A number of Copenhagen Goldsmiths’ Guild members have taken the international amber scene by storm with the exhibition New Amber in Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad, and with the strong Danish presence at the amber biennale Alatyr 2017.
Guild members turn to amber
Copenhagen Goldsmiths’ Guild members are at the forefront when it comes to modern, Danish amber jewellery. The recent jewellery exhibition New Amber showcased a number of Guild members and their take on traditional Danish amber jewellery with a contemporary twist – first in Copenhagen and subsequently with sponsorship from the Guild, in the cultural mecca of Saint Petersburg, and most recently in the core of the amber industry, Kaliningrad.
“It has been very exciting to follow the New Amber exhibition, and I am pleased that it has been received so well in Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad. It provided the Guild members that participated with exposure right where amber is most appreciated”, says Master of the Guild and jewellery designer, Diana Holstein.
Amber is the new black
It is not only Chinese tourists who are drawn to the beautiful gemstone – many Danish jewellery customers are increasingly interested in the Nordic ‘gold’. Amber is therefore also on the agenda for more and more Guild members – with jewellery that supports, provokes and comments on this development, with interesting, innovative design. Jewellery design with amber in focus is most definitely on the rise, and this is also illustrated by the fact that a total of 9 Danish jewellery makers were selected to participate in the amber biennale Alatyr 2017 in Kaliningrad. Guild members and goldsmiths Trine Trier and Mette Saabye (who is also a former Master of the Guild), played prominent roles behind the scenes, respectively as Danish curator and member of the international jury.
Trine Trier has this to says about the amber biennale and the unique expression embodied in current Danish jewellery:
“Danish amber jewellery possesses a clear narrative and ranges from beautiful, simple design to work that makes contemporary political observations, and little fairytale-like jewellery with Jesus on the cross. Despite the common focus on amber, there is a huge aesthetic difference between the Danish and for example, Russian jewellery. But all the more, it has been incredibly interesting to bring them into play at Alatyr 2017, where the selection of amber jewellery is so immense”.
A mixed heritage
Amber is famous for being the ‘gold’ of the North, the ‘jewel’ of the sea, and a symbol of the history of the world from the beginning of time up to the present day. On the other hand, amber is also loaded with among other things a heritage created by all the amber wearing schoolteachers, hippies and tourists’ endless quest for amber jewellery.
But, the exhibition New Amber emphasizes, according to Trine Trier, a break with the usual tarnished silver unimaginative necklaces, raw clumps of amber on pieces of worn leather and really heavy amber rings. In fact, a few years ago, one of the leading amber jewellery companies and Guild member, House of Amber challenged this ‘loaded’ heritage when they initiated a collaboration with Guild member, goldsmith and most recent recipient of the Goldsmiths’ Guilds’ prestigious Skt. Loye prize, Christine Bukkehave, which with its new and modern design has led amber collections into modern times.
Danish exhibitors at Alatyr 2017: 30 June – 3 September 2017 at Regional Amber Museum Kaliningrad: Ditte Stepnicka, Dorte Lausten, Josefine Rønsholt Smith, Jytte Kornbech Løppenthin, Lene Wolthers, Maria Tsoskunoglu, Marie Rimmen Mikkelsen, Tina Richter and Trine Trier.
New Amber: 14 interpretations of amber jewellery in Copenhagen in 2016, curated by Trine Trier. It is has since been presented at The Danish House in Saint Petersburg and thereafter at the Regional Amber Museum Kaliningrad, in Spring 2017.
New Amber exhibitors: Kim Buck, Jochen Neustädter/Ruben Svart, Mette Vivelsted, Annette Dam, Maria Tsoskunoglu, Nordenstam, Kasia Gasparski, Katrine Borup, KrebsHyllested, Christine Bukkehave, Tina Richter, Torben Hardenberg and Trine Trier.
Copenhagen Goldsmiths’ Guild: Master of the Guild, Diana Holstein, Lille Kirkestræde 5, 1072 Copenhagen, Tel: 0045 32 12 13 89, firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary: Thyges Vænge 3, 1. tv, 2770 Kastrup. Tel: 0045 61 71 94 40, email@example.com