Valle Municipality is the silversmithing capital of Norway.
On your way through Setesdal, be sure to visit one of the silversmiths.
A little history: After having extracted iron for thousands of years,
the peasant smiths gradually started the search for more precious metals. A copper mine was opened at Straume, near Rysstad, 400 years ago. Silver,however, had to be acquired elsewhere, and the
first silversmiths probably used raw materials stolen from the silver
mine in the town of Kongsberg.
The silversmiths today use various
techniques, including hammering, engraving, casting and filigree.
The smiths used to make all their tools themselves. At present, torch lamps have been replaced by propane, and materials are available in the form of thread, plates and hard solder. However,
the production process is largely the same today as in former times.
The Setesdal costume requires a lot of silver, and traditionally different ornaments were worn for everyday use and formal occasions.
The art of making silver flourished - especially in the Hylestad area. At present, about 35 persons work full or part time as silversmiths. They produce various kinds of jewellery for national
costumes and create new designs for plain clothes.
Handmade silver jewellery from Setesdal is highly competitive with manufactured
silver products both with respect to beauty and price. Hand-crafted,
with guarantee and registered mark.
Visit the silversmiths!
Sylvbui Rysstad, Sølvgarden Hotell & Feriesenter
l Setesdalsylv, Valle