Dear Friends, In September we’ll start a new section, “Bulgarian Crafts”, in which we will present to you the unique Bulgarian craftsmen and craftswomen who have preserved the traditions of our people. Each craft is linked to handing down the skills from one generation to another. The crafts shed light on the lifestyle of our ancestors. Nowadays, there are fewer and fewer people who can create authentic objects with their two hands from genuine materials, to make one-of-a-kind products that intertwine imagination, tradition and lots of dexterity. We introduce to you a lady from Razlog whose wealth besides her family includes also her skilful hands. Her name is Veska Zhegova. Let us immerse ourselves in the ornaments and colours of her embroidered masterpieces – shirts, koshulya shirt dresses, ishmak triangular headscarves with sequined fringes, soft-soled slippers, fustan tunics made of thin fabric, belts, traditional costumes. From all enumerated here that she creates with her hard-working hands, her biggest pride are the beautiful folk embroideries and bead belts which Veska uses to carry over the centuries-old symbolism of the Bulgarian traditional costumes into the clothing and our lives today. Our heroine believes that all work should be done with lots of love and patience. That is why her work day sometimes, and actually more often, lasts 10 – 12 hours! Stringing beads for the belt of a piece of female clothing is a long process and requires on average 15,000 pieces. Afterwards, this long string of beads is crocheted in rows. All the fabrics have been woven on a loom at home while the lace and embroideries are made in her small workshop by hand. This skill Veska has shared with her two daughters and granddaughter, as well as with everyone who wants to learn her craft.