Ο τοπικός πολιτισμός της περιοχής των Τζουμέρκων
Υπόμνημα:

Silvercraft

The growth of silver craftmanship in the region of Tzoumerka particularly identifies with the mountainous settlement of Kalarrytes. From the late 18th to the early 19th century silver craft making significantly develops the region. While the people of Kalarrytes were building ties with Epirus’ city of crafts they were simultaneously influencing the development of artisan crafts in their very own mountainous settlement. G. Tourtouris copies a relevant note written by K. Balanou and includes it in some texts that make reference to the way in which the art of silversmithing was introduced in Kalarrytes. According to a story told by Christoforos Delis, the decline of the 17th century Timar System lead the inhabitants of the city of Ioannina to turn to the arts. The kin of the city-bound Syrvanou and Sougdori families learned the art of goldsmithing early on and their workshops included apprentices from Kalarrytes. These apprentices would in turn transfer their artistic know-how to their own countrymen. The Silversmiths and workshops originally from the mountainous community of Kalarrytes would rapidly become renowned. Some examples of famous silversmiths are Athanasios Tzimouris who was also a goldsmith of Ali Pasha and an art teacher in Ioannina, Georgios Diamantis Bafas, the Papamoschou family, Pontikis and Demetrios Papageorgiou. Craftsmen from Kalarrytes in addition to prospering from their artistic talents also made the art of silversmithing popular in their region as well as many parts of Greece and abroad (e.g. Zakynthos, Corfu, Italy, Austria). Here, even though commercial relationships were well established artists and tradesmen were forced to emigrate after the settlement’s destruction in 1821. However, according to oral traditions from older craftsmen silver craft workshops existed in ​​the community up to the mid-1950s.

Similar to all artistic endeavors the art of silver making required the alliance of raw material, resources and appropriate expertise. The standard tools and equipment of gold and silver craftsmen were the forge, the anvil, the hammer, the vise and other manual tools. Each and every one had its own specific function and use.

Regarding the art of metal shaping brothers Demetrios and Nikolaos Papageorgiou stood out from the crowd. Both the sons of Apostolos Papageorgiou, they’d produce large pieces of silverware, trays and home ware. In 1821, the Papageorgiou brothers flee to Corfu together with the Papamoschou family. Demetrios’ technical skills were so refined that he assigned a price to every pounding of his hammer. Every swing was worth one gold coin causing embarrassment and adverse reactions from the elders of Ioannina who entrusted him with an order of a silver tray intended for Ali Pasha. The legendary Ali Pasha wanted Papageorgiou to complete the order with just three bangs of his hammer. However the monetary reward wasn’t as important as was the recognition from his countrymen.

An interesting case is that of the Voulgaris family, known today as the Bulgari brand. The Voulgaris family was forced to leave the settlement after its destruction in 1821. They first settled in Paramithia where they remained for several years but in 1874 Sotirios Voulgaris heads to Rome where he established, together with P. Kremos from Ioannina, the foundations of today’s Bulgari enterprise. Their apprentice was Constantinos Nessis who in turn establishes, along with his brothers, his own business which remains in operation until today.