The Age of Imitation
If asked to shortly characterize the period we live now, we would answer without a shadow of a doubt – the age of imitation.
Looking at glass and man-made crystal beads, sparkling with all rainbow colours, we sometimes forget that it is only a cheap, too good to be true, imitation of precious stones – diamonds, emeralds, topazes, opals... Natural precious stones are imitated by glass, glass is imitated by plastic and innumerable other synthetic materials. Printed fabrics seek to replicate embroidery or weaving, while polyester pretends to be silk or wool... Machine made lace has long substituted subtle handmade lace, and, becoming increasingly cheap, it is now associated with kitsch style... Worse still, it became the norm to imitate imitations themselves, frequently forgetting the primary source, and, most importantly, its meaning and purpose.
While observing such trends, you start asking yourself: what lies behind it, where it leads to? Looking at the way of life and values of the centuries gone by, one feels shocked by the dramatic changes that took place in the 20th century. Something called civilization and progress, suddenly took tremendous proportions, sweeping away the world based on centuries old traditions. Of course, the true reasons for that lie deep within. Without going into much detail, it is worth mentioning that, while the power of authority changed hands, the old order of the world collapsed, and one form of slavery was replaced by another – so perfect that the ones oppressed see themselves as living freely and happily. So, we even face the imitation of freedom!
Woman in the 21st century
As the old world started to disappear, the bonds between young and old people became weaker and weaker. Old ways of living, traditions, wisdom and values seized to be passed from generation to generation, and the knowledge of what to do and why was abandoned. It is hardly a coincidence that, from the start of the 20th century, the woman, being the foundation-stone of society, safeguarding values and virtues, underwent considerable changes in the Western world. For the first time in mankind’s history she began to wear a shorter and shorter skirt and to voluntarily cut her hair... Insignificant facts they may seem, if one does not take into consideration that long dress and long hair are directly connected to the woman’s energetic protection, its strengthening and her vital powers.
As the winds of emancipation grew stronger, the woman appeared to be increasingly independent, ready for fierce competition. Paradoxically, while trying to liberate from historical oppression, she found herself in another, much more dangerous, trap – hidden feeling of inferiority and even greater dependence. Therefore, the image of 21st century woman, developed and consistently supported by mass media, has lost a significant part of real femininity: tenderness, sympathy, inner harmony, and, most importantly, the knowledge passed from generation to generation. It is much easier to manipulate such a woman!
Fortunately, many women now understand that this is only the way to create wrong beliefs which enslave and are meant to serve imitation-based consumer society – society which sees the woman’s body as a pretty toy and the woman herself as an object of value manipulation.
While charming beauties keep smiling on magazine covers and in TV, we – the real women – often feel exhausted, tired of constant rush, never-ending requirements of society and employers, having less time than desired for our families and hobbies. We would like to discover our true potential, our true self, but how to find time and energy for that?
Primary function of jewelry
Primary function of jewelry was to protect, balance, give energy or to calm down. It is no coincidence that protective amulets were the first jewelry known. Neck, ears and wrists – places most frequently adorned – are important energetic centers. But, in course of time, with deteriorating bonds of knowledge and traditions, jewelry started to lose its content and, in most cases, only a decorative function survived.
It is widely forgotten that, since ancient times women (and men) used to wear similar bracelets on both hands, meant to keep balance and to protect important energetic centers of wrists. We can see them on ancient Egypt frescos, other monuments of ancient civilizations, crowning regalia of rulers. By the way, even today the queens of old dynasties wear them – just take a closer look at some photos. Now it is only a royal privilege, but in the centuries gone by, ordinary women would also enjoy the benefit of wearing pair bracelets. They could also have simple silk ribbons instead. By the way, collar and cuffs performed the same function. In the second half of the 19th century it became fashionable and widely popular to wear one bracelet or different bracelets on both hands.
Another important source of protection and positive energy provided by hand-made jewelry is the very fact of it being made by hands. How much positive energy can be given to the jewelry piece made by a master, who has spent hours on it, meanwhile, what kind of energy can be given by soulless machines? After Industrial Revolution, when hand-made work was widely replaced by machines, mass-produced articles lost their identity and uniqueness, their bonds with the master, were deprived of positive energetic effect, which is often conceived as the warmth radiating from hand-made things.
