My Favorite Plated Silver

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April is almost here, spring has already made an appearence for good! As days get warmer, we all think a little bit more about romantic dinners or evening cocktails. When it comes to certain occassions like these , I can’t resist plated silver jewellery. Warm to the eye and feminine at the same time, they are the perfect way to boost a black dress or a loose, easy look…

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Definately appreciated by women due to the gold though affordable effect, plated silver jewellery is an easy-chic way to look fabulus. The key is to choose handcrafted jewellery so that the gold leaf is used with sensory and taste for the perfect outcome. 

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At SilverTownArt we have carefully selected some plated silver pieces that our friends have already loved! Our team of designers, as contemporary artists evolve the traditional patterns or create new, abstract desings using plated silver. Most importantly, they all craft the jewellery personally, which is exclusively made by hand. One good reason our friends are committed!

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Take a chance with bold jewellery!

Maria@SilverTownArt

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Princesses of the Mediterranean, in the Dawn of History

March found us once again  in Athens, where the sun is shining all day long and the nights are warm, even during winter time. While working, we always make some time to visit our favorite places, among which are a few museums. This time, we werre lucky enough to catch an exhibition about the Princesses of the ancient Mediterranean World in the Museum of Cycladic Art.               collage

  Classic Jewellery Collection and stunning Replicas using microsculpturing technique at SilverTownArt.

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Silence is gold, was the first thing crossing my mind when I laid eyes on the objects featured. The exhibition presents 24 examples of ‘princesses’ from Greece, Cyprus, Southern Italy, and Etruria from 1,000 to 500 BC, and over 500 artifacts. “These, speak for themselves..” I whispered, not being able to conceive that these jewellery were once worn by real women of the archaic world, and through them we can try to unravel the thread of their lives as women who held important roles in the Mediterranean world as Royal ladies or princesses; priestesses or healers; women of authority or knowledge; local women of the who stood apart from the rest…

prigipisses tis mesogeiou

Leaving Athens and heading to my own world of jewellery in Ioannina, I am once again confident that jewellery is so much more than a nice gift or a shiny object. A timeless, magical art, that has flourished in so many different places of the world, from the Dawn of History.

                                           αρχείο λήψης

 Thanks for reading,

The Team @SilverTownArt

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Sotirio Bulgari : Towards the Sun of Foreign Lands (old local saying of immigrants)

Bulgari

October found us thinking through people stories. We felt like writing something really fascinating, which is why we decided to post about a renowned designer of our area, Sotirio Bulgari. Most of us know the Bulgari House as a leading jewellery Italian brand. Few people are aware of the evocative story behind the fabulous House, the pioneer who made a dream come true.

Sotirio Bulgari was born in 1857  in Kalarrytes, a magnificent village of the mountainous and rough complex of villages Tzoumerka in Epirus. Kallarytes had been the centre of silversmiths for a very long time.

19th century jewellery, part of the local traditional women's costum.

19th century jewellery, part of the local traditional women’s costum.

Processing silver in the area was the main folk art. The creation of jewellery along with religious masterpieces and decorative utensils was one of the most significant trading sources for the locals for centuries.

19th century jewellery from Kalarrytes

But, at the time of 1850, the area of Epirus was still under the Ottoman rule. The wealth and prosperity of the past years were gone. The damages of the Greek Revolution that had started in 1821 succeeded one another, allowing poverty to spread. Many families are forced to immigrate in order to survive, towards the “sun of the foreign lands” as they used to say.

Sotirio Bulgari Collection

Among them, was Sotirio Bulgari, Σωτήριος Βούλγαρης in Greek, a 22 year old young man. Sotirio was the only child of the eleven children of the family that survived. His grandfather Konstantino and father Giorgo were craftsmen of silver, well known for their talent and exquisite pieces.

Sotirio Bulgari. The Old Curiosity Shop looks just like some jewellery, antique stores in Ioannina.

Sotirio had to leave Epirus. Knowing his way as a silversmith, he decided to head to Brindisi port in Italy. He carried a burden on his back; a huge cultural background, the art of his ancestors, as immigrating alone to a foreign country.

The first period in Brindisi was not a happy one. Sotirio manufactured mainly decorative art pieces that did not apply to the audience. He moved to Napoli in search of better luck but things didn’t work out for him there neither. His path led him to the building of the French Academy in Rome as an outdoors salesman. His work is starting to receive attention.

A local Greek merchant sees through his distinguishing talent and offers him an angle in one of his windows to feature Sotirio’s jewellery, in Via Sistina. The news soon spread among the jewellery lovers of Rome and within only five years Sotirio had the means to open his own store in 1884 of “Artistic Silverware, Antiquitè, Curiositè, Bijoux” which he then moved to Via dei Condotti 10 in 1905 as he wanted to draw the attention of British and American visitors touring. He did it with great success and names his store after a Dickens novel, the “Old Curiosity Shop”.  There, still stands the glamorous, sophisticated Bulgari Boutique.

Bulgari Boutique, Via dei Condotti

The rest is history…hard work, patience and talent paid off. His jewels that combined modern elegance with the classic splendor of traditional elements were thought to be of significant excellence among the secular circles. Sotirio was a pioneer of taste, he saw through all the changing trends and succeeded in having amazing celebrities adoring his jewellery. Among them were Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor. In 1932 where Sotiorio’s sons, Konstantino and Giorgo (named after their ancestors are it’s used in Greece) took over the company, there was a new starting point for the Bulgari House.

