In my opinion, filigree jewelry is one of the most attractive jewelry design styles, as well as one of the most difficult to make. Most filigree jewelry today is done by building a frame of precious metal, and then filling the spaces in the frame with small beads or shapes of twisted wire of the same metal. It's very delicate, painstaking work, and one mistake with the torch can completely destroy a piece you've worked on for days (trust me, it happens). But when it's done right, the results are breathtaking.
Filigree was actually one of the first jewelry styles I was introduced to, well before I started making jewelry professionally. My father worked in Iran in the 1970s, and upon returning brought my mother home an amazing gold filigree necklace with turquoise accents. I stared at the piece for hours, marveling at the exquisite detail and craftsmanship. That piece contributed directly to my wanting to become a jewelry designer and metalsmith, and in fact one of the first large silver pieces I made was a reproduction of part of my mother's filigree piece.
Many of the gold pieces I make today incorporate filigree elements, either in design or in technique. It's a style that's been around for centuries, but it's still just as amazing now as it was then.