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Ioannina - Carving the silver

He keeps the art of silverware alive since he was a child.

"I'm not a gold-silversmith, just a silversmith. Since my youth I didn't like school, maybe it was because of the way teachers treated and punished us. In 1971 I went to Athens and apprenticed for two and a half years near a craftsman from Ioannina. I remember him advising me: Put 70% of artistry and 30% of manufacture. He was right, if I put 100% artistry I wouldn't find a buyer, but if I cared more about the manufacturing process I wouldn't keep the art alive".

Original works only

Carving requires artistry and patience. Andrew Varzokas, from Zagorochoria, owns a silversmith shop with his brother in Ioannina. He is not the only craftsman in town and doesn't like being singled out. He creates religious objects that are unique and carefully made. "If you have faith you can perform small miracles, not big ones. In faith you find the truth and the true meaning of life in the few years you have on this earth. If I made copies of my works I would be rich, but I don't need so much money. I had heart surgery and spent some money, but if I were a billionaire my money would have been useless. We turned our lives into a merciless fight without any real reason. We kill ourselves to buy unnecessary things, even though we know that an illness will make those things obsolete".

The idea of becoming a silversmith got stuck in Andrew's mind when he was a child, when someone from his village, Anthrakites, talked to him about this art. He graduated from George Stavrou's technical school and went to look for a job in Athens. "This city is a university. The way people were talking and behaving was different to what I knew. They leave you by yourself there, they say nothing to you, you do what you want to do". Filigree, intertwined with silver wire.

Once he finished his military service, Andrew went back to Ioannina even though he was in love with Athens. There, he started making carved silver objects, "filigrees" and jewellery. "Carved silver objects can be easily sold. Filigrees are made by soft silver wire and are difficult to create, you need to be skilled. We melt the silver and add about 8% of copper in order to make it harder. Copper alone is soft, but when it blends with silver it hardens".

Women's preference

Silver was once cheap, but today it is very expensive. You can't begin to work as a silversmith having only ten kilos of silver; you need more silver and a lot of money. Real artisans are becoming fewer and fewer and seem divided between their true artistic self and fashion. They understand that they can't keep experimenting all the time; they must also make what people want.  The fine silver jewellery are attracting to women. Their job has to do with women, as they are their main clients. Silversmiths observe which pieces draw their attention and they understand a lot about them. It looks like a game that has not only to do with money, but also with human sensitivities. Women don't make such objects because they lack the necessary patience. However, they adore them and are aware and appreciative of their artistic value, unlike their husbands, who follow them in such stores mostly to foot the bill.


Ioannina, the town of silversmiths. Ioannina, the town of silversmiths.


*Mandatory Fields


Katerinoscala, Pieria - Pilot leader of the pack

He owns a farm with 500 happy animals and birds. Their hearts are grateful to him and they love him dearly. He is a special kind of "king".

Santorini Island - A feast at the edge of the crater

In the cleft of the rock, which looms threateningly above, and under unbearable heat, the faithful Christians sing and dance nonstop for 24 hours.

Athens- They are optimistic and are staying in Greece

Instead of leaving Greece in to work abroad they founded a business in their homeland. They are successful and they don’t wallow in self pity. It’s like they’re living in a different country and not crisis struck, depressed Greece.

Katerini - Passion for pigeons

He trains pigeons so they can fly 1,000 meters high and he gets sad when they are attacked by hawks. He feels sorry, but he can understand hawks need to survive too.

The Acropolis Museum - The magic of ancient Greek art

This museum has a weird energy, which can be accredited to the immense beauty of the statues. The most beautiful statues of all times stand one beside the other and enchant millions of visitors.

Dimitsana, Gortynia - A miracle on Mount Mainalon

Wherever one stands, he or she can see wild mountains and running water. In the morning, visitors are awoken by sheep bells and the sound of axes splitting wood in half.

Syrrako, Ioannina - A pleasure for the eyes

Vlach village at the tops of Tzoumerka with a rich history and traditional houses of a unique architecture.

The Temple of Poseidon, Sounio - A background of endless blue

The view from the temple is breathtaking. From hear, Theseus began his journey to Crete in order to kill the Minotaur. From hear also, his father, Aegeus, fell to his death from the cliffs thinking his son had been killed. In honor of the fallen king the sea was named the Aegean.