CONTEXT – ABOUT THE ONGOING PROJECT IN ESTONIA

Estonian traditional textile heritage is very rich and well documented. Due to the fact that peasant culture did not disappear from the center of Estonian cultural public sphere until the late 19th century, a prominent collection of folk culture items is preserved in museum repositories. The main textile techniques of Estonian traditional handicraft are weaving, knitting, embroidering, and interweaving.

Since its establishment 22 years ago, the Department of Estonian Native Crafts of the
University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy has researched, retransmitted and renewed
Estonian textile handicraft. Although elderly people in Estonia still have a good knowledge of different handicraft techniques, the competence is much lower among younger generations.

This is why the Department of Estonian Native Crafts sees its mission in making crafts and
craft culture visible in new circles and generations by using ways that are comprehensible in the modern era. We are convinced that handicraft based on local traditions has a great potential to advance local entrepreneurship. Utilizing potential of digital mediums is an innovative way to reach diverse target audiences, e.g. upper­school and high­school students. Professional handicraft entrepreneurs also benefit from specialized digital platforms by introducing their creative production.

 

LOCAL PARTNERS

University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy

Estonian Folk Art and Craft Union

Viljandimaa Creative Industries Center

Craft Camp 2017 (9.-15.07.2017 in Olustvere, Estonia)

The undergraduate programme on Estonian Native Textile and the MA programme in Native Crafts offered by the Estonian Native Crafts Department as part of the University of Tartu’s study curricula.

TÖÖTAJAD

Ave Matsin, Viljandi Culture Academy

Ave Matsin, Viljandi Culture Academy

Head of Estonian Native Crafts Department, General Manager and Textile Artist

ave.matsin@ut.ee

Martin Bristol, Viljandi Culture Academy

Martin Bristol, Viljandi Culture Academy

Project Manager

martin.bristol@ut.ee

Helen Kästik, Viljandi Culture Academy

Helen Kästik, Viljandi Culture Academy

Project Manager

helen.kastik@ut.ee

Sandra Urvak, Viljandi Culture Academy

Sandra Urvak, Viljandi Culture Academy

Photographer and Textile Artisan

sandra.urvak@gmail.com

PARTICIPANTS

In Estonian Native Crafts Department it is possible to obtain applied higher education in the field of Estonian traditional textile, metalwork, and construction/log building. Department students come from diverse backgrounds. We welcome both young students coming directly from high school, and more experienced artisans. The latter might wish to enhance their handicraft pursuits from passionate hobby to professional activity, although many of them have previously acquired higher education in a very different field.

The department brings together skilled artisans, handicraft researchers, and marketing specialists. Accordingly, our students and alumni are engaged in the field of traditional handicraft in many ways: several of them employ their unique set of skills and knowledge when working as entrepreneurs and/or teachers. Both main aims of the Project – (a) promoting artisanal creation as a part of wider textile heritage and (b) reaching new audiences/consumers – are relevant topics in their everyday work. These aspects also inform their digital needs.

Our artisans are already exploiting digital tools for educational and professional purposes and almost all of them are integrated to social media networks. However, in the focus group discussion the concern was expressed whether their digital output is efficient enough. Only attention provoking content would allow artisans to fully partake and influence the processes of popularising their art and heritage production. Our textile artisans claimed to lack digital confidence. As many of them are self-educated in digital world, they do not always know where to look for professional support.

Our Project focuses on traditional textile students and artisans, but some people from other curricula were eager to join in, too. Training sessions are also open for all interested participants from outside. As workshop designers and digital mentors, we included multimedia and marketing specialists, experienced video makers, ethnographers and handicraft teachers.

Workshop 1

Date and place

7 December 2016 – Viljandi Culture Academy

Participants

Invited focus group (containing students and textile artisans, department staff, project administrator, video and multimedia specialists).

Subjects

  • Introduction of international project EUdigiTAC and its goals.
  • Explanation about User Centered Design Process.
  • Introduction of participants: artisan background, digital experiences, and motivation to participate in Project.
  • Designer-lead round-table to discuss participants’ expectations.
  • Summing up participants’ needs resulted in mapping preliminary training program and timetable.
  • Summing up.

