The amber festiwal. Amber celebrations in Gdańsk and Pomorskie region

Justyna Michalkiewicz - Waloszek
26.06.2020

28 June is the International Amber Day. Pomorskie Voivodeship celebrates this occasion each year. Gdańsk is the leader of celebration and known as the “World Capital of Amber”. Why is amber so special that it has a day dedicated to it? Can you talk about it in terms of trends? And where will the Gdańsk Amber Museum move to next year?

It’s difficult to talk about amber in terms of trends. It’s a unique stone. Like diamonds – but on a different scale, and with a different heritage. The magical power of amber comes from its history. This, combined with unique shape of each lump, gives us an excellent natural resource. One, which in the hands of a talented craftsman can be transformed into unique jewellery.

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– Due to its nature, amber can function as a talisman. Each lump is unique and incomparable. When you choose amber jewellery, try to identify with it as something unique – says Sławomir Fijałowski, university professor and a renowned jewellery designer from the Experimental Design Department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk.

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A few years ago, investors and clients liked their amber smooth, neat and polished. Today, we’re coming back to the time in which its uniqueness increases with lack of perfection. The most beautiful pieces of amber are those with visible impurities, created by time.

-The preferences of Chinese customer several years ago, for example, made flawless lumps, which often looked like plastic, more desired. And this is the path the design industry followed. At that time, amber jewellery collections were in direct contradiction of the nature of amber. Today, we are slowly coming back to nature and classic design, appreciating products that carry a certain value with them. It is more common to believe that the best product is the one that will stay with us longer, preferably with the designer’s signature. I see it as the end of the era of seasonality, and the return of true craftsmanship – adds professor Fijałkowski

The International Amber Day in Gdańsk

Celebration of amber began in 2016, when June 28 was declared the International Day of Amber in Gdańsk. This coincided with the 10th anniversary of the Amber Museum in Gdańsk. On the other hand, 10 years earlier, the act establishing the World Amber Council was also signed in Gdańsk. No wonder that Gdańsk was appointed the World Amber Capital. Each year, the city hosts numerous events:- exhibitions, fairs or festivals, including the largest jewellery event in Central and Eastern Europe – the Amberif International Amber and Jewellery Fair. This year’s edition of Amberif will take place on 26-29 August.

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The new seat of the Amber Museum in Gdańsk

The Amber Museum in Gdańsk was opened 14 years ago – on 28 June, 2006, in the historic gate complex of Długa Street and Targ Węglowy (Coal Market). Work is in progress on moving the headquarters to the currently renovated Great Amber Mill in Gdańsk. The ceremonial opening of the new place is scheduled for 28 June, 2021. Hundreds of amber exhibits will be displayed on two floors of the mill. To building will also provide space for education and catering. The space will be arranged according to the European trends of museology – in dark colours, with lots of glass and LED lights. It will contrast beautifully with amber’s golden shimmer.

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