The theme “Cultural Heritage and Tradition: Testimonies of the past in the present”, which for 2023 is the common European theme for the celebration of the “European Days
Cultural Heritage”, refers to practices and skills that have been passed down from generation to generation and are still practiced today, contributing to the preservation of collective memory, strengthening common identity and continuity, while promoting respect for cultural diversity and creativity.
In this context, the Folklore Historical Museum of Larissa with its director Fani Kalokairinos, in collaboration with the Laboratory of Folklore and Social Anthropology, of the Department of History and Ethnology, Democritus University of Thrace, and Mrs. Nadia Maha-Bizoumi, Assistant Professor of Folklore of DPTH, planned and organized the action entitled: “The art of printing and dyeing and its techniques through the words of producers and consumers”, with the aim of preserving the art of printing and dyeing, but also highlighting and exploiting it today.
In this sense, the action is linked to strategies for the promotion and management of cultural heritage.
A video was produced which includes interviews with people who worked in the Tyrnavos print shops and talked about their techniques and secrets, the tools of the print-dyeing, prints and patterns and from testimonies of elderly women from Tyrnavos, who know first-hand the printing technique, either through the production process, or through the products, the stamps.
The video recording of the artisans’ narratives is an educational material that will be included in the course “Material Culture and Folk Art”, taught by Mrs. Maha-Bizumi in the Department of History and Ethnology.
At the same time, the material was included in LIML’s Oral History archive and will be shown during the traditional technique learning seminars for adults and at related events.
As part of the action, a seminar with an experiential printmaking workshop for adults was also planned, applying the technique with prints, using copies of the original museum seals and indelible dyes.
The seminar started with a presentation by Mrs. Nadias Maha-Bizoumis, Assistant Professor of Folklore at the DTH, on the subject of traditional handicrafts and intangible cultural heritage.
Afterwards, the first theoretical part took place, during which the historical framework of the development of printmaking, the technology and the stages that lead from the engraving of the wooden molds to the transfer of the patterns to the fabric, as well as the influences of the embossers and their use, were analyzed.
Then the drawings, the pigments and the way of imprinting the patterns and the composition of the embossers were presented.
Then, the process of acquiring the museum material in question from the Museum and the prospects for its utilization were developed, in order to save the technique through the revival of printing workshops and the production of stampers.
This was followed by an experiential workshop applying the technique with prints, copies of the original museum seals and indelible paints.
Participants created their own stamps, and practiced on it proving in practice how a traditional technique can take on a new dimension in modern times. The seminar was held by the director of LIML, Mrs. Fani Kalokairinou, archaeologist-folklorist.
The action as a whole demonstrated how, with the initial goal of preserving and exploiting the intangible elements (techniques, know-how, patterns) of the said traditional craft, its connection with the members of the local community through contemporary artistic creation was highlighted.