Nice to see the interest which has recently survaced regarding
filigree. I have been teaching filigree for almost 30 years and find
it one the most delightful of specialty techniques. I think filigree
has been around so long (since 3000BC) because it relates so
intimately to the unusual working properties of precious
metals—those which make it such a magical material. My approach to
teaching both basic and specialty techniques (mokume, granulation,
niello, enamel, reticulation, etc) is very science-oriented—except
for filigree! It’s the one technique that I don’t analyze or
explain—you just have to SEE it and DO it. All filigree how-to
explanations I’ve seen in books and on web are much more complicated
and less efficient than the simple techniques of ethnic jewelers.
Filigree was traditionally done by children as well as adults, and
one of its great charms is that even very poorly executed works can
still be very attractive. It’s amazing how very easy it is to do
things that look so complicated! And the use of powdered solder with
powdered borax is one of many filigree skills which could be
invaluable to professional goldsmiths for non-filigree uses. It is
the one technique where I can actually teach experienced jewelers
together with total beginners because the material is new to the
experienced while nevertheless easy for the inexperienced!

You can see samples of my filigree work in Oppi’s Jewelry Concepts
and Technology on page 173. I have taught in Israel’s national
academy of art and design (Bezalel), privately to individuals, and
in workshops for small groups. Have recently been thinking of
setting up a teaching tour, so if any schools or groups are
interested, I would be happy to hear from you…

Janet in Jerusalem

Janet, Shalom, I had to go to get my copy and look at page 173. Hmmm,
did not put it down until page 215.

My love of jewelry began at about age 8. In later years, I traveled
the world, and was taken by the hand work of the peoples. I have
filigree from Israel, Portugal, and other lands. I have always loved

I have been talking with Jeanne Rhodes Moen for some time now and am
impressed by her work. Recently here on Orchid she mentioned writing
a book on filigree. I totally support the idea and believe
collaboration would be wonderful. There is a dearth of books
dedicated to filigree. Perhaps between you and Jeanne there can be
one in the future?

Lisa Gallagher is the only other one I have had filigree discussions
with over a few years now. I love it in all its forms.

Thank you, and yes I would love to take a class, Terrie

Where can I find the powdered solder? I’ve only been using solder
chips. I agree with you totally, filigree is very intuitive…you end
up just feeling the design out…Often, I just sit down with a stone
and a frame of some shape and just build it up til I feel it’s

Jeanne Rhodes Moen
Kristiansand, Norway

In my country for many years filigree has been produced by artisans
and the knowledge is transfered from artisan to apprentice.After the
mass production of jewellery artisans can not maintain their job and
at the end they leave to produce filigree.Actually the market for
filigree in Turkey is decreased.Now a days it is produced for export
purpose.We have schools too.

In the following links you can see the examples of filigree produced
in Turkey

Best regards
Esin Eren