Annual exhibition of works by students and pedagogues of the Technical School of Art and Industry (a college) has become a good tradition of the Kaliningrad Amber Museum. This year the exhibition opened on the 24th of March. It presented over two hundred and fifty works of the beginner artists in two branches – jewellery and crafts.
The educational institution was established in 1961 (then it was a professional school at the “Kvartz” plant); during the Post-Soviet period it was transformed into Art Lyceum, and since 2010 it is a college that trains professionals in arts and crafts, amber and jewellery. The only educational workshop for amber processing in Russia has been equipped here; it allows students to gain practical skills and improve their amber processing mastery. During the last 15 years one of the main tasks of the college has been to prepare professionals for amber industry of the region. In 2006 students and graduates of the college participated in the Kaliningrad exhibition “Baltic Amber” for the first time and were granted diplomas for achievements in training professionals in artistic processing of amber.
Collaboration with the Kaliningrad Amber Museum is very important for improving professional skills of students. Annually college students take part in international and regional competitions for the best sun stone artwork, such as the International Biennial of Amber Artworks “Alatyrj”, the regional competition “Yantarnaya osenj”, and etc. The students participate in projects for experience exchange with the leading Russian and European jewellers; invited professionals deliver lectures on amber and well-known masters in amber artwork hold master classes.
At the exhibition, which was opened in the Museum, visitors can see artworks created by young professionals and made for decoration of modern house interiors. The instances of exhibits include painted wooden clocks, caskets, chests, kitchen utensils, powder boxes, hairbrushes as well as objects of religious cult, i.e. icons. The exhibition organisers offered an original concept of exhibits’ arrangement in accordance with traditional zones of a modern dwelling (living room, working room, bedroom, boudoir, children room, kitchen and even home chapel).
Significant part of the exposition consists of jewellery, carved works and compositions of different metals combined with amber. It is pleasant to note that the best creative works were made by students during master classes. So the famous Kaliningrad amber master Yury Velikotsky suggested students to embody the theme “Birds” in metal and stone (works by Konstantin Logunov, Liudmila Nesterova, Artem Zyuskin, Olga Tsoi, Anastasia Pokrova, etc.). Birds made of brass combined with amber and plastic are very lively and expressive. The lack of professional skills can be noticed in the students’ works, but the works created by the beginner jewellers are vivid and memorable, made with a sense of humour and ardour common for the youth.
Together with jewellery sets that combine elements of traditional Russian jewellery with the Baltic amber processing (Konstantin Domichkovsky), brooches, pendants, bracelets that were created under the influence of artwork by the leading Russian and European jewellers are presented at the exhibition. These goods are featured for light design; they use amber of natural forms. Many of them combine brass with coloured plastic. This solution is due to expensiveness of amber; in order to demonstrate their creative idea students replace it by artificial materials. Objects painted by using distemper technique are presented at the exhibition. Sometimes such painted stones are used for jewellery inserts (Nadezhda Zhirikova). Brooches and suspensions by Zhanna Lopatkina are distinguished for their modern form and a good combination of amber and wood.
The exhibition of the Technical School of Art and Industry demonstrates that a new generation of amber artists comes into being; they try to watch the European trends in the development of jewellery art and search for new approaches to amber artwork.