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PEATS Cyprus – Putting Ancient Skills into Fashion for Jobs & Cultural Sustainability. 

Dates: 1st June – 2nd July 2020
Number of UK Participants: 8 + 1 accompanying person
Duration: 32 days

PEATS Application form

This placement is hosted by Kato Drys. The group will be based in the village of Pano Lefkara, staying in a traditional courtyard village house on a self catering basis. There will be limited use of a car but only if some of the participants are over 23 years old and have a clean licence.

The venues for our skills training are in Pano Lefkara, Kato Drys and Kornos and the group will learn a range of local handicraft skills and can concentrate on one more than the oher depending on each individual participants interest. Skills that the group will learn include:

MOSAIC: after visiting ancient Kourion and the Roman mosaics, each participant will have a contemporary project. The group will be taught be Panayiota Demetriou and there may be the chance to move onto more contemporary projects, using “found” and waste material with Lindsay Jolly and Peter Bird.

ICON PAINTING: The group will have some church visits to see the style of Orthodox icon painting onto wood, then the group will complete a Saint of their choice. Included in this part will be some Islamic prophets. Aylin Myumyunova will be teaching the group, a professional artist skilled in the Renaissance style of fine painting.

BISCUIT FIRED CERAMICS: The group will do some work drawn from the local archaeology. After visiting the National Museum in Nicosia, the group will complete pottery and zoomorphic figures, which (after some slow drying) will be fired in our own Medieval style wood fired ceramics kiln. In the same firing will go the pots the group will have made with the Kornos Ladies Cooperative, who practice a Neolithic style of coiled pots that has been unchanged for millennia.

LEFKARA LACE MAKING: We have specialised in teaching this technique as it applies to fashion garments. The UNESCO listed lace art is usually on table cloths etc, but they are no longer fashionable, so we switch to try and rescue the craft. Those involved in textiles and fashion can spend more time in this area. We also run 2 shops which are non commercial outlets for promoting and selling lace products, so there may be the chance to learn some retail skills.

OTHER SKILLS: On offer, depending on interest, training in pyrography, tie-dying and rope/twine making.

The group will Limassol and Larnaca, in addition to Nicosia and Kourion. It may also be possible to swim in the sea, about 25mins drive away.

Some background to the placement and the skills can be found below.

Cyprus is a country with a rich tradition of handicrafts due in part to the variety of the people who settled there from Neolithic times through the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders, Venetians, Ottomans and British people.  Each race left something of note in the country’s patrimony. With Kato Drys Community Council (KDCC), the 2017 placement will focus on lace making, mosaic, rope making & pottery

Lefkara Lace is classified by UNESCO as ‘intangible cultural heritage under threat’. Grampus and KDCC have worked together for over 6 years now to put embroidery lace and cut-threadwork into modern linen and denim clothing.

Mosaic has been important in Cyprus since Greek (Hellenistic) times and there are numerous examples to see – especially Roman and Byzantine mosaics at the ancient city of Kourion. Particiapnts will complete a personal round mosaic set in a floor tile and there may also be the opportunity to work in a group on a larger community art mosaic in Kato Drys. Usually glass & tile are used, but the group might experiment with other contemporary materials.

Pottery has been the centre of craft industry in the village of Kornos for many hundreds of years, maybe even from Neolithic times. The group will work with the ladies of the pottery co-operative and make their own utility and decorative items.

accommodation: shared twin rooms

Funding

The Erasmus + funding will cover return UK flights insurance, accommodation and food. Participants should take extra spending money for personal purchases and excursions.

If you are interested in this placement, then please read through the information on the PEATS traditional skills main page. You will find the application form is available to download on this page, as is the “Quality Commitment” which all applicants have to read.

For past participant feedback, please refer to the Participants Report page

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission

This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.