The Art of Making Croatian Filigree Jewelry – Split Croatia
When he was just 13 years old, Split jeweler Viktor Čivljak started learning the fine art of making filigree jewelry from his father, a second-generation jeweler.
Today, the 73-year-old master jeweler incorporates breathtaking designs into entirely-handmade brooches, bracelets, earrings, hair pins, pendants and rings. Seemingly spun out of delicate silver thread, Viktor also creates cuff-links, decorative spoons for newborns, and souvenir spoons of Split bearing the city’s cathedral bell-tower.
We recently had the great pleasure of spending the day with Viktor and his wife, Flora, watching as Viktor showed us the painstaking process of making one pair of stunning filigree earrings.
Here is a small collage of just some of the magnificent pieces showcased in the family’s shop.
- You can peruse just a handful of Viktor’s offerings in his Etsy shop, or find him on the Filigran Split Facebook page. We were utterly amazed at the hundreds of custom designs that Viktor’s created in the last five decades. He said that he’s also happy to custom-design work based on a customer’s sketch too.
- If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Split, drop by the Čivljak’s shop, Filigran Split, located at Bosanska 4. It’s just a few seconds’ walk from Pjaca (Narodni Trg Square), and less than a minute from the Iron Gate of Diocletian’s Palace.
- If you’ll be staying in Split for a few days, you might be interested in the Split Card, which gives you free entry to certain museums and galleries, and reduced rates to others. Back in 2014, guests staying in Split for 3 days or more could pick up the Split Card for free, but as of 2016, there is a fee to purchase the card. The link above details the current cost, as well as the participating museums and businesses.
- We’ve spent two winters in Split, finding accommodation in apartments that would be packed during the summer months, but are practically empty during winter. During our first 2.5 months there, we stayed at the lovely Kaleta Apartments (affiliate link) which are located within Diocletian’s Palace. Our studio apartment (called the ‘Diocletian’s Suite’) featured much character, including Roman brickwork, and views of Old Town Split below. Owners Novica and Negri were thoughtful citizen ambassadors too. Two years later, we returned to Split, staying in the charming Varoš neighborhood, characterized by stone homes with hunter-green shutters. For those 2 months, we stayed in quaint studio apartments at the Guesthouse F (affiliate link). We especially enjoyed our tiny terrace and the kindness of our hosts, Anja and Miro. One of Guesthouse F’s apartments was originally a horseshoe maker’s workshop, which previously belonged to Anja’s grandfather. Shawn and I dubbed it the ‘horseshoe cottage’.
- Need more inspiration as you plan your excursions in Split and beyond? This link contains an index of all my posts from Croatia.
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Jewelry design © Viktor Čivljak, Filigran Split, Bosanska 4, Split, Croatia.
Photography & text © by Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.