European Artistic Crafts Days 2017
European Artistic Crafts Days (EACD) “FORGING LINKS” took place on 31 March, 1st – 2 Apri, 2017. The Days were organized by Vilnius Old Town Renewal Agency already third time. 14 workshops-galleries – members of Vilnius Municipal Programme “Fine Arts, Ethnographical Trades and Fairs” took part in the EACD. There were 44 events (exhibitions, presentations and shows/workshops). 18 type of crafts were presented: smithery, pottery, black ceramics, jewellery, enamel technique, bookbinding, production of “marble” paper, woodcarving, stained glass, bone and horn processing, leather, amber processing, cutting paper, textile, quilts, whipping from natural fibre, making of glass beadings, decoration of Eastern eggs. Links between generations were promoted through the teaching and transmission of traditional know-how. 3 generations (children, parents and grandparents) took part in some events.
The Institut National des Métiers d’Art (National Institute of the Arts and Crafts), or INMA, has been coordinating the Artistic Crafts Days in France for more than ten years. In 2012 the EACD expanded across Europe.
1) The Vilnius potters’ workshop organised 5 events devoted to the old ceramic technique with yeast. The technique comes from gothic times when pots for cooking were made this way in Vilnius. The difference from the traditional ceramics is that the very hot ceramic pot comes from oven directly to the special liquid yeast. This way the pot obtains the special pattern which is made in organic way with no additional chemical components. Flour from various grains, liquids from cabbages or beetroots are used. The Vilnius potters’ workshop organised 2 lectures „Reconstruction of Vilnius gothic and renaissance ceramics” and “Culinary pleasures of Vilnius citizens in 14-15th century”, a practical workshop “Making a replica of 14th c. stewpot”, demonstration of yeast ceramics burning process and tasting of a stew made in a yeast ceramics stewpot on the bank of the river Vilnia.
2) A stained glass gallery “Vitražo Manufaktūra” continues the tradition of glass art in Vilnius city, which dates back to the 16th century; and also represents contemporary Lithuanian glass art. The gallery organized 3 events. There was a lighted stained glass installation “Europe – united home” created in the open public square. The installation consisted of 27 lighted glass houses. There was an exhibition of historic stained glass “Fragments of Lithuanian stained glass history” in the gothic cellars of the gallery. The third event was the open workshops “Europe – united home”. Participants of the workshop improvised on the theme “What is a home for me? Where do I feel like at home?” More info: http://www.stainedglass.lt/en/
3) The Old Crafts Workshop organized thematic tours which presented the history of Vilnius craftsmanship from 14th c. dating back to the times of Grand Duke Gediminas, who invited craftsmen from all over Europe. There were practical workshops on creative bookbinding using old historical technologies, paper marbling, bone or horn work, rope making. More info: http://www.seniejiamatai.lt/educations.html
4) Art Centre of Baltic Amber focused on the presentation of amber. The show for visitors “Feel, touch, smell and taste!” was presented. The historic amber road, amber evolution, procession, unusual rituals and trade routes were presented.
5) The Drapery gallery “JURATE.EU” is a small manufactory where crafstmen design and weave on original old wooden looms from pure linen and leather. This meticulous production, time honoured skills of weavers and designers retain an air of exclusivity with understated elegance. The Drapery gallery “JURATE.EU” organised 3 events. Day 1st – LINK WITH OUR ARTISANS: meeting of the artisans who have woven in the manufactory in the last decade. Opening of the show „A decade of the JURATE product development“. Day 2nd – LINK WITH OUR TRADITIONS: making a linen warp: how to start. Why do we still use the oldest way. Day 3rd – LINK WITH SONGS: weaving with Lithuanian folk songs “How to go on? Why do we still sing about linen and weaving?” More info: http://www.jurate.eu/