Dobele folk art studio celebrates half a century

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The “Avots” applied folk art studio marked fifty years of weaving, knitting, crocheting and sewing with an exhibit titled “From Ghosts to Larks”, as historically the period for creating handicrafts was from the fall to spring, according to Latvian Television's daily news broadcast on February 23.

“There was an old furnace, we experienced everything. Finally one summer we were flooded, and then the culture department director transferred us to the Cultural Center,” weaver Ausma Narvaiša remembered their time in the Art School building.

The road to the creation of the applied folk art studio began in 1969 with a weaving group. Since 2010 around 30 weavers, knitters and ceramists work in the Dobele Crafts House in addition to the Cultural Center. Occasionally new members expand on the artistic directions of the studio.

“Weaving was what I had learned, but I also knew how to do various handicrafts, and so I began offering dyeing with plants,” Director Daina Ieviņa described the beginning of the “Color School”.

The current exhibit is the first after a two-year break while the Cultural Center was undergoing renovations. The oldest of the various works displayed is a Latvian woman's woolen shawl. It was woven 20 years ago, but is on display for the first time. The studio's main goal is to continue traditions.

“We have to understand that we won't ever be how we were, because everything changes. Our society changes. Everything around us, habits, traditions change, views on what is necessary and unnecessary. In this field one must also adapt,” said “Avots” Director Inta Jansone.

The anniversary exhibit will be on display at the Dobele Crafts House through March 28.

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