2017 saw publication of The Silver Thread; a journey through Balkan craftsmanship

From the mines in the cantos of Dante, to the prizes stolen in the wars of the 'nineties, a silver thread winds through Balkan history. This book unravels its most intricate tanglings from the viziers' luxuries in Istanbul and the incongruous filigree fashion show in the Albanian highlands to the serious Yugoslav-era silver schools. En route I visit those who live from lifting the silver from the earth, craftsmen who produce lacy creations from dull sticks of raw material, impoverished collectors who've sold their homes in order to preserve exquisite pieces of jewellery when their governments won't bother, and a brave new generation of women working fragile miracles with hard metals to secure their independence.

The book is available for £7.50 (inc. post and packaging) payable by PayPal, bank transfer or cheque. Orders can be placed by contacting newbookthesilverthread@gmail.com

I aim to support this beautiful craft both through lectures in the UK (see details of the talks I give) and through the social enterprise I run in Kosovo. The Sapune initiative supports excluded and rural women through handcrafts incorporating silver filigree into cards, purses, candles and bookmarks. There is more on our Facebook page or you can contact sapune.ks@theideaspartnership.org

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