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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, January 12, 2018
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‘Hermosa 2' exhibit
held in Bacolod

Camarines Norte-based sculptural artist, Helena Alegre, held her first back-to-back exhibit with her husband, noted painter Hermes Alegre, at Italia Restaurant in Bacolod City last month.

Helena said she considers the month-long exhibit, titled “Hermosa 2”, which displayed her sculptural jewelry pieces in silver and the oil paintings of her husband Hermes of the famed Saturday Group of Artists, memorable.

Helena has been creating handcrafted filigree jewelries made of 99.9 silver for about 20 years.

She said her jewelry pieces are one of a kind and that it takes them about 220 hours to produce one necklace. She learned the craft in 2005, and had her first one-man show in 2013.

She loves heirloom pieces of jewelries, Helena said.

She customizes her jewelry and only sells them during exhibitions and trade show, or sometimes during jewelry show from galleries or other institutions, she said.

Helena came from Camarines Norte, which is traditionally known for filigree designs or tambourines.

She said that in 1872, Juan Miguel de Legaspi discovered their town because of the gold. From then on, the filigree technique from Spain was passed on to their ancestors and has become a tradition and part of their cultural heritage.

Helena said they are trying to revive the tradition and hope to pass on the technique to the next generation because it's a dying industry. There are only very few of them doing handmade jewelry.

She said she has 15 to 20 years of experience as a jeweler and had training with the masters.

Seventy five to 80 percent of her materials are sourced in Camarines Norte. She is trying to promote the culture and art and craftsmanship of her hometown, and provide and create jobs to the local industry, she added.

Helena is the president of the Camarines Norte Jewelers Association, and a member of the Confederation of Philippine Jewelers Guild, she said.

She is an alumni of the Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company and a graduate of Fine Arts, major in Advertising, at the Philippine Women's University.*

 

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