Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Filigree Jewelry Mastery by Bongera Filigrana

By on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9 Comments

The lace like twisted wire work called filigree jewelry goes back thousands of years. The jewelry technique was first attempted by the Ancient Egyptians when they used metal braids in their designs. By the time of the Phoenicians (eg in Cyprus and Sardinia), Greeks and Etruscans from the 6th to the 3rd century BC, filigree work became a delicate art form. From there the craft spread to as far away as India. By the Middle Ages, filigree jewelry work could be found all over Europe.

So it's no surprise to learn that today's feature designer, Etsian Bongera Filigrana is from Genoa, Italy.  As she said herself, filigree work fits perfectly with the ornate Baroque style encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church. Her work is truly exquisite. She scrolls and forms many pieces of twisted and plain wire which are joined not by wire wrapping techniques but by soldering. That's the only way to get such delicate work.

The pictures shown here are just amazing. Here are two of her crosses. The detailed view of the second one just sucks my breath away!

She does gorgeous butterfly brooches too. It was so difficult to choose just this one.

Flowers are another inspirational theme for brooches and outstanding hairpins.

When I say delicate, I also meant small. Here is one of her earring designs. The ruler measurements are in centimeters! If you still work in Imperial measurements, 1 inch = 2.5 centimeters.

Even smaller are her rings. This one is cool - a modern day poison ring (see my past post Poison Rings Busted! ). The top of the ring hinges open to reveal a small chamber.

She has some pictures of her workshop on her Flickr site if you are interested. I am including two video links (Part 1 and Part 2) by Mona77401 which shows us how the silver soldering is done for filigree work.

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. Great post, Pearl. I have the book and the desire for doing filigree but not sure about the patience yet! The tutorials are a big help.

  2. I KNOW I haven't the patience. She is a true master of the art!

  3. Naturally this was a hop from one of your fantastic posts to another one as I've always loved filigree work.
    Unlike the ready made stamped filigrees that one can purchase at bead shops and craft stores , this is truly ART !
    It is incredible what the filigree artist can do with fine silver (or gold) wire, solder and imagination. Reminds me of elaborate and intricate, hand tatted lacework.

  4. Yes, her metal lace is exquisite.

    You must have fun hopping back to my older posts. One reader actually started reading right from the beginning of my blog! Amazing! Pearl

  5. These are amazing!I've just spent the last 2 hours hopping from one post to another. I LOVE your blog!

  6. Glad you've enjoyed the post hopping, Janice! There are certainly a lot of back posts as I am such a blogging addict!

  7. Her work is stunning!! I love the earrings....so delicate and gorgeous. I have a lot of patience, but I'm not sure if I have this much either!!