Guide to SKOPJE

The art of Srma


Filigree is one of the most beautiful techniques of processing metal into art. For centuries this technique was used to fabricate jewelry and decorative items to which today we admire. But, there are different ways to use filigree, so after silver, srma (silk thread) is the best material for filigree. This specific technique characteristic for our region, requires a lot of patience and love for handmade and unique artworks.

filigran od srma

Rosa Manevska from Skopje is an attorney, she makes paintings made of silk thread. She has been making filigree for more than 10 years, she and a few other women from Macedonia are the only filigree artists that use silk thread. Their artworks are unique, original, rare and recognized.

filigran od srma1

The love for this art started as curiosity, at first she only made paintings for herself, now she sells them too. She says that this rare handicraft is not hard, but it is slow work and requires a lot of dedication and patience, but above everything Love, because without it you cannot do filigree.

I can make everything from silk thread, but faces“, she says. “It isn’t possible because silk thread is shiny, and faces are warm and require warm colors, so a face made of silk thread will only look like a mask.”

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Besides silver and gold thread, lately she uses silk thread in other colors too. She purchases the thread from Skopje, Gostivar and Tetovo, from people she trusts.

„I do this every day, this line of work doesn’t have specific work hours, which means that I as a professional work for about an hour and a half, and than simply the glue does its thing, the thread moves a lot and after a while your fingers simply intertwine with it, and the glue I use is very potent and unpleasant for your eyes that is why rest is necessary. In 7 to 8 hours you can make a butterfly“, says Manevska.

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She hasn’t missed any events she was invited to, In Macedonia, or out, like handicraft bazaars, different workshops, rare handicraft exhibitions and etc. Behind her she has 5 independent exhibitions in Macedonia in which to her surprise interest was pretty big. She has a big wish to represent her work out of our country, and she hopes she will be invited soon.

„Not only foreign people are interested in my art, also our people from all generations. I’ve been to a few workshops and I am surprised that young people are interested in such art and they manage to complete given tasks“, says Manevska.

From her artwork, the most wanted motive is a butterfly inspired by our national brooch made by Vangel Deberan and the same is made in 15 colors.

filigran peperutka

Also often requested are motives from the Macedonian antique, folklore elements such as costumes, embroidery and belt buckles.

There are people that come with special requests and to her pleasure impressions are always impressive.

„When young people come to me they don’t ask how much it costs, they come, they see something they like and they take it, they buy them for every occasion: birthdays, weddings, moving in to a new house etc. With pleasure I can say that my art decorates the homes of the president, the prime minister, our army HQ, a lot od businessman and a lot of Turkish acters“, says Manevska.

„My biggest pleasure is the reaction of the clients faces when they see the finished product, that is priceless, and for the end she says that this is a forgotten handicraft that you can make a living out of.“

Kristina Angeleska