Celebrities wearing Bulgari

 

Today the family keeps close to its epirotic roots, visiting and offering to the community. As I closure, I’d like to say that we’re inspired by the virtuous Sotirio Bulgari, a man who made it on his own and did not give up when things were rough. An artist who followed the sun of foreign lands…

 

Thanks for reading!

The Team@ SilverTownArt Greek Jewelry

 

 

 

 

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A Fall’s Story

Getting inspired campaign “Be uncommon“! This post is part of the IFB project that is sponsored by Uncommon and will lead to a production of an iPhone costum case that is inspired by fall’s trends. A few words about the selection of images:

Last day at the beach, nature’s renaissance, a walk for coffee and talk, a night out in the city.

Inspired by the world, looking at the mirror, wearing unique, being free

Autumn is the recreating time of the year. It’s all about getting ready for winter, recalling last year and processing once again our reality. What we wear every day reflects who we are. Clothing is a language. In this sense, my favorite fall trend is loose and sophisticated. Not too loud, not too severe. Autumn’s trends and clothing are not supposed to be about looking fabulous but looking at our best. A pair of leather boots or a piece of jewellery can do it.

The images I chose tell a story. A real -life fashion story.Look for inspiration, spoil yourself, educate, get a little crazy, try to discover what you like the best, get yourself out there, know that you’re the kind of person who’s going places. Fall’s clothes say: Take care of yourself , learn and live.

My selection of images is mostly black and white because I feel Autumn is kind of a nostalgic era. The women shown have different ages and come from different times (even the statue, Karyatid, to me she’s real) but their kind of beauty, attitude and activity is timeless. Real women, unique each one, unocommon in her way.

Hope you all enjoy taking a look!

Maria@SilverTownArt.com

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New categories just added

Two brand new categories with fantastic jewellery have now been added to SilverTownArt: the first is called “Classic Jewellery” and the second is “Unique One-Offs“.

As the name suggests, the classic jewellery collection consists of timeless, elegant pieces – which are, in fact, inspired by more traditional Greek themes, both ancient (inspired by classical art or mythology) and more recent ones (like Byzantine-infused designs).

The unique one-offs collection consists of those pieces which are literally unique. It’s important to note that all our silver jewellery, designed and hand-made by one of our exceptional jewellers, is unique and produces in very small quantities anyhow. In other words, anything shown on our store is produced in quantities of, say, a dozen cases when ordered. But in some exceptional cases, the production of an item happens only once and then never again. In those cases we call the item a unique, one-off and the lucky buyer is guaranteed to be the only person in the world to be wearing it!

Have a look and let us know what you think, on our website, on our facebook page, or here in our blog of course.

The Team @ SilverTownArt

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Connect with us

Hi there,

Just to let you know we’ve now got several ways that you can use to keep in touch with the team at SilverTownArt.

There’s our Facebook page, of course, and our Twitter and Google + feeds keep coming – but why don’t you pay us a visit and connect with us also through:

  • Pinterest – Pretty cool way of “pinning” content
  • Youtube – Our store’s official page on Youtube
  • Tumblr – This is our “visual” blog, with lots of pics

Hope to see you there then!

The Team @ SilverTownArt

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The art of silver in the town of silversmiths

Few people realize that Bulgari, the renowned jewellery house, was in fact borne out of the long tradition of silversmiths in Ioannina town and the surrounding area of north-western Greece. The well-documented beginnings of the company’s founder, Sotirios Bulgaris, take us from Epirus, the prefecture of Ioannina, to Corfu and then on to Naples, before settling in Rome with his own workshop in 1884. Some material regarding this remarkable story of emigration can be found in local places to visit.

Ioannina is defined by its lake, the spectacular Ottoman castle of Ali Pasha, and its long tradition in the art of Silver. Anyone visiting this small romantic town, which is surrounded by a spectacular mountain range and unspoiled countryside, can immediately see that the tradition of silversmiths is still very much alive – growing, adapting, and adjusting to global cultural and financial developments – as it has been doing for more than 8 centuries.

Certainly by the 14th century, Ioannina had become a bustling city full of guilds, a crucial institution across Europe at the time, which helped develop a healthy social, cultural and financial infrastructure. One of the most significant guilds in Ioannina was the Silversmiths Guild. Historical records tell us that by the 1820s, there was a dynamic presence of 34 workshops in the city. Towards the end of the 19th century, some families of silversmiths left Ioannina and the surrounding region in order to try their luck in other countries, such as Italy. One of them of course was the Bulgari family, about which we’ll write more in a future post.

One of the towns that carries such a agreat history and culture related to Greek Jewelry!

Thanks for reading!

TheTeam@SilverTownArt Greek Jewelry

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Store Opening!

Hi there, and a huge welcome from our team at Silver Town Art!

We are absolutely brimming with pride in that our store is now up and running, full of exceptional, fashionable, inspired, and ludicrously delicious jewellery, all made by hand with top quality silver by our designers. With a team like this, no wonder everything came together so fantastically well. Go on, have a look at our ringsnecklaces, or bangles, to name a few of the possible choices.

In this blog we will updating you with news related to our store, designers, and of course our unique product range. Uniqueness is actually a key part of what we want to achieve, so in actual fact our posts will be more wide-ranging than that, including information on the history and cultural significance of silversmiths across Europe, and of course in Ioannina town; cutting-edge issues in jewellery design and related exhibitions; and many more.

So stay tuned and feel free to contribute to our discussions. Thank you for your interest!

The Team @ SilverTownArt.com

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