The influence of jewelry worn
Hand-made work replaced by machines was not the only negative consequence of Industrial Revolution. To make things worse, innumerable amount of artificial and synthetic materials started to be used, which ideally do not do any harm, but, in most cases, only disturb the balance and impoverish the person. Since ancient times our ancestors understood the importance of materials that are in contact with your body, especially the places where important energetic centers are located. The effect of a jewelry piece – soothing, energizing or... harmful – directly depends on the materials it is made of.
Today the harm of food additives and synthetic cleaners is widely discussed. But we sometimes forget that we are also affected by jewelry that we wear all day long. The scientists of Michigan University Ecology center, after examining hundreds of pieces of cheap bijouterie, found that most of them are a true depository of poisonous chemical elements. Phthalate, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury... Such jewelry “additives” can be the cause of cancer, affect the central nervous system and various organs. Compared to them, allergenic nickel and chromium look as innocent babies. In some jewelry pieces examined, the amount of synthetic dangerous elements was named as “threatening life”.
However, health risks do not lie in cheap bijouterie only, but also in sparkling jewelry touched by state-of-the-art technology. Highly sophisticated technology now enables the stones of poor quality to make perfect, having distinct color and incredible clarity. Such stones are “enhanced” by irradiation, performed in nuclear reactor. After such an operation they become radioactive (by the way, certain gemstones are also naturally radioactive). So, jewelry containing such gemstones is something like small pretty chernobyls. And all that for the sake of someone’s higher profits...
The concept of our jewelry
Our chosen way is to create jewelry, revealing and nourishing the real femininity – tender, subtle and sincere. Our inspiration source lies in the works of ancient jewelers, antique paintings and jewelry history. We look back to ancient traditions of wearing jewelry and seek to adorn the present life. We offer exclusive hand-knitted jewelry, decorated with real (cultivated freshwater) pearls, corals and natural stones. We do our best to achieve that our jewelry would not only adorn, but also not harm the wearer, providing her with the sense of harmony and high self-esteem. Therefore, only natural materials are used. You will find more on the concept of our jewelry below.
Principles of aesthetics
Jewelry has to adorn the wearer, but not to overwhelm her. On the contrary, it should highlight her beauty; inspire confidence in her feminine charm. That is why we choose rounded, flowing patterns, suitable for woman’s nature, where traditional ornaments, passed from generation to generation, can be recognized. We deliberately avoid very abstract, sharp shapes, angled lines, too splashy or unnatural colours.
One of the most important principles of our aesthetics is symmetry, ensuring the sense of calmness and balance. Jewelry history relates that only at the end of the 19th century and the 20th century in particular the principles of symmetry started to be abused, the trend which only progresses in the 21st century. Today, a pair of earrings different in design is offered as novel and fashionable, without considering its influence on the wearer, not to mention necklaces, brooches, pendants, where asymmetry has become the norm...
Sets are central to the jewelry range we create. They are inspired by an almost abandoned tradition of the 17th century, when women, especially those from royal and aristocrat families, wore luxurious sets, consisting of at least three pieces making a uniform ensemble. French called it a parure, the word now established in the English language. A parure could be made of: a necklace, a pair of earrings or two different pairs, pair bracelets, a comb, tiara, hair pins, ring, brooch, buckle and... more! Our sets consist of a necklace or choker, a pair of earrings and pair bracelets. For some sets, we offer two pairs of earrings – some may prefer smaller earrings while others might be fond of bigger ones. So earrings can be adjusted the personal preference and occasion.
All our jewelry is made with the help of a tatting shuttle. Tatting is a centuries-old lace making method. It originated from tying knots, dating back to ancient civilizations. Most likely, tatting came to Europe from the East, though some researchers think that tatting started in Italian monasteries in the 16th century. Later, tatting became popular in Great Britain, France and other European countries. Queens and other noble women loved to tat.
Tatted jewelry, differently from those made from most other materials, including metal, is really light – even if abundantly decorated with pearls or small stones. You will hardly feel it when wearing. This is a good choice for women who love big, elaborate earrings with a special look, but do not wish to “torture” their ears. It is commonly known that big earrings are often heavy; they can be painful to wear or even hurt ear lobes and distort ear shape. Recently, more and more women address costly cosmetic surgery in order to eliminate the consequences of wearing big and heavy earrings. Our earrings allow to adorn a woman, but also to preserve her health.
