Making and Growing – Traditions between Fibre & Fabric

Traditional and old crafts is an important part of Lithuanian culture, it marks uniqueness of regions, as well as it is an additional income source for members of small communities. Nowadays the craftware is usually being presented in fairs and during festivities. It is a pity that only the motivated people come to the workshops, ethnographical events, where one seeks to know Lithuanian crafts on his own will. This way is not innovative or attractive to transfer crafts and it does not reach general public. Furthermore, craftsmen face the difficulty to find their niche in the market (older age, adjustment to fast developing economical situation, lack of entrepreneurship, good financial possibilities). Weaving is an important part of Lithuanian and Norwegian culture: In Norway – wool, in Lithuania – linen. Fabric is one of the most beautiful arts of the national heritage. The treasure of weaving survived and it shows how rich of deep traditions in weaving both cultures are. It is a pity, that this archaic heritage is no longer interesting in the modern life, the number of craftsmen is diminishing as well. It is necessary to find modern and innovative niche to save and protect this craft, the interesting side of the craft should be presented for the society. In order to make crafts to be the big part of popularizing arts, culture and cultural tourism in the regions, it is necessary to seek for new ways to display and present them.

Based on the relevance of mentioned issue, in 2015 the Fine Crafts Association of Vilnius together with the donor country begun to implement international project: Making and Growing – Traditions between Fibre & Fabric.

The project is funded according to the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 Promotion of Diversity in Culture and Arts within European Cultural Heritage Program. Duration of the project is 11 months.

 MAIN GOALS OF THE PROJECT

The aim of this project is to reconstruct, exchange and spread traditional knowledge of textile making within two different cultures, to perform the reconstructed process of textile crafts, to make the mobile exhibition of this topic from different perspectives and to make contacts with local partners of professional and non-professional artisans within the field throughout the process.

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MAIN ACTIVITIES

  • Research of NorwegiansheepwoolandLithuanian linenproductionthrough the scientificandphysical processes.

This dual study let us investigate the traditional tools and archaic practical methods of production of weaving in both countries. In this way the research of museum artifacts and practical knowledge of craftsmen will be joined through historical reconstruction techniques. The perspective of these two activities reflects the philosophy of “making and growing”, i.e. continuous learning through the production process.

  • Creation of the innovative product – mobile, life, open and educational exhibition.

The exhibition will aim to establish contacts between craftsmen-professional and amateur or ‘newcomers’ and the general public at the international level. During this exhibition the path of linen and wool from the birth of fiber to the fabric will be demonstrated, as well as the exchange of intercultural educational knowledge will be done and skills transmitted to the public. There will be presented mobile workshops created during the project’s process and adapted for working for several educators, introducing tools for wool / linen processing, yarn twisting, weaving, allowing learners to test the reconstructed tools, access the information material (stand, examples).

  • Publication of the process of scientific research and reconstruction on the project’s website provided in tree languages (Lithuanian, Norwegian and English).

This website (blog) will initiate discussions online while teaching or exchanging information, ideas and knowledge. In this way the project will create additional qualitatively good alternative to transmission of art, culture and knowledge and the development of cultural tourism. It also creates the possibility to touch the life history at a non-traditional environment, will ensure the interests in social, cultural, artistic and nature environment of the local region. Using the examples of good practice (partner’s experience) there will be found a new way to introduce the crafts to the public and thus to increase attractiveness and competitiveness not only in Vilnius, but also in other Lithuanian regions.

PARTNERS OF THE PROJECT

  • The Norsk Folkemuseum is Norway’s largest museum of cultural history. With collections from around the country, the museum shows how people lived in Norway from 1500 to the present. The 160 buildings in the Open-Air Museum represent different regions in Norway, different time periods, as well as differences between town and country, and social classes. Museum shows 4 craft workshops – jeweller, potter, weaver, candle moulder. Exhibitions, educational programs and other activities are constantly held here in order to protect the intangible cultural heritage.

More information: Norsk Folkemuseum website.

  • The Krikštėnai village community in Ukmergė region. Due to the enthusiastic members of this community educational lessons for children under the title „The road of linen“ are being organized. 3 craftswomen show this craft for the interested and all of them are involved in the activities of the project.
  • Gyvoliai village community in Mažeikiai region. 82 active members participate in the project. The community does not have any lodging, so people who have similar hobbies and interests (needlework, singing, acting etc.) meet at each other‘s place

 

More information about the project: Indrė Rutkauskaitė, tel./fax (370 5) 2619886, mob.tel. +37068413902, e-mail: vdaa.info@gmail.com