In the spirit of my vacation to Krakow, Poland, here is the work of Pawel Kaczyński, a jewelry designer from Warsaw who's developed a unique way of combining amber with steel, silver or aluminum. Kaczyński is well known for his stunning textile-look-and-feel jewelry.
I found Kaczyński's work on the Burtsztynowy Amber Portal, which is all about amber jewelry made in Poland.
Here's a great quote from Kaczyński about his passion for amber: "I like raw amber. Untreated blocks (of natural amber) are like a mystery: they are original, they provoke curiousness."
Kaczyński likes the challenge of working with amber. He wants to retain its natural character rather than making it conform to a more typical, classically beautiful form of the stone.
The amber combined with silver, aluminium, and stainless steel above adds a nice contrast to the stark metals. It's striking work, even though not in a conventional way.
Polish amber, also known as Gold of the North, is one of the most valuable types of amber and is widely available in Krakow, given its proximity to the Baltic sea.The Baltic region has about 80% of the world's known amber deposits.
Since medieval times, the production of amber jewelry has been a big business in Poland. Artisans in Gdansk (an old port on the Baltic) have long had a reputation for their outstanding craftsmanship, and today, high quality amber jewlery can be found throughout Poland. I'm hoping to buy myself an amber gift (or two) while I'm in Krakow.
Intrigued? Stay tuned. I'll be showing you more jewelry from Krakow, in the weeks to come.
In the meantime, go to Pawel Kaczyński to see more.