FROM THE LIBERATION (1913) UNTIL TODAY
With the liberation of Ioannina and the regularization of life within the Greek State, a serious effort is made to keep and develop the silver-goldsmith craft in Ioannina. The motivating mind of this effort was the Prelate of Ioannina Spyridon Vlachos and his aid Aggeliki Chatzimichali. As such, in 1930 the Silversmith School is founded in Ioannina. Its mission was the teaching of the silver-goldsmith art and the provision of all types of assistance to the existing craftsmen. It was housed in the G. Stavrou boardinghouse and was the fourth school to have been housed there. The students were not only orphans, but also older boys could be registered there, who worked in the workshops of the city while living as boarders within the School. Senior craftsmen taught there, amongst which was the Metsovite Kyrkos Lakkas. Studies lasted from five to seven years, depending on the age and progress of each student. Attendance was satisfactory as in 1934 the school already had 46 students. Its course lasted until 1940 at which point it was closed never to be opened again. It did however, comprise the first serious effort for the renaissance of the silver-goldsmith craft, whose success showed the path that must be followed.
So, in 1959 a silver-goldsmith School is founded, which came under the Ministry of Labor and as of 1975 under the Employment Organization of Human Resources. Initially attendance was four years and after 1975 three years and the students had the ability to live in a boardinghouse. Each year 20 students were accepted after passing examinations. The lessons were at night, as each student was obligated to work as an apprentice in the mornings at one of the silver-gold workshops of the city. Regarding the lessons, aside from those common to the regular high schools of the time (mathematics, physics, literature, etc.) other special lessons were taught respective to the silversmith craft: design, calligraphy, etching, wiring, enamel and others. Unfortunately the School, who had offered so much, suspended its operation at the beginning of the 1980s, after 21 years of continuous operation.
Despite this, learning the art was continuous in Ioannina, within the workshops, with the apprentices studying near the craftsmen, and in turn, once they became professionally independent, they would then teach their own apprentices. The traditional work within the workshops is now combined with the coalition in larger associations. As such, in 1999 the KEPAVI was founded, where many silversmiths were incorporated.
Today, within the city as well as the surrounding area a true renaissance is seen of the silversmith craft, with more than three hundred craftsmen and workshops, who continue the century long tradition in a city that is the political, intellectual and cultural centre of the entire area of Ipirus.