Located among the leafy foothills of the Caucasus Mountains, the Azerbaijani town of Sheki is green, tranquil, and artsy. Low-rise buildings feature eye-catching stone and brickwork. People smile easily and are eager to engage in conversation. What’s more, Sheki still bears delightful evidence of its Silk Road past. Before we got there, I had theContinue reading “Watching How to Make Kelaghayi Silk Scarves in Sheki, Azerbaijan”
Aspiring stonemasons on the Croatian island of Brač learn the ropes of an Old World art.
In the shadows of the Balkan Mountains in Central Bulgaria, residents in the village of Kalofer have been making lace for more than one hundred years. The artisans initially drew inspiration from traditional Belgian patterns, but over time they developed their own designs, evoking images of ephemeral snowflakes, and silk-like spiderwebs. In Bulgarian, the lace is known as КалоферскаContinue reading “The Snowflake-Like Lace of Kalofer, Bulgaria”
Master filigree jeweler Viktor Čivljak has a gentle and humble manner despite regularly wielding blow torches and hammers in his making of Old World jewelry. It turns out that the 73-year-old Split, Croatia jeweler also has a penchant for survival, something that we would learn while spending a Saturday afternoon with him, watching step-by-step how to make a pair of intricate filigree silver earrings. ViktorContinue reading “Silver Legacies: The Making of Croatian Filigree Jewelry”
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 spoonsContinue reading “The Art of Making Croatian Filigree Jewelry – Split Croatia”
During Oberammergau’s peak tourist seasons, visitors can easily while away an hour observing artisans demonstrating their trades on the ground floor of the beautifully-frescoed, 18th-century Pilatushaus. In past centuries, nomadic traders acquired crafts like these and sold them throughout Europe, making Oberammergau famous for its fine work. Today, travelers can purchase the items directly fromContinue reading “Apprentice for an Afternoon: Lessons with Germany’s Old World Artisans”
“With time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown.” Proverb Throughout Cambodia, marketplace stalls overflow with mounds of beautiful shimmering silk. There’s everything from scarves and chic purses, to fabric designed for tailor-making shirts, dresses, and jackets. As someone who is often tempted by handcrafted accessories, I was eager to learn more aboutContinue reading “Learning the Fine Art of Sericulture & Weaving on a Cambodian Silk Farm”
On a quiet and serene morning in Ubud, I was invited to learn how to make beautiful Balinese canang sari. These floral spiritual offerings adorn Bali’s temples, streets, home entrances, and any place that the Balinese people believe to be sacred. You might even spot some on trees and statues. The setting for my lesson was the rice paddy-encircled homeContinue reading “A Lesson in Making Balinese Canang Sari”