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Saturday, 17 March 2012 21:20

Playing with the Material - an Interview with Sara Gackowska

Written by  Anna Sado
Grand Prize Amberif Design Award 2012 for Sara Gackowska Grand Prize Amberif Design Award 2012 for Sara Gackowska

Sara Gackowska is a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, the winner of the Amberif Design Awards 2012 competition, were are talking about fascination with the material and attempts to define the jewellery form anew.

In the ring that won the first prize in the competition Amberif Design Award, we can find at least a few aspects of play. Which ones are the most important to you as a designer?

Contact with the material is the most important for me in the designing process. It is the factor that gives me the most pleasure from work, as well as provides new, unconventional solutions. In my opinion, the joy of creation has a big influence on the final form of the object and its relationship with the end user. The reverse perspective - the relationship of the object with the end user, instead of that of the end user with the object - gives a better chance to catch this wonderful relationship. My starting point was playing with the material: natural combination of precious stone of raw and irregular surface, with non-precious, but regularly shaped sap. Amber is not replaceable. The tempting idea of object modification works much better in designing than in original jewellery.

What materials do you value most as a designer? And what place among them does amber get?

Porcelain has been the one closest to me for the last two years. It is always one material that plays the main part in the particular cycle, and other materials usually complement it. Playing with the value - that is extracting beauty from non-precious materials, which could be labelled as waste, fascinates me the most. And the other way around - using precious materials in their raw form. I've recently started working with amber and this fact allows me to keep lightness in the search of fresh solutions. Designing amber objects is rather a big challenge owing to quite a strong stereotype concerning both the material and methods of its treatment. The desire to go beyond the current canon motivates me most. I admit that attractive competitions and events accompanying them are also strong motivators.

You have been to Finland on a scholarship - how did that influence the way you think about jewellery and patterns? How are the two countries different in their approach to design?

I had taken my decision to focus on jewellery before I went on scholarship. The visit to Finland gave me a lot of new experiences and made me even more certain about my choice. I wouldn't like to generalise the approach to designing, as you can see more or less promising strategies. Everything depends on the place, time and people. In the majority of European universities you can find both experts in tradition, as well as promoters of braver solutions. 

Why did you choose jewellery? 


The aspect of contemporary jewellery that fascinates me most is the ambiguity of the phenomenon and the need for constant defining it from the start. I also like the scale, as well as the possibility of working with the material, as I mentioned before. In the nearest future I am going to open my own studio. I'm not saying 'no' to commercial jewellery, either.

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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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