image for Lecture item typeThe Silver Thread Lecture at The Fleet

Lecture, Thu 12 Oct 2017, free entry


Fleet Way,
Old Fletton,

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The Silver Thread: silver filigree and traditional arts in Kosovo

This lecture, by Elizabeth Gowing, looks at an ancient craft that spread across the former Ottoman Empire. From the early Kosovan silver mines, which are mentioned in Dante, through the 20th century politics over Kosovo’s mines, which resulted both in a war and a golf course, a silver thread winds through Kosovo’s history.
Its most intricate tanglings are in the country’s cultural capital, Prizren, where a seventh generation of filigree artisans, both men and women, use ‘filum’ and ‘granum’, zigzags, ‘mouse-tooth’ designs, and other twists and turns, to make lacy creations from dull sticks of raw material. They turn into dragons as they puff fire, sprinkle silver dust, make thick silver rods into fine wire and, then, into lacy jewellery, boxes, buttons and religious artefacts/ornamentation and the talismans of superstition. This is a fine narrative of Kosovo’s history and traditions.
Elizabeth is an experienced university lecturer and public speaker, with regular speaking engagements at branches of the WI, the U3A, English Speaking Union, Rotary Clubs, and schools.
The last few years have also brought speaking engagements at the Albanian Presidency, at the invitation of the First Lady, in London at the Royal Anthropological Institute (2014) and the Royal Geographical Society (2009).
She has appeared on the BBC World Service, Radio 4, Australian ABC Radio, and BBC Radio Oxford.

10.45am – Noon (coffee from 10.15am)

Event details

Dates Times
Thu 12 Oct 2017 10:45 to 12:00


Free entry

Donations Welcome.


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