12 / 04 / 2023 :
How did the municipality of Ludza from Latvia and Moletai School of Art from Lithuania link these two words? It was very simple – a project was created to preserve ancient crafts in Latgale Region of Latvia and north-eastern Lithuania. This CraftWays journey has been quite winding, with obstacles such as pandemics and other terrible world events, but the partners have successfully reached the end of the road – the project has come to an end.
For more than two years, the project partners have been implementing activities and events aimed at preserving the crafts of ceramics, woodworking, weaving and painting. The best way to preserve a skill is to pass it on to the younger generation, which is why the project mainly involved art schools; from Ludza side it was J. Soikāns Ludza Art School, which set as its goal the study of crucifixes in Latgale Region. The children also met their peers in both Ludza and Moletai.
Several webinars were organised for school teachers, as well as for all those interested in woodworking and crucifixes. Pandemic even played a positive role – due to the fact that participants could not meet in person, these events were held online, with the participation of craftsmen and artists from all over Latvia and the north and east of Lithuania. All webinars are recorded and available on YouTube. Teachers from Ludza and Moletai School of Art also participated in the workshops of Viljandi Culture Academy of the University of Tartu.
Owing to the project, for organisation of the events and especially for the practical work, the partners purchased tools, equipment and furniture, and the woodworking classroom at the J.Soikāns Ludza Art School is completely renovated and equipped, allowing the school to resume teaching woodcraft.
At the end of the “CraftWays”, the project partners have developed a new project idea "Together in Art", and we shall know later this year if this will be a new way of working together, although regardless of whether the new project is funded, the cooperation will certainly continue.