Workshop for Young Crafters from Europe

Fortidsminneforeningen – the Society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments, in cooperation with Europa Nostra, has invited young craftspeople from 21 European countries to participate in an intensive workshop on traditional crafts and building techniques in wood, from 7-14 June 2015.

The workshop, which was specially designed to coincide with the European Heritage Congress 2015 in Oslo, will allow young European 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 wood craftsmanship and masonry. The programme also includes visits to museums and special excursions.

From the many applications, 32 candidates from 21 countries throughout Europe were selected: Albania, Armenia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Turkey, Ukraine, Spain, Iceland, and the United Kingdom. They will be joined by young craftspeople from Norway.

Coming from Sweden, Benjamin Börjeson, a 23 year old student of ‘Historical building techniques and building conservation’ at Gothenburg University School of Higher Vocational Crafts, wrote in his motivation letter: “I feel that this is a wonderful opportunity to create connections with participants from all over Europe. Crafting is something fundamentally human which we use as a means to sustain our lives (building homes, growing crops, sewing our clothes) but it is also a means to express oneself. Just like music, crafting is a language in itself with a strong unifying effect that can help to put any eventual language barrier aside. Gaining and spreading knowledge in crafts is a common and important project for all of us, and it’s fun!”

“I am intensely grateful that I found something that is so inspiring, meaningful and rewarding relatively early in my life. I feel that there is an endless depth in woodworking that I can continue to explore for the rest of my life without ever getting bored or losing my passion,” he added.

The workshop participants will also be given the opportunity to take part in the main public events of the Congress. On 11 June, they will attend the Excellence Fair at the Domus Academica of Oslo University in the morning; followed by the short lectures on ‘Wood, building material of the past and for the future’ at the same venue in the afternoon; and the European Heritage Awards Ceremony at Oslo City Hall in the evening.

The workshop was made possible thanks to the financial support received from Riksantikvaren, Arts Council Norway, UNESCO Commission Norway, Bergesen Stiftelsen, Stiftelsen UNI, Akershus County, Vest Agder County, Nord Trøndelag County, Troms County and Rogaland County.