Filigree Portuguese hearts in gold and silver

Photo Essay: Filigree is delicate work

This week’s photo challenge is ‘delicate’, which could be interpreted in so many ways. It reminded me of the incredibly delicate work that’s involved in creating the intricate filigree jewellery that comes from the north of Portugal.

I watched a short demonstration in O Cantaro, a souvenir shop in Porto and was fascinated by the elaborate handiwork involved.

First, balls of metal are pounded and  stretched into thin threads.

equipment for making filigree jewellery
The circle of wire, balls of metal and the circular dishes are all part of the equipment needed to make the filigree jewellery that Portugal is famous for.

The strips are then carefully shaped into delicate patterns.

Making filigree jewellery
A demonstration of the detailed work involved in making filigree jewellery

The end result is beautiful filigree pieces, often in the shape of a heart.

Filigree Portuguese hearts in gold and silver
Delicate filigree Portuguese hearts in gold and silver at O Canto in Porto

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24 Comments

  1. They’re beautiful, Julie. I guess Portuguese lacework would qualify too.

    I just spotted the szopka in your “other people’s posts”. Great idea. How do you do that? Something in the settings? Thank you!

    1. Author

      Hi Jo, it’s a widget called ‘Posts I like’. You can choose how many posts you want to display and I chose ‘grid’ so that they would appear as images.

  2. Lovely for the challenge! These Portuguese filigree earrings are beautiful, I have a pair myself.

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