Crafts of Malta

Malta pottery is amongst the most ancient of Maltese crafts and has been around as early as its first inhabitants. Many pieces unearthed from the Megalithic period are works of art. The most precious is “The Sleeping lady” found at the Hypogeum. This craft is still practised today and the pottery industry creates a big variety of objects ranging from household items to souvenirs. Some objects are carefully and meticulously painted in a wide range of colours.

Lace (Bizzilla)



Lacemaking in Malta and Gozo can be traced way back to the 16th century. The Maltese quickly excelled at this craft and produced beautiful and fine examples of lace. During the time of the Knights of St John, ornamental lace was introduced as a fashion accessory, to embellish the clothing of nobles and the aristocracy. A distinguishing feature of Maltese / Gozitan lace is the symbolic eight-pointed Maltese crosses that are worked into most, but not all, of the lace produced. In many of Gozo’s small towns one can still see local women on their doorsteps or in the village square engrossed in this beautiful tradition.

Filigree



This craft first originated in Egyptian times but was later perfected by the Greeks and Etruscans from the 6th to the 3rd century BC. It was the Phoenicians who introduced Filigree-making to the Maltese Islands. The making of filigree became and still is a part of the Maltese heritage. This craft has since been handed down from one generation to the next.

Maltese Filigree is the delicate, complicated and detailed art of creating intricate jewellery pieces using precious metal threads made of silver of gold. Along the years the Maltese, by using techniques and styles which differ a great deal from that of other countries, have evolved this into a unique craft.

Glass blowing



The beautifully designed ornaments with rich colours and interesting shapes produced by these artistic and talented craftspeople of today are very typically Maltese in design and strong Mediterranean colours are used. From raw materials, molten glass is created and mouth blown by experienced and very skilled glassmakers using blowpipes. By using their hands and just basic tools they shape the molten glass into a beautiful and colourful decorative ornament.

The Maltese Clock



The Maltese Clock real origin is difficult to trace however tradition has it that they adorned houses of the Maltese nobility as far back as the 17th century. The arlogg tal-lira is so called because it used to cost a gold sovereign. These clocks were produced over a period of around one hundred and fifty years at a time when only the aristocracy and the Church could afford them. There were three main artisans involved in producing the final finished product. While the carpenter constructed the wooden case the clock-maker then developed the clock’s mechanism until finally the guilder-painter took responsibility of the whole production and made all the finishing touches to the clock.

High-quality reproductions of the Maltese clocks are being produced and decorated with gold leaf and bare carvings and with colours which are similar to the originals. These can be in the original size or miniature ones can also be found.