Outcome

Our artisans are already exploiting digital tools for educational and professional purposes and almost all of them are integrated to social media networks. In the first workshop, it was decided that digitisation process – considering the timeframe of the Project – should not start from basic digital/multimedia training. The specific target group of artisans proposed that setting out more coherent focus would make the Project more legible, practical, and valuable for them on both individual and community level. As a result, the focus of our training sessions is set on one specific output – video making. Our artisans can utilize audio-visual materials for teaching, delivering workshops to diverse audiences, marketing, and popularising textile heritage in general. The training sessions cover all the relevant phases and aspects of video making: creating storyboard, video production, digital video editing, and sharing videos with the wider public. Special attention is turned to three types of videos that are of most relevance for artisans: documenting fieldwork; tutorials, and promo videos.

Workshop 2

Date and place 15. February 2017, 10:30-13:25 – Männiku Forest Cottage

Participants: Departments students and professional artisans

Subjects:

  • Introduction and presentation of results of previous workshop.
  • Introduction of participants: artisan background, and motivation to participate in the Project.
  • Discussion on how to use audio-visual materials for tacit knowledge transfer.
  • How to document fieldwork? Expert lecture by Aado Lintrop, followed by discussion.
  • How to create tutorial videos? Expert lecture by Anu Pink, followed by discussion.

Documentation of the workshops 2 and 3

Workshop 3

Date and place 15. February 2017, 14:10-17:00 – Männiku Forest CottageParticipants Departments students/professional artisans

Participants: Departments students/professional artisansSubjects:

Subjects:

  • Discussion on how to use audio-visual materials for cultural conservation and consumption. How to promote textile handicraft as individual creation and cultural heritage, using audio-visual tools?
  • How to make a promo video? Expert lecture by Liisi Mölder, followed by discussion.
  • Group work. Participants introduce and discuss their video ideas in smaller groups and present them for feedback in big group. 
  • Plan of action: what to keep in mind when planning a video shoot? Expert lecture by Maido Selgmäe, followed by discussion. 

Documentation of the workshops 2 and 3

Intersessional meeting: mid-term review

Date and place: 31 May 2017 – Viljandi Culture Academy, Vilma building

Participants: Departments students/professional artisans

Subjects:

    • Artisans presented their ongoing individual video-projects to receive feedback from community and experts
    • Presenting script and its visualisation – storyboard – proved to be an efficient way of working. It is much more expensive and time-consuming to think about details on location or during post-production, especially for beginners.
    • Result: evolved storyboards; artisans are ready for shooting!

Read more about Filmmaking!

Workshop 4

Date and place: In parallel groups; 14–15 June / 19–20 June 2017 – Viljandi Culture Academy

Participants: Departments students/professional artisans

Subjects:

  • Exploring video-making methods and equipment. Step-by-step instruction of different types of cameras. Exploring the possibilities of artisans’ personal equipment.
  • Requirements for good videography (tripod, lightning, microphones, display resolution, setting focus, angle of the camera). 
  • Cocreation of digital outputs. Students were assigned little tasks to get acquainted to their personal video-making equipment (e.g. mobile phones). Practical work was followed by discussion: how technical possibilities can be used to promote transmission of tacit knowledge and audience development.

 

Workshop 5

Date and place: In parallel groups; 25 August / 28 August 2017 – Viljandi Culture Academy

Participants: Departments students/professional artisans

Subjects:

  • How to edit videos? Step-by-step overview of post-production and video editing programmes (filters, functions, effects).
  • Cocreation of digital outputs: artisans were assigned little tasks; practical work was followed by discussion. 
  • Exploring the realm of social media, existing platforms and communication channels. What suits best for different types of videos and target groups? Post-production and choosing channels as integraded parts of finding new ways of conserving, trading, consuming, and disseminating content/objects. 

 

Workshop 6

Date and place: 18 October 2017 – Viljandi Culture Academy

Participants: Departments students/professional artisans

Subjects:

  • Presenting personal video projects. Giving feedback and sharing ideas. 
  • Discussion how to integrate the results and knowledge of previous activities into a coherent body of multimedia content.

 

Workshop 7

Date and place: 4 April 2018 – Viljandi

Participants: Department students, staff members and professional artisans

Subjects:

  • Presenting handicraft-related videos produced during the workshops and later. Giving feedback and sharing ideas.
  • Presenting the online platform. Testing its possibilities to improve its userfriendliness and equip participants to use it in the future. Results.

 

TEAVE

Website http://www.kultuur.ut.ee/en
FB https://www.facebook.com/rahvuslik/?fref=ts
Ave Matsin ave.matsin@ut.ee +372 526 2510
Martin Bristol martin.bristol@ut.ee +372 56905590
Helen Kästik helen.kastik@ut.ee +372 55538768