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Manufacturing Handicraft Souvenirs

 

The Erasmus+ KA2 project “Manufacturing Handicraft Souvenirs” comprises six partners from Poland, Turkey, Italy, Portugal and Cyprus.

The 2-year project aimed to develop teaching and learning strategies of handicraft souvenir techniques. Each country was responsible for different domains of souvenirs: amber souvenirs, clay, folk ornaments (PL), stained glass souvenirs, needlework (TR), Cypriot lace (CY), Capodimonte Porcelain (IT), Portuguese embroidery souvenirs ( PT) as tools for training and social integration and as activities leading to inclusive learning environments.

During the project, project partners have organised various workshops, events and study visits aiming to improve and enrich teaching tools in adult education for trainers and staff working with adults. In addition, project partners organised workshops to enhance adults’ entrepreneurship and ICT skills.

The consortium organised three project meetings (IT, CY, PT) to exchange good practice and one short-staff training in Turkey to learn different handicraft souvenir techniques and get acquainted with municipality inclusive programmes for migrants.

The unique handicrafts explored in the project were gathered in one ”Manufacturing Handicraft Souvenirs” e-book (see here). The e-book has different contributions in store for the reader. It introduces the reader to unique craftworks and numerous handicraft techniques, such as:

Capodimonte porcelain - porcelain created by the Capodimonte porcelain factory, which operated in Naples, Italy, between 1743 and 1759. Nowadays, the Royal Factory of Capodimonte has become one of the largest museums in Naples, hosting the most famous pieces of the Neapolitan tradition. However, the craftsmanship of Capodimonte porcelain has never stopped but has continued to live until today, treasuring the primacy of excellence worldwide.

Lefkaritiko or Lefkara lace - a distinct type of embroidery art from Cyprus dating back to at least the fourteenth century, under the protection of UNESCO since 2009. Influenced by indigenous craft, the embroidery of Venetian courtiers who ruled the country beginning in 1489, and ancient Greek and Byzantine geometric patterns, Lefkara lace is made by hand in designs combining four essential elements: the hemstitch, cutwork, satin stitch fillings and needlepoint edgings.

Amber souvenirs -  the most popular souvenirs are amber objects made with silver, gold, wood, metal and other materials. The small manufacturers specialise in creating different kinds of amber souvenirs:  amber chess, amber figures, amber jewellery, lamps, amber trees and many other amber products.

Traditional Polish Folk dolls - one of the significant hand-made souvenirs in Poland. The dolls are created using techniques that have not changed in generations. Made primarily of cloth and certified to meet original folk costume designs from a different region of Poland. Facial features are hand-painted by local artisans.

Traditional Portuguese embroidery - traditional Portuguese embroidery stands out among themselves for the materials and techniques used or the supports on which they are embroidered. Many of the stitches found in embroidery were introduced, during the discoveries, by copies of different works that were taken from other countries. These were assimilated by the local people who gave them a unique and original mark with particular characteristics of their places, such as the well-known embroideries of Castelo Branco, Arraiolos, among others.

Needlework (İğne oyası) – one of the most important examples of Turkish traditional culture and handicrafts is laces (Oya). Lace (Oya) is a type of knitting technique born from the combination of flower and knitting art, which is made to decorate and embellish and is also used as a communication tool with the messages they carry. Examples found in the Culvert excavations in 1905 shows that this embroidery technique, especially from fishnets, was known before 2000 BC.

Stained glass - although the source of stained glass is unknown, fit is believed that the first glassmaking started in the Mediterranean countries. It was a hollow pipe with one side in a mallet and the other side towards the mouth. This technique later spread to Phoenician, Greece, even Rome. Sheets of thick non-permeable glass that have been mulled were found in Pompeii. According to the example found in Sikhecter, the Romans made glass using the blowing technique

Ceramics - the art of making ceramic objects was known in Ancient Greece, and it reached Poland about 7.5 thousand years ago. The well-known ceramic centre is Medynia Glogowska near Rzeszow, where the pottery tradition has been cultivated for centuries. It is a village where 200 pottery manufacturers produced pottery, decorations, clay jewellery, local souvenirs, and many other clay objects at the beginning of the XIX century. The inhabitants of Medynia still follow the pottery traditions of their ancestors. Nowadays, more modern design is presented, but based on old traditions. Young artists focus on silver-grey pottery, local clay souvenirs dedicated to the historical monuments of Rzeszów and surroundings, figures, vases, plates, reliefs.

We wish you an exciting read, and of course, we hope you will get inspired to research and use different handicraft techniques as a way to connect with people and culture. The project partnership invites everyone interested to take a look, download and use the e-book.

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