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Storm of colors, Art Nouveau composition and elaborate decorations - just a few words about the collection dedicated to plant species devoted to the extinction from the Podlasie region prepared by the Bondarowski brand to celebrate the centenary of Poland's regaining of Independence.
The latest collection depicting Podlasie flora is a kind of tribute to Polish nature. In spite of presented species are "ours" they seem to be exotic because of the fairy-tale colors of enamel on a surface of silver, multicolored natural stones and unique fragments of amber intricately woven into product compositions.
The exhibition of jewellery inspired by the Podlasie flora was graced by the celebration of regaining Independence organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Prague. The musical celebration of this important anniversary was a concert at the Czech National Philharmonic - Rudolfinum perfectly complementing the exhibition "Natural heritage of Podlasie - endangered species of animals and plants in art". In this collection, next to the gold of the Baltic Sea, we meet a whole range of colourful stones: lemon quartz, amethyst, garnets, olivines and flickering moon stones.
Eliza and Krzysztof Bondaruk are an excellent duo of goldsmith artists. In their works, they use traditional jewellery techniques - filigree and enamelware. This second decorative technique was used even by the most famous goldsmiths such as Benvenuto Cellini and Karl Faberge. A enamel is a glassy surface obtained from powdered quartz mixed with metal oxides, which give it the color.
Until now, the artists in their products presented exotic flora and fauna as well as human figures carved in a crystal or amber. Nature is an endless source of inspiration for them. Many works decorate the sunny stones of Baltic amber, which undoubtedly inspire artists.
Podlasie treasures from the aforementioned collection are available in the collections of the Gallery on Św. Jana 2 Street (at Amber Museum) and Galeria Boruni at 60 Grodzka Street.
One of the folk tales says that the ambers are fossilized tears of Heliad, the sisters of Phaeton, who was the son of the Sun God. Harald Popkiewicz, inspired by mythical history and sunny stone, created a unique object that can be admired in our Museum.
Spring came to the Amber Museum, thanks to the solar chariot by Harald Popkiewicz.
"Chariot" was created in 2006. For 12 years he was a part of exhibition in the Amber Museum in Gdańsk. Now you can admire it in the Amber Museum in Cracow.
In times when it was not possible to explain scientifically the origin of amber, the bothering question were sought in religion and folk tales.
Greek mythology tries to explain the issue of the origin of amber in the myth of Phaeton, the mortal son of Helios and the sea nymph Klimene. Phaeton grew up in the kingdom of mortal Merops, her mother's husband. He doubted that the divine blood was flowing in his veins. To prove to himself that he is son of Helios, he asked him for one wish: he wanted to ride a solar chariot. Helios could not withdraw his word - he agreed to Phaeton's dangerous ride.
The son of the sun lacked the skill of driving the pegasus pulling chariot. In spite of his father's warnings he left the route marked on the blue vault - the horses were horrified by the Sagittarius's taut arc and were too close to the surface of the Earth, which threatened the fire of heaven and earth. Helios could not help his son, he did not want to expose himself to the wrath of other gods. To avoid the catastrophe, Zeus threw down Phaeton by a thunderbolt which is why the young mortal man fell into the Eridan River. His sisters, Heliada, lamented their brother on the bank of the mythical river until the gods took pity on them, turning them into poplars and their tears turn into amber drops.
The silver chariot is an elaborate fitting for the magnificent milk amber lump symbolizing the Sun. Inspirations for the creation of the car were given to the artist by his sons, who are archaeologists. Articles about ritual carts from the Bronze Age, discovered in northern Europe, inspiring the artist. The ox pulling a mythical cart was made of a piece of black oak found on the beach in Mikoszewo, then was impregnated with beeswax. The silhouette of an ox resembles rock paintings from thousands of years ago. Maybe this ox is a reference to the sacred cows living on Tryteria, the island of Helios mentioned in Homer's "Odyssey"?
