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Home Articles Crafts

Bulgarian Crafts

In Bulgaria the skills in craftsmanship have been handed down during the centuries from father to son and mother to daughter. There were no books for that. The personal dedication was the only means by which the master revealed the secrets of the craft to the apprentice. And this is where lies part of the mysticism of each craft. The road these people followed in order to develop further their skills was the same road which the monks followed to reach the light of Tavor.

The training of an apprentice started from early childhood and later on the children stood for an exam to become a “kalfa” (journeyman). The journeyman was assigned to work only on different elements in the technology of the production of an article. After mastering all the refinements of the craft the journeyman stood for another exam in front of all the people in the market place in order to become a master. Then he gets the right to open a workshop and hire an apprentice or a journeyman and start a career in craftsmanship. We have a phrase, an idiom which says “he outdid his master”, which is an expression of the admirations of the people when one turns a simple object into a piece of art.



Pottery

Pottery is a traditional Bulgarian craft that comes from the time of the Thracians and Romans in our land. Therefore, in this art various styles and stages are mixed, passed down from a generation to a generation, from a family to a family, which continues nowadays.

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Woodcarving

Art carving is one of the oldest decorative applied arts which is remarkable for its ornamental or subject figures on wood, stone, bone, mother-of-pearl, and more. The most popular one in Bulgaria is ornamental wood-carving.

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Weaving

 

Weaving is one of the oldest crafts in these lands. This tradition, which was widely spread in the Balkans, was closely connected with stock breeding. The lands were full of huge flocks of sheep and the shepherds traveled long distances in search of better sheep-walks leading flocks of over 5 thousand head from the Rhodope mountains down to the Aegean sea.

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Iconography

 

Bulgarian iconography appeared about a century after Christianity had been officially adopted in Bulgaria, which was about the middle of the 9th century. It is logical to presume that any religion has all appropriate in cultural sense attributes: art (that's where the subject of our discussion belongs), literature (this mostly consists of passionals of saints which contain amazing facts and information you won't find in any historical or other documents),

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Embroidery

The embroidery is part of traditional Bulgarian costume decoration. In Bulgaria it adorns predominantly female clothes, partly menswear. Usually it is embroidered straight on the fabric but in more recent times also on thick fabric with sewn over them a thin mesh fabric (canvas) or preliminary drawings. It works mostly with wool, sometimes with silk or cotton thread, rarely is used metal (leaves) wires, but almost always together with textile.

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