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Monday, 07 June 2010 08:58

I was Instantly Fascinated with Amber – an interview with Wibke Haase

Written by  Anna Sado

Wibke Haase, a German jewellery designer, is fascinated with amber, especially its energy, lightness and warmth. She likes to juxtapose transparent and non-transparent elements, as well as combining amber with silver and pearls. She grinds amber blocks herself, which lets her experiment with their form, colour and durability.

In Germany, amber is still considered to be "granny's gemstone" and you are a young designer – how come that you became interested in this stone?

I discovered amber back when I was studying at the Vocational College of Design in Idar-Oberstein. I was looking for a new material to work with, and one day I came across amber. I was instantly fascinated with the energy, lightness and warmth it emanates with. I also found interesting the fact that it really is a hardened resin and shows truly unique qualities during grinding. I started experimenting with it. I don't mind the image of amber as a "granny's gemstone", I could even say that it gives me more motivation: I try to create more and more new forms, in order to show off the new, more modern side of amber.

Do you grind amber yourself?

I buy raw blocks and grind them in order to give them the desired shape. Each time I do it, it feels like a fascinating, brand new experience: I discover its properties and iniquity during the grinding process, I give it an interesting form. I experiment with the durability of the material, its form, colour, etc.

You combine amber with other materials – what does it feel best with?

I really like combining it with silver – in my opinion, the contrast between warm amber and cold silver is really fascinating. Another exciting combination is oxidised silver and amber. Combining amber with pearls also gives very interesting effect – they complement the delicate nature of amber.

Do you take part in competitions and exhibitions?

Yes. I have taken part in many exhibitions, I have also exhibited my works at inhorgenta Europe trade fair in Munich. Added to that, I also take part in Intergem trade fair in Idar-Oberstein – I will be participating in the next edition, in October 2010. I also present my works at the trade fairs open to the public and artistic craftsmanship fairs. However, I have not decided to take part in any competitions so far.

Anna Sado

Anna Sado

Trade journalist specialising in jewellery related topics. Since 2007 has been co-creator of the amber portal amber.com.pl

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