Don't leave Tbilisi without buying...
A TRADITIONAL BLUE TABLECLOTH
The oldest remaining samples date back to around the end of the 17th century- cotton tablecloths painted in various hues of blue. In the eighteenth century, artisans began creating printed textiles using woodblocks with decorative engravings, symbolic of the Georgian culture.
The blue tablecloths produced by Geor- gian factories in the 20th century became an aesthetic symbol of the country. But at the end of twentieth century those factories in were forced to close as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union and produc- tion of blue tablecloths stopped.
In 2010, despite the fact that the country could still not re-open its factories, the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts launched a research laboratory named Lurji Supra to study the now century-old blue tablecloths. Founders Tinatin Kldiashvili and Ketevan Kavtaradze, design professors at the Academy, focused on restoring the original, long-forgotten textile technology.
You’ll see a lot of choice as you pass by souvenir shops in Tbilisi, but you surely can’t do better than getting one straight from the craftspersons who re-invented it.
Ketevan & Tinatin Kldiashvili (Lurji Supra) TEL 577 42 19 96 / 599 22 16 83
￼￼￼Have you been to see the Archaeological Treasures exhibition at the Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia on Rustaveli Avenue yet? You should. Housing a vivid collection of some of the numerous findings of gold items, excavated at sites around Georgia, dated from the 3rd century BCE to the 4th century CE, it is a sight not to be missed. And if you want to take some of that home with you...well, you can’t. But replicas are abound. Our top recommendation is Mamuka’s brass work. Rings, earrings, horn pins and hair accessories, whatever you buy will be sure to have you (or the person you gift) feeling like a character straight out of the legend of the Golden Fleece!
Mamuka Chokhonelidze (Legenda Ltd)
TEL 551 56 05 03
Prices from 10 GEL to upwards of 150 GEL
More museum replicas to be found at the Clay Office, alongside some beautiful modern craftmanship. There are a lot of pottery works out there, but if it’s quality you’re after, we recommend you contact George!
George (Gigishia) Pachkoria TEL 599 65 22 62
Prices from 25 GEL upwards
Menankari is the art of coloring and ornamenting the surface of metals by fusing over it brilliant colors that are decorated in an intricate design, held in a frame of gold, silver or copper. The Iranian craftsmen of the Sasanied era invented this art and Mongols spread it to
India and other countries, including Georgia, where the existing oldest samples date back to the 7th and 8th centuries. This field of art has become a distinctive symbol of the country, with Georgian enamel works on display at exhibitions around the globe.
One of the top and most popular enamel- workers in Georgia, Sophi has a wide
range of items ready to sell, including jewelry, brooches and novelty items, and she even takes personal orders if you have something special in mind.
TEL 599 92 38 17
Priced from 150 GEL to upwards of 700 GEL