We just begun a new, very exciting class: silver weaving.
This kind of work is known as Trabzon (Trebizond) work and is done generally in 22kr gold. We begin with copper wire and than when the time is ripe, will continue with silver wire.
The teacher tells us that the technique has its origin in the Caucasus, where till World War I, was used to make body armor. You can use a bracelet to pull a car, so strong is it.
Here is a very nice YouTube film where the real thing (in gold) is shown. It is in Turkish, but it is lovely and easy to follow. About six thousand women in Trabzon work in their homes making this kind of weaving or braiding.
The tools couldn't be simpler. A special pair of hand made tweezers, a pin or needle, and a tooth pick.
It is not easy to do, but we feel privileged to have access to such an special art form.
Besides the Trabzon work, we will learn many other types of silver braiding, used to make bezels, chains, and many other things.
All the braiding that you see in this jewelry is hand made.
For this work you use only a small vice and your hands.
The teacher is a lovely and competent woman and it is great fun.
Here you see the beginning of two different types of braids, with six and seven wires.