I am a master of applied arts, originally from the mountainous region of Georgia (Khevsureti), the rich traditions of folk handicrafts are especially well preserved in the mountain villages. For mountain women, handicraft was a necessary duty, so we were taught to process and dye wool and linen from an early age, and the sachecheli was an important tool for making woolen products. In Pshav-Khevsureti, clothes were sewn from local shawls. The fabric is thick, heavy and rough, but durable and retains its original appearance for a long time. My childhood memories are exactly that, related to the colorful yarns and handicrafts of my beloved grandmother, who taught me how to process wool, weave and embroider. In the winter evenings the elderly women told interesting fun stories, while the children helped untie with the threads, it always ended with a traditional dinner prepared by the hostess.
This project allowed me to convey how important a role Sachecheli played in the recycling of natural materials. In the first stage, it was used to cut and clean wool and flax, only then to produce and use it as a thread. The technologies of the 20th century have replaced and facilitated human involvement, while primitive items have taken their place in museums and grandma’s suitcases, the opening of which erases many fond memories. I welcome the idea of the project, which aims to revitalize lost items in a new way and make them usable.
What interested you in the iAtelier programme and did it meet with your expectations?
With the help of Fablab Iliauni, we got acquainted with digital technologies, which allowed me to revive and give the face of a useful thing – a sachecheli and a table accessory, namely – a napkin, the left side of which will have a Khevsurian tower-shaped sapphire. With wooden toothpicks it is aimed to imitate Sachecheli, on the right side, Khevsurian embroidery will be engraved in enamel (copper) and the wavy end for placing a mobile phone, thus acquiring another important function that the buyer can use for this purpose as well.
My project is a table accessory made of ecologically clean wood, which will combine: the historical towers of Khevsureti, Sachecheli and old ornaments of our mountain cultural heritage,
I am very grateful for this opportunity. It is hard to find initiatives like iAtelier where craftsmen can have financial support to develop projects with new technologies.
In Fablab Iliauni, I learned to use digital technologies and created the product I wished, which gave me a great impression and incentive to continue and get involved in my future endeavors. Which I think will make it very effective and bring traditional culture to the forefront of my creativity, which is important for the future
My 5 top tips that I have learnt on this journey:
1. I did not consider the technology to be of use in handicrafts and the program radically changed my approach
2. Timing.. in terms of saving and consuming the important details, as you know, the production of cloisonne enamel requires a lot of time and willpower.
3. Design is a great tool of vision and understanding that you can work on and refine before you start producing a product, and the technology is exactly that.
4. Support and exchange of the best specialists of Fablab, which helps us to improve the design
5. We should not be afraid to try new things, to learn with an experienced team that will help us overcome difficulties
The project developed during iAtelier: Sachecheli