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Nikolai Balabin believes amber is one of the most inspiring materials in jewellery-making; it is like a window to the past. “When I find a piece of amber that inspires me, I put it in my pocket and carry it with me. I can take it out at any time and look at it. After all, its mystical inner light wakens my imagination and I hear stories. And then I start to materialise them, all the while trying to preserve the natural form and structure of the stone.” He accentuates amber’s uniqueness by using patinated silver for the background, which contrasts well with the sun-like brilliance of amber. Pick up one of his realistic miniature objects, and you can feel the warmth of the amber and see its magical light. You might even hear it, says Balabin.
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Balabin is a certified architect, having graduated from the St. Petersburg Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1991). He also graduated from the College of Crafts and Design in Lappeenranta, Finland, with a specialisation in jewellery-making and stonework design (1996). Since 2000 he has organised 13 solo exhibitions in the Baltic States, the Nordic countries and Russia; since 1996 he has participated in many group exhibitions in Europe. Balabin also works as a curator and lecturer and has received several awards. His work can be found in museum collections and private collections worldwide.
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