The world’s most important amber fair has drawn to a close. It was a record breaker in terms of exhibitor and visitor numbers. AMBERIF 2016 gathered more than 480 companies from 14 countries. The event was attended by 7,700 trade visitors from 55 countries, mainly Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Germany, China, the UK, the US, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Hungary, Finland, France and Italy.

New jewellery designs, trends and technologies were presented by small, family-owned businesses, by artists at the Design Gallery and by large jewellery companies. The exhibitors were assigned 12,000 m2 of floor space. The success of AMBERIF is confirmed by exhibitor feedback:
“There were really a lot of buyers” (Łukasz Ciesielski, Ciesielscy sp.j.). “Our visitors at this year’s AMBERIF came mainly from the East” (Piotr Kozłowski, Avalon Finishing System, manufacturers of jewellery machines). “This year, we had plenty of customers from Lithuania and Estonia; what’s important—our customers from Germany came back as well” (Marta Wesołowska, NAC Amber).

AMBERIF included a number of educational and popularising events for jewellery and amber experts and enthusiasts: lectures, seminars, training sessions, exhibitions, previews and workshops. In a time-honoured tradition, Trend BOOK 2016+ by Prof. Sławomir Fijałkowski, which systematises the current trends and motifs in jewellery and design, had its premiere at AMBERIF. Prof. Barbara Kosmowska-Ceranowicz was awarded the platinum badge For Services to Handicraft by the Pomeranian Skilled Crafts Chamber of SMEs, for her outstanding contribution to expanding the knowledge about amber. And the International Amber Association celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Amberif Design Award, the International Amber Jewellery Design Competition, also celebrated its anniversary. Twenty years—more than two thousand reviewed entries, a galaxy of artists from more than 30 countries, a host of outstanding judges.

This year, the ADA motto was Transition. The invitation to compete was accepted by 75 artists from 17 countries. To the international judging panel, this broad variety opened the stage for wide deliberation and in-depth discussion. The judges came to unanimous decisions about the quality and intensity of the entries. The Main Prize from the Mayor of Gdańsk, PLN 10,000, was awarded to Jolanta Kupniewska (the judges were captivated by the reversal of materials, with gold set in amber). The Silver Prize, 1 kg of silver from AMBERIF Partner KGHM Polska Miedź SA, went to Kinga Sulej (an entry described by the judges as remarkably organic). The Amber Prize, 1 kg of amber sponsored by the International Amber Association, went to Yelizaveta Suska (the judges liked the transition of patinas into amber and the way the copper held the amber). The prizes were presented at the AMBER LOOK Trends & Styles Gala.

Fifty-three original entries were submitted to the prestigious Bogdan Mirowski Mercurius Gedanensis Award addressed to AMBERIF exhibitors. The Grand Prix in the Design Category was awarded to A2 Studio Biżuterii [Jewellery Studio] for a series of Three Rings by Miron Kutarba. The winner also received 2 kg of silver from KGHM Polska Miedź SA. “In making this triptych, I was inspired by flower buds,” confessed the winner. “I made three rings on purpose, to show the diversity and uniqueness of amber—they are alike, yet each one is different.” The Mercurius Gedanensis Gold Medal in the Workmanship Excellence category went to the Bondarowski Company for the Black Orchid ring by Krzysztof Bondaruk.

The Amber Sphere, awarded to a commercial company by the students of the Władysław Strzemiński Łódź Academy of Fine Arts’ Jewellery Department, went to Ostrowski Design. The verdict emphasised a distinctive design line and a style maintained while working with different materials, including amber.

The AMBER LOOK trends & styles Amber and Fashion Gala is AMBERIF’s crème de la crème, with beautiful ensembles, the specially designed stage that is different each year and attention to every detail. On Thursday night, the Polish Baltic Philharmonic Hall was filled to the brim. The public saw sixteen collections produced in tandem by fashion and jewellery designers. Teresa Rosati was the star of the show, with the event under the artistic supervision of one of the most versatile and recognised Polish fashion designers Michał Starost.

The Gala began with a show dedicated to saving the Gdańsk Shipyard cranes: the #GDN Collection produced in collaboration with the City of Gdańsk by Diverse and jewellery designer Emilia Kohut. The next five collections featured debuting graduates of the Łódź University of Technology, Faculty of Material Technologies and Textile Design, who participated in the AMBER LOOK PROJECT Competition. The main prize went to the NIPPON Collection by Dorota Podgórska, inspired by the culture of Japan. “For consistency in action and robust delivery,” emphasised Mariusz Gliwiński (Ambermoda), member of the judging panel.

In the main part of the Gala, the catwalk featured collections from recognised jewellers and fashion designers: Mechanic Flowers: fashion by Michał Starost, jewellery by Joanna Kotowicz-Buczyńska; Tasty: jewellery by Danka Czapnik, fashion by Atelier Słoma & Trymbulak; Carbon & Diamonds—Organica: jewellery by Bondarowski Eliza and Krzysztof Bondaruk, fashion by Aneta Popławska; Asymmetry: jewellery by Jola and Andrzej Kupniewski, fashion by Pudu Joanna Weyna, hats by Beata Miłogrodzka; Orient Express: jewellery by Dorota Cenecka, fashion by Aska Joanna Błażejowska; From under the Snow: jewellery by Danuta Burczik-Kruczkowska, fashion by Beata Jarmołowska; Chromantik: fashion by Maja Woźniak, jewellery by emwudesign Małgorzata Wasik; Skin to Skin: jewellery by Motyle, fashion by Mirka Dworak; Woman and the City: jewellery by Tomasz Kargul, fashion by Fabryka Sukienek Patrycja Kowalczyk. The grand finale belonged to the star of the show Teresa Rosati. The designer presented her latest collection Faces of Love, dedicated to her husband. The fashion was accessorised with Apart jewellery. The Gala was emceed by Kacper Kuszewski.

The AMBER LOOK Gala featured the presentation of the Mayor of Gdańsk Medals to individuals involved in promoting Gdańsk as the World Capital of Amber. This year, the medals went to those who were actively involved in and successfully completed the 2012-2015 jewellery and amber industry promotion programme, funded by the Ministry of Economy, part of the Baltic Amber. Treasure of Poland Consortium. The honourees included Andrzej Kasprzak, the President of the Board of the MTG SA Gdańsk International Fair Co., the Consortium’s leader. The Medals and Amber Cranes statuettes were presented by Deputy Mayor of Gdańsk Piotr Kowalczuk.

The next AMBERIF will be held in a year’s time, 22-25 March 2017; this year, you are welcome to the 17th AMBERMART International Amber Fair, 25-27 August 2016.