Craft Camp 2023 is taking place in Viljandi and is organized by the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy Native Crafts Curriculum. After 5 years of organizing the camp in Olustvere manor, the organizers decided to bring in some refreshment in the programme and location of the camp. It's the third time for the camp to take place in Viljandi.
University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy is a well-known university college that focuses on culture, creativity, innovation and heritage. The UT Viljandi Culture Academy offers graduate and undergraduate study programmes. Besides the theoretical knowledge, the graduates obtain practical experience which enables them to have a steady position for entering labour market.The academy enriches Viljandi's cultural landscape and has many co-projects with various local enterprises and organizations.
The curriculum of Estonian Native Crafts stands behind the idea and formation of this handicraft camp. Estonian Native Crafts curriculum is very unique in the world as only
here it is possible to obtain applied higher education in the field of Estonian native textile, construction and metalwork. Previously we've organised a conference dedicated to knitted sweaters in Nordic countries as well as several etno fashion shows. In June 2018, the department organized the Nordic Knitting Symposium and in November 2019 the Craft Conference entitled Studying Traditional Crafts: Goals and Methods in Higher Education. In November 2022, an International Wool Conference was arranged. Since 2012, the curriculum has been publishing Studia Vernacula, an academic journal that aims to advance research in the fields of handicraft and native crafts.
Most of the workshops are going to take place in Vilma building where the Native Crafts department is located. There are classrooms in various sizes, including weaving, woodworking, metalworking, machine knitting, laundry rooms and a modern wool workshop. The woodworking classroom is extended outdoors by a gantry. There are blacksmith's workshop, a garage and White Box for dance students in the courtyard. The building includes facilities for video/media and stage design students.
Viljandi is a small city in southern Estonia. It has about 18 000 inhabitants. Viljandi is located 160 km from Tallinn, 75 km from Tartu and 240 km from Riga. The town is best known for the impressive castle ruins, a former home of the ruling Livonian Order. The scenic views of the nearby lake and wooden architecture makes Viljandi a place of interest to both nature and culture lovers.
Viljandi is known for a variety of small cafés and shops of local groceries and handicraft. The distances within the city centre area are relatively short, all the main shops, hotels, study facilities and restaurants are located max 10-15 minute walk away from each other. There are small parks and larger outdoor sitting and activity areas nearby Viljandi lake and castle ruins. Viljandi is the unofficial folk music capital of Estonia - at the end of every July, the folk music festival is held in the city.