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Local Crafts

 

Chocolate

Chocolate is one of the favorite sweets of the Maltese and Gozitans, especially now that feasts are just around the corner. Yet only few Maltese know that the success of chocolate around the world was aided by Maltese themselves.

Gian Francesco Buonamico born (1639) was amongst the first people in the world to write about choclate. In his documentary " A Trattato della Cioccolata ", written in 1658 whilst he was 19 and studying medicine at that time. He wrote about the characteristics of chocolate and also describing three recipes how chocolate can be made in "hot chocolate". Something which had already started in other countries in Europe. 

His work gathered the attention of many a people. So much so that Gran Master Perellos started organizing "chocolate morning" to the nobile bodies of Malta in his palace. In the capital city of Valletta. These recipes are made at its best by Arthur Azzopardi (as seen in our display) Master chocolatier.

Mr. Azzopardi produces around 18,000 Maltese chocolate, he also made us of recipes of another Maltese man. Michele Mercieca, that in his book "Libro de Secreti" he described recipes of almond noughat.
Mr. Azzopardi's aim is to promote patriotism amongst the Maltese people, as well as tourist that come to visit our beautiful island.      



Filigree

Filigree is a delicate variety of traditional jewellery that is made from thin strands of silver or gold that are twisted into different forms, shapes and designs and made into exquisitely original jewellery pieces.

Filigree as a jewellery-making technique was born in the times of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Etruscans and slowly the tradition spread to different parts of the world.

Maltese filigree owes its remotest origins to the ancient Phoenicians who moved around the Mediterranean, spreading their culture, traditions and skills throughout. In fact filigree is still worked today in various other Mediterranean countries like Italy, and Greece, and even in Portugal. Today one can find impressive filigree in very different parts of the world, but each region has its own patterns, designs and type of workmanship that differs considerably from the rest.

That is what makes Maltese filigree so unique. Traditional, handmade and still retaining unique aspects that make it stridently different from all other types of filigree around the Mediterranean, Maltese filigree is highly appreciated by jewellery connoisseurs.

Filigree as we know it today on Malta probably comes from an evolved Spanish/Italian tradition that local filigree workers manipulated over time to become something unique to the Maltese Islands. In fact Maltese filigree is renowned world-over, not least for its particular designs and also for the Maltese cross which is very often present both in jewellery items and in other artefacts made of filigree.

Island Filigree offers discerning jewellery aficionados a range of traditional Maltese filigree in all its vibrant beauty. This website provides a cross-section of some of the most beautiful filigree jewellery made by local jewellery designers and artisans. Also included are other small highly collectable filigree artefacts.