The evening of Thursday, July 2 of this year saw the close in Pučišće on the island of Brač of the tenth jubilee Croatian Ethno Treasury event, a workshop dedicated to traditional artisanal textile manufacture, and the manufacture and restoration of Croatian folk garb. The traditional open door day was staged that afternoon in the showpiece hall and terrace of the School of Stone Carving featuring an exhibition of the works of all attendees and demonstrators at this year”s workshop. The exhibition was very well visited by Pučišće locals and their tourist guests from around the world.
They truly did have something to see, as all of the participants exhibited and created their works at the same time, and one could observe the process of weaving on three different kinds of looms, the tailoring and sewing of folk garb, the manufacture of the most diverse types of embroidery, traditional embroidery, gold embroidery, the manufacture of traditional jewellery and headwear, the various methods of creating lace—Lepoglava style, čunčana čipka (tatting lace), sunčana čipka (sunray lace), the addition of ornamentation and appliqué to fabrics and much more.
The visitors were impressed by the great number and diversity of traditional techniques and works, had many questions and took thousands of photos that will, we have no doubt, be seen around the world.
The idea to establish a folk garb workshop emerged ten years ago at the Croatian Heritage Foundation. We wanted to help Croatian folklore ensembles around the world and offer them a programme in which they would learn the techniques of creating folk garb, the basics of embroidery, weaving, lace and ornamentation and to put this knowledge to practical use in their ensembles. We found an excellent and very professional co-organiser in the Folk Garb Loan and Workshop (Posudionica i radionica narodnih nošnji) in Zagreb and its director professor Josip Forjan.
Unlike the modest beginnings, with only nine attendees at the first Folk Garb Workshop, then staged in Zaostrog, we can now, ten years down the road, congratulate ourselves with a large number of attendees from all continents that have participated in this programme, and six Croatian folk garb aficionados—Paula Matić of Germany, Ljubica Šušak (previously of Nurnberg, now living in Široki Brijeg, Bosnia-Herzegovina), Vesna Proso of Omiš, Slavica Rajković of Zagreb, Canadian returnee Slobodan Hadjikan and Ivka Štefanek of Duga Resa, our most loyal attendees, who have themselves celebrated their tenth anniversary here.
This year saw thirty attendees at the Croatian Ethno Treasury hailing from Canada, the United States of America, Germany, Hungary, Vojvodina (Serbia), Bosnia-Herzegovina and from across Croatia—people of diverse ages and professions but sharing a love of traditional handicrafts. They were joined by ten demonstrators, specialists in various and special textile techniques.
A wonderful ten days were spent at the School of Stone Carving in Pučišće filled with learning and socialising—old friendships were renewed and new ones formed—and every free moment was used to enjoy the stunning beaches of Brač and walks through the historic stone streets of this beautiful Dalmatia region town.