Culture & Traditions

New Macedonian Filigree

Today every souvenir shop in Macedonia will offer you an intricately woven metalwork flower or butterfly imitating traditional silver filigree, and it is hard to believe that a decade ago Macedonian filigree was on the verge of extinction.

Filigree is a jewellery technique of using fine metal wire to create intricate designs which either remain open or are applied to a metal surface. The term “filigree” is derived from two Latin words: “filum”(thread) and “granum”(grain). Today filigree is practiced in various parts of the world including the Balkans. Filigree has been known in the region since ancient times. Jewellery excavated from antique graves is often decorated with filigree in combination with other techniques, such as casting, granulation, beating and enamel. Beautiful earrings excavated near Kochani and Bitola date back to Hellenic period, but it is not known whether they were made locally. Artefacts from this period point to the cultural and trade links of the Balkans with the Middle East and Asia Minor. Large filigree is typical of the Roman period across the region. Read more…