-made with some heft; it’s a higher-priced silver line.
Amberwood: Mart Wlodarksa makes inlay styles with the Baltic amber and driftwood that wash up on the beaches of the Baltic Sea. Set in silver, the pieces hit a great point and offer an architectural look with amber that even stands out in the sea of amber jewelry at the Amberif fair.
Kruczkowska: Danuta Burczik is the designer, and she specializes in unheated, natural amber designs that aren’t commonly seen in the United States. Her styles are fashion-forward, very editorial (big and fabulous, screaming for runway-model placement), and will appeal to women who like statement pieces. [Ed. note: The site is in Polish only, so if you are truly interested in her designs, I can put you in touch with an English-speaking representative.]