On the field trip day, all participants have a chance to visit one area with distinct heritage culture. This year, one coffee break and lunch are included in all the trip fees. If you wish to have a day off, wander around in Viljandi or surroundings, you can choose not to participate in the field trip offered by the organisers of the camp. However, the field trips include visiting small enterprises, local craftsmen and rural places which are not always open for tourists to visit.
In case the minímum number of participants is not met, we reserve the right to cancel a certain trip! Unfortunately the trip to Setomaa has been cancelled!
Tip! If viewing the descriptions of field trips, click on the photos in order to see them in full size.
Järvamaa, or Järva county is at the centre of Estonia. More than one third of Järvamaa is covered with swamps and bogs. In the ancient times, there were plenty of springs and lakes in the area - which the name Järvamaa, literally “the land of lakes” derives from. The heritage culture and folk costumes are characteristic to the Northern Estonian area. Since 2013, Paide has become known for hosting the Opinion Festival, a festival of scientific discussions focusing on civil and environmental issues, every August.
The trip will begin in Türi, at Saara Publishing House - which publishes Estonian craft books in English. The printing takes place elsewhere but you can see the other stages of creating a book and hear about the history of the building which used to be a textile workshop. There will be a 3 hour workshop by Anu Pink. Anu was a craft teacher for 25 years and now works as an editor of craft books. She holds a master's degree in Native Crafts from UT Viljandi Culture Academy. The title of the workshop is “Estonian Ethnographic Hats - Tricks for Designing the Fringes”. The participants can see different examples of old hats and their fringes. The practical part includes knitting the fringe from an old hat from Kihelkonna parish in Saaremaa. There will be a coffee break during the workshop.
The next stop will be at Kirna Manor and park which are located on earth crust fault line, therefore have many energetically powerful and healing spots. People come to Kirna manor in search of peace, balance and well-being. There are marked spots and benches in the park where you can receive energy to solve some specific concerns. Even if the visitor does not believe in this, but comes to explore the park with an open mind, there is a high probability that after a few moments they will find himself sitting on the very bench whose message speaks to them. On this trip, the history of the manor, the energetical spots with a healing effect in the park will be introduced in more detail and the basics of natural healing explained. Lunch will be held at Kirna Manor Café.
The final stop will be at Esna Gallery. The permanent exhibition displays the work of the best contemporary masters. Esna Gallery is part of Lilian and Martin Bristol's household which includes textile, woodwork and goldwork workshops. Esna Gallery's endeavours are dedicated to slowing down and investigating, which go hand-in-hand with becoming a master, along with knowledge of materials and technologies and talent. Lilian Bristol presents her wonderful, years-long journey of learning and rediscovering goldwork embroidery in an engaging way, illustrated with pleasing examples of goldwork embroidery.
The Järvamaa trip includes relatively short bus rides and is suitable for people who can't stand long bus trips. The main keywords of the day are publishing craft books, knitting, wellbeing, relaxation, goldwork embroidery and local artisans.
Mulgimaa is an area in South Estonia that includes 5 historical parishes. Mulgi people have their own dialect, folk culture and local cuisine. The heritage culture and folk costumes of this region have preserved older characteristics compared to their neighbours in Northern Viljandi county. The area was populated by many intellectuals and outstanding farmers in the 20th century, and the wealth of the region was based mostly on selling flax. Mulgi people are believed to be clever and entrepreneurial, which helped them to become free from servitude and become rightful farm-owners. Mulgi people have believed that real fortune should not be displayed around the neck, but invested into education and property. And if you don't like something, you have to improve it yourself, including if necessary, run the country – such as former Heads of State in the 1930s and in recent years a Mulgi native, president Toomas Hendrik Ilves.
The trip will begin in the Õisu smithy which maintains the interior and tools from the beginning of the 20th century. You can see old tools and test your knowledge in identifying them. Kristjan Tuuleveski, the teacher of bladesmithing at the 2023 Craft Camp, will give an overview of his current working facilities at the smithy.
We will visit a unique Mulgi Experience Centre which will open its doors in the spring of 2023. The centre is located in Sooglemäe farm, and introduces Mulgimaa and Mulgi culture. During the visit to the centre, we will get answers to the questions: who are Mulgi people, what is a proper Mulgi farm, can one be born or made into a Mulk, how Mulks changed world history, who are famous people from the area and much more. Lunch will be held in the art nouveau style Taagepera castle, at Restaurant Wagenküll which offers contemporary convenience and historic atmosphere.
