The Snowflake-Like Lace of Kalofer, Bulgaria

Kalofer Lace Bulgaria

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 Калоферска Дантела (Kaloferska Dantela).

Today, artisans of all ages painstakingly craft the delicate masterpieces, transforming thread into pieces that depict swans, flowers, peacocks, and even amoeba-shaped flourishes destined for women’s dresses.

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Apprentice for an Afternoon: Lessons with Germany’s Old World Artisans

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 from the craftsmen and women at the Pilatushaus.

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Photo du Jour: Paper Cranes in Luang Prabang, Laos

A garland of pure white paper cranes hangs from a monks’ residential building within Luang Prabang’s picturesque Wat Xieng Thong temple complex.

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