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”
In Ohrid, North Macedonia, the Marinov family has been fashioning utilitarian and decorative objects out of copper and brass for one hundred years. Shawn and I happened upon the third and fourth-generation artists’ small studio one afternoon, while exploring Ohrid’s UNESCO-registered Old Town, which is replete with hundreds of Eastern Orthodox churches. The Marinov shopContinue reading “A Mask-Maker in Ohrid, North Macedonia”
In a two-room workshop that is dwarfed by the massive Meteora rock formations that surround it, 38 year-old Greek iconographer Dimitrios Moulas demonstrates admirable focus towards his subject — an icon that will soon represent Jesus Christ. With a delicate paintbrush in hand, he carefully draws fine facial hairs. After a few moments have passed,Continue reading “Exploring the Mysticism of Greece’s Byzantine Icons: Profiling Iconographer Dimitrios Moulas”
During Oberammergau’s peak tourist seasons, visitors can easily while away an hour watching artisans demonstrate their trades on the ground floor of the beautifully frescoed Pilatushaus building. 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 directlyContinue reading “Apprentice for an Afternoon: Lessons with Germany’s Old World Artisans”