Harald Popkiewicz is one of the most recognizable Polish jeweller. The natural shapes of succinite have been inspiring the artist to create interesting sculptures in silver and amber since 1973. Since the beginning of the 20th century, Eryk and Olaf Popkiewicz have shared the passion of their father. You can learn more about the family fascination from the article: http://ambermuseum.eu/muzeum-bursztynu/co-mozna-zobaczyc/item/140-popkiewicz-rodzinna-fascynacja-bursztynem
Inclusions in Baltic amber have always been treated in a special way. Currently, they are sought after, admired, valued. They are also the subject of scientific research. They should be treated with due respect, because they conceal a "life" from many millions of years ago.
Let's start with explaining what are the inclusions in Baltic amber? So, the inclusion in amber is called everything that got to it naturally, when 40 million years ago the resin was abundantly flowing from the trees. They are mainly plants and animals that lived in the amber forest, but not only. They can also be air bubbles, drops of water, dust, sand or pyrite crystals.
Ambers containing inclusions are extremely valuable and provide an invaluable source of information for paleontologists and paleobotanists. When conducting research on inclusions, you can reconstruct the composition of amber forests, identify insects and small animals. The age of inclusion is dated to the age of amber in which they have been preserved. Also noteworthy is the fact that completely different inclusions have been preserved in Baltic amber, others in Dominican or Lebanese amber, and still others in the Colombian copal. First of all, these differences result from the fact that plants or animals existing in the time of the creation of eg Lebanese amber died out until the birth of Baltic amber.
The animal inclusions dominate in the Baltic amber nuggets. First of all, insects are found whose size does not exceed one centimeter. Very rare insects are found. Based on many years of palaeontology research, we can certainly say that birds, reptiles and mammals lived in the burstsy forest. The proof of this are various inclusions, among others Mammal hair, lizards, snail shells or bird feathers. In amber lumps you can also find characteristic dents, which resemble the footprints of animals with their appearance.
Plant inclusions are quite rare and account for only about three percent of all organic inclusions found. Based on the found fragments of bark, wood, flowers and spores, leaves and needles, it was established that about 215 plant species lived in the amber forest. It is impossible to list all of them here, but for example they were sequoias, date palms, oaks, chestnuts, olive and cinnamon trees, maples, wild wine, ferns, grasses, tea bushes, mosses, lichens, fungi and many species of pinewood trees.
Amber inclusions enjoy great popularity, which is why amber with "life trails" achieve much higher prices. Hence? The most common phenomenon is the creation of "artificial" inclusions, from time immemorial, various animals with lizards, including crabs have been embedded in amber. It is a forgery, and the unconscious customer will buy everything. Most often these are inclusions embedded in plastic, but unfortunately there are also perfect counterfeits, more and more difficult to detect. For example, they can be properly crafted contemporary organisms immersed in pressed amber. How not to be deceived? How to protect yourself against this? If you want to buy inclusions, you should have minimal knowledge about amber and the inclusions themselves, and purchase in checked and recommended stores, requesting a certificate of authenticity.
If you want to get to know the subject of inclusion at least, and see for yourself fragments of the world from millions of years ago, we invite you to visit the Amber Museum in Krakow and the exhibition "Amber - its beauty and history". You're welcome!
Amber is one of the oldest and most popular materials used in jewelry, moreover, it is the first decorative mineral used on a mass scale in history. It was known in antiquity, being the object of trade for the majority of Europeans living then. The transport of contemporary amber went through a large part of Europe, the so-called "amber trail".
Amber is an element of Polish culture, as evidenced by even the largest mineral trade fair in the world, held every year in Gdansk, in addition, Poland is the world's largest producer of amber jewelery, and the products are popular all over the world. The popularity of resin that has been preserved for centuries, as well as the prestige and quality of amber jewelery, means that there is still a lot of demand for it. Unfortunately, the opportunity to trade in artificial amber is also popular. So how to distinguish real mineral from imitation?
Real, natural amber has special physical and chemical properties. Some of them can be easily checked in home conditions, and some require specialized tests.
The most important features of amber:
- amber is light, but heavier than the weight of water, amber floats in salt water. Therefore, the home method of verification may be a brine technique, which consists of salting the water and throwing amber into it - it will float.
- the so-called. musk breakthrough - chipped amber is associated with a clam shell or has a stepped structure.
