Can you imagine a family business which goes back five centuries! A beautiful business which reaches back in time, capturing age-old designs and passing on incredible skills...This is the incredible jewellery of Seba Dizajn.
It feels like winter in Korcula today, most unseasonable for the end of May. There is a cool wind blowing up our street, (Ulica de Polo), it is also blowing a few customers through the door which is nice. Wet weather is great for shopping!
I’ve talked to some lovely people today including a couple on their honeymoon, a woman from Auckland – yah the kiwi connection, and a young family from Berlin. I’ve noticed that when it’s cold and wet people want to talk and learn and share and it’s great.
One of the most common questions we are asked is,
How long does it take to make?
This isn’t quite so easy to answer, as it depends on the piece and if we have the silver prepared and ready in the gauge required. I thought I would share with you some ‘tools of the trade’ and a brief description some of the work that goes on before we can start our actual filigree work.
We purchase our silver in granular form and this must be melted and it is then poured into a mould which will create thick pencil shaped pieces of silver. From there the silver is worked through a machine similar to the one below;
A drawplate is used to pull the threads into the required size.
Below you can see Doka taking the silver threads from a wooden drawplate into the rolling mill in the first photo this process presses the threads into the required size.
I imagine a lot more informative/detailed posts have been written on creating silver wire, let us know if you would like more information or have any questions.
Here is a link to a youtube clip that shows the different steps in creating silver wire that you might find interesting;
This week for our series "more adventures in Croatia" we are very pleased to introduce a fellow blogger, who's travelled half-way round the world to settle in Croatia, coming all the way from New Zealand.
Let's welcome to our virtual hammock Adolf and Ruth Seba, who live on the Croatian island of Korčula, and have been renovating their family property there for the past two years.
In April 2012 I met Julie Woods in Dunedin when I had a meeting with her husband Ron, Julie made us coffee and toasted sandwiches and the three of us ate lunch together.
What a fun couple I had stumbled across and as fate would have it Julie & Ron were going to be travelling to Korcula later in the year. A great chance for us to re-unite and for Doka and I to show them some island hospitality.
Ron was so generous with his time and I wanted somehow to repay his kindness and decided that a piece of jewellery for Julie would be the way forward.
Here is a picture of the bead that we created for Julie;
In September Julie & Ron arrived in Korcula and found there way to our store, how fun to see them here in Korcula – and a brilliant excuse to close a little early and go out for dinner. Plus I climbed the Cathedral steps for the first time ever – quite the climb, can recommend it for the views but make sure you miss the noon or 6pm bells!
The bead that we created for Julie may look a lot like our other fabulous filigree beads, but this one has a few extra touches;
It was a nervous moment hoping that we had spelled her name correctly…
‘What’s on it?’ asked Julie
I directed her towards the J and held my breath……..
J… U… L… I… E… – success!
Both Ron & Julie were delighted with the gift and we had a hilarious evening here in Korcula with them.
Our first braille bead, what do you think?
As we prepare to open our shop for the 2013 season we are putting in some long hours behind the scenes putting finishing touches on the stock that we have been creating during the winter ‘break’.
Our handmade silver beads/balls/kugles continue to be our best selling item; worn as earrings, a pendant or part of a necklace or bracelet a kugle is a stunning piece of jewellery.
I have been trying to decide on some imges to display in our store and have found some great images via the facebook page of Croatian Traditional Costumes.
The kugle/bead was originally seen as a decorative button on jackets in different regions of Croatia. I have not found out when they were first adapted to be worn as a form of jewellery, however, since this time the bead has been a popular item of jewellery. If anyone reading this knows more we would love to hear from you.
Here are some images of buttons/kugles in their traditional format;
Don’t you love the facial expression here, wonder what he was thinking about/looking at?!
Today I’d like to introduce you to Wendy Wise who owns and runs Facilitutors, a French based company that specialises in finding local courses in France or courses you can take while on vacation including; cooking, jewellery making, yoga, ceramics, art classes and soap making. Wendy and I met via a facebook group and have been following each others business progress with interest. Wendy first blogged with us in April 2012 sharing her interest in and support for Mary’s Meals. Today I have asked Wendy a few questions about launching and running her business in France.
When did your launch your Facilitutors.com website/company?
What were your goals in starting the business?
We used to own and run a small gite complex and when we sold it in 2006 we decided to take our first holiday for years, in Italy. I wanted to learn Italian and tried to find a tutor, there was no help available, the tourist info offices were no help at all. It struck me that other people might want to learn things and be unable to find information, so I decided to fill that gap in the market and so Facilitutors was born in 2007.
I wanted to create a one stop shop for any kind of course in France from painting to patchwork, cookery to creative writing both vacation courses, local classes and distance learning. Most of the courses are for fun but some of my tutors teach subjects that lead to setting up small businesses or new careers such as teaching English as a foreign language, becoming a Kindermusik educator, starting a sewing business.
From the course providers’ and venue owners’ point of view I offer very reasonably priced promotion via my website, my blog, Facebook and other social media, writing for online magazines, giveaways. I also help them in any way I can e.g. finding a venue or a replacement tutor when someone drops out due illness, for example.
How many courses (if any) have you participated in?
I’d like to go on nearly all of them, particularly the craft and cookery courses but so far I haven’t been able to attend any. I’d love to see some of the venues which range from gorgeous chateaus to fabulous farmhouses.
Tell us about some of your more unusual course requests;
I have some pretty unusual courses on the site such as pig keeping and flying. I also search for courses if I don’t have what people are looking for. For instance, I’m looking for a floristry course at the moment for a lady who wants to learn French floral style and hopes to run courses herself in France. I was also able to advise her on qualifications or restrictions on her project. I’ve also found basic accounting (in English, in Provence) and furniture restoration (also in English in South West France). You won’t be surprised to hear that the most common request is to find a French teacher, usually within 30 minutes drive of the client’s home. This may sound easy, but French teachers can be very thin on the ground in some areas, but I usually succeed.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Finding just what someone wants in the right place. Getting students for my lovely tutors and clients for my venue owners.
How do you see your business changing or developing in the future?
I’m planning to write an e-book about running a venue for courses; it might take some time though. Otherwise I’m just hoping to find more interesting and exciting courses and students to attend them.
I love what Wendy does and hope you have enjoyed this short interview with her. I know she would love to hear from you with any course, venue or tutor questions and can assure you that she is very efficient with answering all enquiries! Thanks Wendy x
It’s been so long since I blogged that I had to request a new password… apologies to our subscribers for the lack of posts. There has been a lot of distractions during the last 8 months. Doka and I are now back in Korcula and I am working on the social media side of our business in anticipation of a big 2013 season.
During a recent layover at Singapore airport we purchased a new camera, a Lumix GF5, and we have been experimenting with the lenses and settings. During the duty-free demonstration we were impressed with how the macro lens picked out details in the filigree ring I was wearing at the time.
We look forward to sharing more images with you in future blog posts.