Our jewelry is made from high quality cotton and silk threads, no synthetic threads are used. For fittings, we use exclusively 925 Sterling Silver. The works are decorated with high quality cultivated freshwater pearls and seed pearls, corals and natural stones. We do not use any synthetic, plastic, glass or artificial crystal stones or beads.
It is not an easy way. Today the supply of natural stones is quite problematic, besides, the range of size, shape and colour is much more limited than that of various artificial materials. As a matter of fact, by using glass beads or crystals, a very luxurious-looking jewelry piece can be made. But again, it will be just imitation, with beads replacing real gems or other stones, artificial pearls replacing real ones, and so on. Furthermore, when using too many beads, the lace loses its independence and has the only function of joining beads; meanwhile we seek to highlight the beauty of the lace itself.
We try our best to achieve that pearls and stones, used in our jewelry, would be natural or treated (dyed, heated etc.) as little as possible. The true is that is it difficult to find untreated (and still attractive) stones today; pearls are also sometimes dyed. All information available about pearls and stones is presented in the product page. In agreement to the requirements of Lithuanian Law, our jewelry is hallmarked in Lithuanian Assay Office, with labels containing information about the metal used.
In order to keep their shape, some jewelry pieces are stiffened, again, using only natural materials.
19th century – so distant and so close...
You might have noticed that we introduce our jewelry with an air of the 19th century. Why, you would ask? The 19th century, which began after the French revolution, during the turbulent time of Napoleonic wars and ended at the dawn of another revolution, played a significant role in the history of humanity. It is in this century when the most important transformations, leading to the world of today, took place. However, in spite of science progress, due to which Industrial Revolution began, the old way of life, values and aesthetics still pervade the century – sometimes referred to as Golden Age in literature. It is already distant, but still comprehensible to us. As it was mentioned before, today the creators of consumer society lay themselves out in order to make the true virtues – silent beauty, inner purity, tenderness and sincerity – appear as anti-virtues. Our concept, which we envisioned in the fertile ground of 19th century atmosphere, seeks to promote a different attitude towards a woman.
The 19th century is also important and dear to us because manor culture still thrived in Lithuania. Knowing it helps to get an authentic glimpse of this affluent and beautiful period of our nation which we sometimes forget. It reveals another aspect of our nation – the life of noble aristocrats, and reminds us that we are not only the nation of peasants (though folk culture is also an integrated part of our identity, preserving profound knowledge and wisdom).
A great wish to share what we found and fell in love with inspired us to relate the names of our sets to the history and culture of the 19th century. We wrote special articles dedicated to most of our sets, each of them revealing a fraction of the 19th century’s history. In order to get to the article, you have to press the highlighted key words in the set’s description or choose Articles from the Menu bar. Meanwhile, I translated only one article into the English language, but many more are on the way!
What does Filigrania mean?
We named our creations by a new word we came up with – Filigrania. The noun filigree means, as found on Merriam-Webster dictionary, “ornamental work especially of fine wire of gold, silver, or copper applied chiefly to gold and silver surfaces; ornamental openwork of delicate or intricate design”. This word comes from Latin word filum (thread) and granum (grain). In jewelry history, this special method to create jewelry by putting fine silver or gold threads and grains (or stones) onto metal base and making an openwork structure, was known at least 3000 years ago in Mesopotamia, India, Middle Easta and later came to Europe. It frequently attempted to make metal appear as tender lace. With the name Filigrania we wanted to highlight the connection between lace and jewelry, based on centuries-long tradition. Jewelers have always drawn inspiration from lace and tried to recreate it in their jewelry. On the other hand, the very first kinds of lace had much more in common with jewelry than today – they were made from metal thread (most often gold, silver or silver plated with gold).
Although dictionaries do not provide such an explanation, to us, Filigrania is also related to the Greek word philia (love). In this way, in the name Filigrania we have encrypted not only the method of creating jewelry with golden thread and finest grains, but also love – love for the small grain, love for everything that is small and tiny, love for everything alive. We tried to reflect this manifold meaning in our logo, picturing a stylized tatted lace, with great care covering a pearl, symbolizing the power of the genuine and natural.