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he quiet in the enameling studio at Caritas Georgia’s youth center is nearly absolute, save for the faint scraping of metal and the occasional whoosh of the oven door. Three teenage girls work silently at their chipped wooden workbenches, pools of yellow light illuminating tiny jars of brightly colored powder and twists of glistening silver wire as the girls craft intricate designs. As the children work, the tiny bits of silver metamorphose from minute scraps to delicate pieces of jewelry, each fold of silver serving as a catch for bright powdered enamel, applied painstakingly one drop at a time with the pointed nub of a tiny paint brush. The finished product — cloisonné enamel, or minankari in Georgian — is an ancient decorative art form the girls’ distant ancestors once mastered and used to create stunning religious icons, mosaics and vibrant jewelry. It is also, hopefully, a means to a better future for these girls and dozens of other children in need who participate in such programs. The enamel studio is just one of several art workshops sponsored by Caritas Georgia — the social service network of Georgia’s Armenian, Chaldean and Latin Catholic churches — as part of its ongoing art therapy program for socially vulnerable children from the ages of 6 through 19. Caritas Georgia offers the children a safe and nurturing environment, and, for children who are interested in learning, skills they can carry with them through life. The program also offers children the opportunity to learn how to make traditional carpets, design decorative woodcrafts, make ceramics and even write icons. The arts program serves two purposes, according to Tamar Sharashidze and Davit

OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF CNEWA

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Profile for ONE Magazine

ONE Magazine Winter 2014  

The official publication of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)

ONE Magazine Winter 2014  

The official publication of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)

Profile for cnewa