- another method of verification is the burning of amber. The ignited amber burns, emitting a characteristic resinous smell. An interesting fact is that one of the names of the mineral - Bernstein "burning stone" comes from this property. Baltic amber should smell nice, pleasant resinous scent, kapals have an intense, aromatic scent, and imitations smell like plastics. The resinous scent is also felt when a hot needle is applied to a real succinite. In addition, small, pulling threads will appear on the needle.
- amber has electrifying properties, so when rubbing it with a suitable material, eg wool, we stimulate these properties and amber can attract small objects. It is interesting that these electrical properties are reflected in the scientific nomenclature, because the electron from Greek means amber.
- Baltic amber on the Mohs hardness scale is located between plaster and calcite. On the scratched amber surface, a white crack and fine crumbs form, while plastics after scratching form spirally coiling chips.
- Baltic amber is warm and light to the touch, imitation is usually heavier and cold.
- Amber reacts poorly with solvents (eg acetone) while the imitations quickly dull and the surface becomes sticky.
Thus, there are possibilities to verify the naturalness of amber in home conditions. However, they are not always 100% effective or safe, arson lighting can damage the natural beauty of jewelry, and they are not parameterized methods.
One of the most effective and used in the world research methods of succinite and other resins is infrared absorption spectroscopy. In Poland, infrared spectra are obtained by two methods - transmission and reflection.
In the Amber Laboratory operating at the Amber Museum in Krakow, the reflection method is used in the spectrometer with the ATR attachment. It is a fast, effective and most importantly non-invasive method of identifying Baltic amber as a raw material and products made of it. Infrared spectrometry includes the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation in the range between the visible region and the microwave area, i.e. between 14300 and 200 cm-1 (0.7-50 μm). Infrared absorption spectroscopy uses the phenomenon of selective absorption of infrared radiation by various substances. Absorption takes place when the frequency of infrared radiation vibrations is equal to the frequency of natural vibrations of their atoms or their coordination groups.
The effect of the analysis is a certain diagnosis of the authenticity of amber. San also provides the basis for issuing the certificate of authenticity. Therefore, we invite you to purchase our certified, and above all natural, pros. In addition, our museum offers the opportunity to test the authenticity of products and conduct expert opinions for individuals, companies, offices and institutions. We invite you to cooperation!
Today's article presents another outstanding artist of the amber world, cooperating with the Amber Museum in Krakow and the galleries of Borunia. We invite you to familiarize yourself with the figure of Jan Pomianowski - an artist whose jewelry even has a royal pair.
Jan Pomianowski was born in Gdynia, but for over twenty years he lives and creates in Kashubia. He graduated in painting at the State Higher School of Fine Arts, currently functioning as the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk.
For the quarter-century associated with the jewelery industry, he constantly develops new collections, in which he often modifies style, materials, concepts, and distinctions. Each jewelery, therefore, has new features, which makes the collections of Jan Pomianowski characterized by so often sought-after uniqueness.
The artist in the design and creation of jewelry often draws inspiration from the world of fairy tales, fairy tales, as well as from his personal experiences. An example of this is the history of the ring with the image of an owl sitting on a branch carved in amber. Owls remembered from the earliest childhood, because living in a tree adjacent to his family home. The most likely effect of such an approach to work are emotions, and it's the positive emotions that one experiences when dealing with this jewelry. In addition to the extraordinary imagination, the artist is also characterized by reliability, precision and the ability to choose the way of implementation to the concept. Ready jewelery therefore consists of detailed elements, perfectly matched to the whole, creating a unique, handmade product. All items are color and functionally matched. This makes the artist's works, in addition to the artistic function, can also be practical. A great example is a set for shaving by Jan Pomianowski, consisting of a bowl, razors with a replaceable blade and a brush with natural badger hair (the product is available in our gallery).
The involvement of the artist in his work reveals his active participation in many of the most important fairs and events in the jewelery world. Jan Pomianowski participates in the Amberif, Inhorgenta and Tucson fairs.
An interesting anecdote is the fact that during the visit of the Norwegian royal couple in Poland in 2012, the then presidential couple of the State of Komorowski donated to JKM Sonja a set by Jan Pomianowski. This set was named after the queen of Poland - Anna Jagiellon and comes from the series "Big Queens".