48 young crafters from 21 European countries attend workshop in Oslo

A total of 48 young craftspeople from 21 countries throughout Europe participated in an intensive workshop on traditional crafts and building techniques in wood in Oslo from 7-14 June 2015. The workshop, specially designed to coincide with this year’s European Heritage Congress, was organised by Fortidsminneforeningen – the Society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments, in partnership with Europa Nostra and in collaboration with the Folks Museum, which hosted the practical training sessions.

The participants came from Armenia, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Kosovo, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom. They were joined by 18 young crafters from Norway.

The workshop allowed young crafters to take part in hands-on training sessions in conservation and restoration, township development, and environmental protection, with a special focus on learning about traditional Norwegian wooden craftsmanship and masonry. The programme also included visits to museums and special excursions.

The picnic lunch at the Folks Museum on 9 June, organised by the European Union Delegation to Norway, proved to be very popular.

“It was a great pleasure to organise this gathering of workshop participants and Embassy staff from their home own countries who are in Oslo. It was a lively networking event, enhanced by tasting examples of the delicious culinary heritage of all the countries represented at the workshop,” stated Ambassador Helen Campbell, Head of the EU Delegation to Norway, at the lunch.

The highlight of the workshop was the assembly of a wooden house frame – so called ’grindbygg’ – at the University square in downtown Oslo on 10 June. The frame was carved by the participants according to ancient Norwegian logging techniques and it was erected at the site in less than two hours.

“It is only when you build new structures with old techniques that you fully understand how the construction method works. In this way, you are better qualified to repair and restore old buildings,” said Ola Fjeldheim, Secretary General of Fortidsminneforeningen.

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