SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The 17th annual Arts, Beats & Eats festival will return to Royal Oak from Aug. 29-Sept. 1. Thousands of visitors will flock to the city for more than 200 bands, more than 135 artists, more than 50 food-related attractions and much more.
One artist in attendance — Antoni Kozlowski, 68, of Shelby Township — began his relationship with amber as a boy in Poland growing up along the Baltic Sea in the coastal city of Gdansk.
He said he began gathering Baltic amber on the beach when he was about four years old, and later, when he attended art school in Poland, he decided to specialize in jewelry making. Now, he said 90 percent of the jewelry he creates includes amber.
Kozlowski has been making jewelry with an emphasis on Baltic amber for almost 40 years, and he has been living in the U.S. for more than 25 years. He said he began participating in art fairs in 1992 and has been on the Arts, Beats & Eats docket since the festival’s beginning.
“Amber is very lightweight, and some (pieces) are a bigger size, which is perfect because it is very lightweight,” he said, and he added that he uses hollow precious metals for his larger pieces to keep them light. “Every piece I have is different. I have bracelets, pendants, earrings, necklaces, every kind of jewelry.”
Kozlowski said he selects his pieces of amber for their color, clarity and individuality, and he handcrafts the metal for each piece to match the amber and its design. He said he has received more than 50 awards, including “Best of Show,” “Award of Excellence,” “First Place Jewelry” and merit awards.
He said he imports his Baltic amber from countries along the Baltic Sea and that his brother, who still lives in Poland, searches for amber and sends it to him, too.
“He knows what I am looking for and he finds nice pieces,” Kozlowski said.
For more information about Kozlowski, photos of his jewelry or a list of his upcoming shows, visit his website at www.antonikozlowski.com.
For more information about Arts, Beats & Eats, visit www.artsbeatseats.com.
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