The trip will continue to Koordikamber, the farm owned by bonework master and Craft Camp teacher, Monika Hint. Koordikamber was established in 2012 and it's a small business that produces handmade bone, horn and leather products. Monika follows the principles of environmentally friendly and sustainable production, values fostering creativity and archaic product design. She gets the raw material from local hunters and farmers and uses natural flowing water for cleaning raw bone material. For dyeing she uses plants from the surrounding nature and for giving the final touch to the items, she uses natural oils and waxes. During the visit, you can hear about her daily life and work, and see the unique studio.
The day will be concluded with a lecture about Mulgi folk costumes by Tiina Jürgen, the leading expert in the field and author of the thorough book “Mulgi Folk Costumes”. Among the old-fashioned garments, those used the longest in Mulgimaa by women were blouses with a primitive pattern, unsewn skirts, kerchiefs, aprons and hip-aprons with archaic ornamentation, linen and woollen wraps; and by men, shirts with breast pockets and long trousers with special pattern. Old-fashioned stockings with wide calves and nålbinded mittens were used in Mulgimaa for a long time. The Mulgi people are best known for their long coats - Mulgi coats. These and many more items of clothing will be presented to you.
The Mulgimaa trip includes relatively short bus rides and is suitable for people who can't stand long bus trips. The main keywords of the day are blacksmithing, Mulgi culture, history, architecture and heritage, folk costumes and bonework.
Setomaa is a small corner of South-East Estonia with a strong cultural identity, their own language, traditions and handicraft. For centuries, Seto culture has been an oral culture, where core values have been passed on by singing. Setos are known first and foremost for their distinct singing tradition - Seto leelo folk songs. Setos are also a dancing nation: almost every village has its own tsura (young man), who knows how to get a party going with his karmoška, or accordion. The traditional Seto folk costumes are especially eye-catching, the women's silver jewellery in particular. Traditions are often connected to the Orthodox Church.
The first stop will be at the Obinitsa Museum. The Obinitsa Museum offers an opportunity to learn about the unique history and culture of Setomaa through exploring the family life, traditions and customs of Seto families. The items in the cosy museum come from the surrounding villages. They place a particularly high value on the fine handicraft of Seto women. Through the stories of Seto women and the Seto language, the museum talks about leelo and its importance throughout the centuries.
In the museum, Õie Sarv, a representative and advocate of the Seto culture, who has inherited the language, singing and craft skills from her grandparents, will introduce how to dress in the Seto way. During the Dress Up programme one or two group members can feel like a Seto for a moment. In this way, you will learn how a Seto woman and man should dress according to tradition. At the end of the museum visit, Õie, together with her children Jaan and Maarja Sarv will give a short insight into Seto traditional singing, music and dances.
Lunch will be held nearby, in Taarka Tarõ which offers authentic Seto as well as Finno-Ugric cuisine. The trip will continue in Obinitsa - Seto Studio-Gallery and Kunstizaal. A permanent exhibition of older and contemporary Seto art and folk art is on display in the Studio-Gallery. The gallery house includes Evar Riitsaar's studio for making historic Seto jewellery and Ülle Kauksi's workshop for block and silk screen printing. Tapestries and textiles decorated with Seto patterns are also made there. In the summer period, there will be an exhibition with the works of various Seto craft masters, including textiles, leatherwork, ceramics, soaps, silverwork, paintings, etc. at the Kunstizaal.
The next stop will be at Rikka Ivvani farm. The farm owners, Sigre Andreson and Ain Raal are craft lovers and promoters, Sigre will also be teaching at Craft Camp for the second time this year. The farm is an almost 150-year-old traditional Seto fortress farm which has been mainly renovated by Ain himself. You can hear about making tar, arranging annual heritage music camps, promoting Seto crafts and many more interesting things.
The next stop will be at Luikjärve farm and Tobrova tsässon. The farm is a typical example of the fortress farms located in Setomaa, being characterised by a closed courtyard formed by buildings, a high gate and fences. The Tobrova tsässon, small Seto prayer house, is located close to the farm.
