Silver filigree jewellery: treasure of Indonesia

Filigree jewels are incredibly beautiful and delicate. I had the opportunity to study them during my history of Art courses in jewellery making but it’s difficult to see jewels made in filigree work in our training workshops, because this ancient technique got lost with time and they don’t even teach it anymore in schools. It was then, amazing for me to discover in Indonesia this technique which has been practiced for centuries. Indeed, I’m always curious to discover traditional jewels in each country I’m visiting and I fell in love with the traditional silver Indonesian jewels. The Indonesian jewellers continue to build on this ancestral technique which is the filigree work but they learn how to adjust to our time, which gives a clever blend of jewels that are at the same time modern, trendy and marked by a rich past. 

silver filigree jewels

What is a filigree jewel?

Filigree is a technique used in jewellery, which consists of creating a jewel from a silver or gold thread. The thread is twisted, then crushed on two sides in order to create an embossment on the edge that will be visible once the jewel is finished. 

Filigree jewels: visit to the manufacturing workshops

During my research in Indonesia, I visited manufacturing workshops in order to share with you the manufacturing process and secret of Indonesian filigree jewels. Welcome to the fine art backstage.

The first step is forming the silver thread for shaping the outer curves of the pattern in which the decorations will be arranged.

handmade silver jewels

The silver thread is then worked with pliers to give different forms and then placed in the frame created previously.  

handcrafted jewels

craftman making silver jewels

The assembly is subsequently welded then shaped.

craftman soldering a jewel

After cleaning with an alum stone in a hot bath, the jewels are rubbed with tamarind seeds and polished in order to highlight this beautiful white colour. 

tamarind seed    

finished handmade silver jewels

Watch the video of indonesian jewelry manufacturing secret