Amber is fossilized tree resin, which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Much valued from antiquity to the present as a gemstone, amber is made into a variety of decorative objects. Amber is used in jewelry. It has also been used as a healing agent in folk medicine.
There are five classes of amber, defined on the basis of their chemical constituents. Because it originates as a soft, sticky tree resin, amber sometimes contains animal and plant material as inclusions.
Amber occurs in a range of different colors. As well as the usual yellow-orange-brown that is associated with the color "amber", amber itself can range from a whitish color through a pale lemon yellow, to brown and almost black. Other uncommon colors include red amber (sometimes known as "cherry amber"), green amber, and even blue amber, which is rare and highly sought after.
“Jūratė, Queen of the Sea, lived under the Baltic Sea in a beautiful amber castle. Jūratė fell in love with a mortal man, a fisherman, which angered her father. Perkunas, the thunder-god, became furious and struck his daughter’s amber castle with lightning, and it exploded into millions of pieces. Jūratė was then chained to the seafloor ruins for eternity.
According to legend, when storms occur in the area of the Baltic Sea, the delicate fragments of this underwater palace are washed ashore. The most precious amber pieces resemble the shape of tears, and are thought to be from the grieving goddess who still cries for her lost love.“
As many great scientists have noted, we study the past to be responsible in our future. The piece is titled “Remain,” which means both left behind and here to stay. Some “remains” in fact are visible inside the amber-colored glass, once you take a moment to really look into them. You’ll notice bug wings (replicated in glass), flecks and impurities, maybe a shell or likeness of a plant part, lots of veils and bubbles. Much of my work explores themes of “Momento Mori,” as well as extinction, preservation, and origin. I like the idea that in nature, amber has captured so many ancient remains from life in a time immemorial to humans, and preserved them in such a beautiful way.
About the process: I use gold leaf, Mica flecks, baking soda, glass inclusions, and serendipity to create the solid swirling mass inside the glass drop. It is a way of creating with glass that is anything but “controlled,” the exact opposite of making a beautifully blown ultra thin Venetian-inspired goblet. I fashion the steel hooks myself, as well as the bronze caps and the bronze rounds, which have leaf impressions, implying the origin of Amber (which is technically fossilized resin, produced by EXTINCT coniferous trees millions of years ago).