The final stop will be at Sulbi village, at Kairi Orav's home tailoring studio. Kairi is a craft master specialised in sewing and who conducts various courses and gives individual lessons at her Native Sewing Department. Most of her work is sewn by hand - men's trousers, overcoats and other folk costume items. She is passionate about living an environmentally friendly lifestyle, using local resources and minimising waste. That includes making soap according to traditional method from local animal fat, birch tar, and spruce gum as well as promoting patching and mending clothes. During the afternoon, there will be a coffee break.
This field trip is suitable for people who can stand longer bus trips (almost 2-hour ride to Setomaa) - it's the longest field trip in this camp. The trip goes through rural areas mostly. The main themes of the trip are: local craft and cultural heritage, Seto folk costumes, singing and music, silversmithing, traditional architecture, sewing, and local craft masters.
Soomaa’s most distinctive feature is what the inhabitants of the local villages refer to as the ‘fifth season’ - the high water season early in the spring. Soomaa - meaning “the land of bogs” is located on the western slopes of the Sakala Uplands and in spring the surrounding rivers overflow the area. During the high water period, the landscape is accessible primarily via canoe, kayak or a traditional dugout canoe. The 70 people who live permanently within the national park boundaries have learned to cope with the annual deluge. Soomaa National Park is the largest and best-preserved peat bog system in Europe. Harsh natural conditions have helped to preserve other aspects of cultural heritage as well.
The first stop will be at Tori. The oldest horse breeding farm in Estonia, which started operating in 1856, still breeds Native Estonian and Tori horses. Tori Stud Farm is a unique symbol of Estonian cultural heritage. We will get acquainted with the beautiful stable complex belonging to the Tori Manor ensemble, see the daily life of the farm and view the exhibition Tori Attic. At the exhibition, there is a selection of antique items as well as stories and history about the Tori horses.
The next stop will be at Tohera village, visiting local craft masters and heritage keepers, Aivar Ruukel and Juta Pertel. Aivar will talk about the cornerstone of Soomaa's identity - dugout canoe. Aivar is one of only five Estonians who still retain the skill of making dugout canoe, haabjas. The spring deluges have helped to preserve the craft in spite of modern culture striking in. Building a dugout canoe requires a nearly 80-year old straight trunk of an aspen. Aspen is a soft wood and a trunk can be expanded with the help of fire and hot water. Nowadays, the dugout is considered as the guardian of local identity, a symbol of the place and a community-builder.
Soomaa is a part of Pärnu and Viljandi counties, including Saarde, Pärnu, Tori, Vändra, Suure-Jaani and Kõpu parishes. Juta will give an insight into Soomaa's textile heritage, focusing on Tori folk costumes, with the example of women's and men's costume sets. There will be a small workshop about ribbon plaiting, each participant can make a key chain, inspired by traditional garters. Lunch which includes some local dishes and will be made by Juta.
The trip continues with an unique opportunity to cross over the Navesti river in a dugout canoe. We highly recommend trying it out, however, it's also possible to drive to the Riisa bog by bus. The guide for the day and the hike in Riisa bog is a local, Indrek Vainu. Indrek lives in unison with nature and organises an annual Forest Singing Festival in Soomaa, dedicated mostly to runic songs. A true experience of Soomaa includes being in nature. The hike will be a bit more than 1 km long, running along comfortable wooden tracks. During the hike, you can see wetland as well as the forest turning into a bog and vice versa.
The final stop of the day will be at Tipu Nature School. The school was founded with the aim of building a nature education complex, organising environmental education events, supporting local initiatives and preserving cultural goods of the region. You will get a tour at the Nature School area, hear about their activities, the place and village. They have goats, chicken, rabbits, ducks and bees. You can hear about traditional haymaking and scythe mowing and try out scything yourself. The head of the Nature School, Dagmar Hoder will speak about natural construction, foraging and herbs. The coffee break will be held there - you can try local herb tea and other seasonal crops from their garden.
The Soomaa trip includes relatively short bus rides. This is the most nature-related trip, including more walking and physical activities, compared to the other trips. We advise you to dress comfortably and wear footwear suitable for a bog hike (on a wooden trail). The main keywords of the day are horses, dugout canoes, textile crafts, nature, bog, heritage.