PEATS Romania – Peg-Looming & Other Crafts Skills

Dates: 2 nd August to 2 nd September 2021
Number of UK Participants: 6
Duration: 4 weeks

PEATS Application form

The placement is hosted by “Satul verde”, an organization that works in traditional skills, cultural heritage, arts, environment and nature conservation.  The placement will take place in Alba Iulia and will familiarize participants with Romanian traditional mask-making and glass icon-painting. These crafts have known a period of revival in the last few years. Participants will work in a local workshop with skilled local craftswomen to produce original masks and glass icons.

The 2021 itinerary includes:

  • making bags, purses and accessoiries  using traditional textiles & photoshoot at then end of the week
  • basket making
  • sewing, big knitting, felt making
  • mask making and icon painting
  • loom weaving

Participants will be accommodated on a self- catering basis. They will work from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, with 40 minutes’ break for lunch.

During weekends, participants will have a cultural programme which includes visits to the mountains & Saxon villages surrounding  Alba Iulia, Sibiu and into nearby villages. It is also possible that the group might visit the medieval town of Sighisoara. They can also try Romanian traditional cookery.

 

Placement programme:

Week 1: Discussions about the programme. Introduction to traditional Romanian textiles.

This week you’ll do basket making and hand weaving with natural materials. The main focus will be on basket making with willow.

An introduction by Martin Clark (Grampus director) sets the scene and includes a visit to hay meadows around Aiud , where you see a huge range of wild flowers and grasses and do some simple textile experiments. This links to the peg-looming and the weaving with natural plant fibres.

Week 2:  You continue the weaving with natural fibres. You also start the peg looming with wool, fleece and recycled textiles and you combine some natural fibres such as hemp and tree bark for a natural and sustainable look.

You have a go at  making bags, purses & accessories using old pieces of traditional textiles. It’s a  great way  to give a contemporary look to old fabrics. We’ll have a photo shoot at the end of the week with the accessories that you created. The photos shoot will promote environmental and cultural sustainability.

At the end of week 2 we’ll relocate to Sibiu for a week. On 14-15 August we visit the traditional crafts fair in the open air village museum in Sibiu. We’ll see demonstrations of various crafts and also get inspired for our next week’s work. The crafts fair in Sibiu is an annual event that gathers craftspeople from all over Romania. Over a four day period they demonstrate their craft and also sell their products. This is an amazing opportunity to see so many ancient skills that are still preserved to this day.

Week 3: This week you’ll be working with Ioana Negoita, a mask maker and icon painter. She will teach you how to make Romanian masks using a wide range of materials, from wool to horns, leather, shipskin. The masks are still used in northern Romania before New Year’s Eve in countryside festivals. It is believed that they ban winter and its evil spirits to welcome a new year.

 Week 4:  

The last week of the placement concentrates on icon painting on glass.  With a local artist you’ll learn the techniques of  painting on glass. You’ll also learn basic skills in felt making.

 

 

Outcomes of 2018 PEATS Romania placement

What past participants have said:
Alex Morris 2016: Not only was I part of a wonderful project spending a month of vocational learning in a beautiful country, I learnt so much more than just the traditional skills. The whole time I spent wondering how I could bring this dying tradition back in a new and exciting way. The placement wasn’t just about learning; I was also encapsulated by my new surrounding of Romanian cultural, from the food, language, architecture and way of life. I would highly recommend anyone to become involved with traveling to a new destination to explore a new understanding of life and perception! Being able to spend a decent amount of time in a country I was lucky enough to meet lots of new and exciting people!
Elina Krjuka 2013:  I learned a lot of traditional skills that probably I would never be able to learn anywhere else. I learned to apply traditional skills in modern approach. In my opinion this will differ me from most people. I enjoyed working abroad as it adds to my personal communication skills. This experience also made me more interested in sustainability and traditional values.
Stephanie Woolven 2012 In our free time we were taken on hikes, cycle rides, tours of near-by villages, visited the salt lakes and had bbq’s with our teacher Ioana. We went out for dinners, sampling local cuisine, went to the local parks, completed sketches, visited craft markets and went to local festivals and the nearby castles.

Funding

The placement is funded by the EU Erasmus +scheme and covers return flights, travel insurance, accommodation, and a subsistence allowance (equal to 3 meals a day). The placement is targeted at students enrolled on a relevant vocational course (e.g. textiles, traditional crafts etc) at a UK college or university.
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.
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.