Besides the assignment for my internship, I’m doing a lot more here in Albania. There are a couple of projects I got involved in and was invited to. I thought it would be nice to show what kinds of things I did these couple of months.
Sewing and weaving project at Gjirokastra
When I started my internship, I got introduced to the ladies of a sewing and weaving project organised by the Gjirokastra Foundation. With this project, the Foundation wants to give women a change to have their own job and be more independent. They learn to weave, sew and make embroideries so they eventually create a collection, which can be sold at artisan markets of maybe in shops in the future. I think it’s a great project and a good opportunity for these women. In the next months the project will continue with the help of a talented Albanian designer Arjela Kule (see her work here!).
In February and March I joined this training for 2 times a week and will assist Arjela next month. I think it’s very nice to have the change to help with this project. (:
Textile Conservation Training
Last week, I could join a textile conservation training organised by Heritage Without Borders from England. They were going to do a 10-day project on the conservation of the costumes in the Ethnographic museum. The 4 trainers from England, Scotland and Bosnia gave us some theoretic information so that we, the trainees, could work on the objects exhibited at the museum. As I worked on a couple of costumes myself, I thought it would be nice to show what I have learned and done.
One thing I worked on, was a beautiful purple velvet vest with golden embroideries on it. All handmade. Because it was exposed on the wall with nails, the vest was pretty damaged. It’s not really clear on the pictures, but the first photo shows the before (left) and after (right) of a cleaning session of the embroideries. Together with Arjela, we did some conservation stitches to the vest and now it’s almost fixed again (of course it could be better, but it’s a big improvement nonetheless) and is exposed in the museum. I will continue the work by myself the next couple of months, starting with a beautiful red embroidered vest. When it’s finished I will show the results here on my blog!
This week I was invited to the R.E.D project (Roots of European design) in Tirana. This project explains how traditional art and symbols can be used in modern art and started with a mini workshop given by a Hungarian lacemaker. It showed that all the symbols that are used in common embroideries and decorations in countries in (East)Europe are all mixed from different cultures and have mostly the same origin. Very interesting! We could see how lace was made and could try it ourselves. After that we were very inspired to make our own designs.
Unfortunately I couldn’t join the whole training, because I also had to do some other things. I wished I could have joined the whole training though, but already got inspired by these couple of days.
Loved it! ❤