Needless to say, last year has been a challenge. We are happy and thankful that with all the obstacles, with some minor program adjustments, we managed to have a rich dry stone season. The association performed most of its activities thanks to the long-term volunteering of its members. Public activism in preserving cultural heritage is growing steadily and our outdoor activities additionally attracted their interest.
We opened the season in February with a master workshop on dry stone building technique on Rijeka University campus. As part of European Capitol of Culture 2020, a dry stone inscription "I'm not a robot" was designed by artist Darko Fritz and carried out by us. The workshop attracted around a hundred volunteers from all over the country, and was visited by two classes of Rijeka primary schools.
In Istrian park of sculptures Dubrova, children with intellectual disabilities enthusiastically joined us and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. A number of dry stone workshops included the youngest, children and school-age youngsters, raising awareness of the tradition from an early age.
Keeping in mind this year’s restrictions, we took the opportunity to expand dry stone knowledge and skill among the members of our association. During our yearly heritage volunteer camp in Učka Nature park, Petrebišća XI., we dealt with slightly more demanding interventions than usual, which prepared the ground for future public workshops. During the camp, a film was made about DRAGODID activities, which will be part of a permanent exhibition in Učka mountain visitor centre.
Also, we dealt with other traditional building techniques. In village Godinj, we participated in rye harvest and making of sheaves for a thatched roof. Once sheaves had dried, we went back to help with straw threshing and finishing touches before placing them on the roof.
During an international exchange concerning restoration of the Calmont d’Olt castle in France, we helped building lime plaster walls and had a stone blocks fine carving workshop. Another Erasmus+ activity in France was a training for heritage volunteer camp leaders in Villandraut, which provided both theoretical and practical approach of a heritage renovation camp.
A short calendar of workshops and trainings in 2020 follows, through which we have successfully brought the art of dry stone and its value to the local community and beyond. After most of the activities there is a report in Croatian with text and photographs.
- leading a master workshop on dry stone building technique on Rijeka University campus, as part of European Capitol of Culture 2020, with collaboration from artist Darko Fritz report;
- organizing a ‘’Zadar county dry stone mentor’’ workshop near Paklenica National Park and renewing supporting walls report;
- leading a dry stone wall, pond and steps reparation workshop in old Kotor settlement, organized by Crikvenica Town Museum report;
- leading a dividing walls restoration workshop for volunteers and children, in Istrian park of sculptures Dubrova, organized by Mediterranean stone symposium report;
- participating in Žirje - Green island project organized by the Amateur cultural association Žirje by leading a dry stone pond restoration workshop report;
- leading a dry stone pond restoration workshop in Gaćelezi, organized by Local action group More 249 and association Lokva-Gaćelezi report;
- participating in rye harvest and making of sheaves for a thatched roof in village Godinj, organized by families Pavlinović and Lendić report;
- leading a dry stone terrace reparation workshop in lavender fields, during the 12th Lavender Festival in Velo Grablje village on island Hvar, organized by the local association Pjover;
- leading a dry stone workshop as part of Natura Drniš project, organized by Town of Drniš and Motonautika-Luke company press;
- organizing a heritage volunteer camp in Učka Nature park, Petrebišća XI.,repairing dry stone huts walls and roofs, along with other village infrastructure;
- leading a workshop as a part of SOS Silba Off Season, building a dry stone habitat for caper plants on Silba island, organized by S.E.A. Silba Enviroment Art report;
- participating in the international Erasmus+ youth exchange concerning restoration of the Calmont d’Olt castle in France, helping build lime plaster walls, organized by the French REMPART report;
- leading a dry stone separating walls reparation workshop in Rijeka, organized by Rijeka Waldorf elementary school report;
- participating in rye sheaves preparation and straw threshing in village Godinj, organized by families Pavlinović and Lendić report;
- leading a dry stone retaining wall reparation workshop in old Kotor settlement as part of Kotor Calls! project, organized by Crikvenica Town Museum report;
- coorganizing the fourth Dry Stone Competition with Local action group More 249 in peninsula Srima in Vodice, ten teams participated and built a dry stone bench in 2.5 hours report;
- leading an educative dry stone workshop for local high school pupils and teachers in Stari Grad Plain on island Hvar, organized by Agency for Stari Grad Plain Management;
- participated in Erasmus+ training for heritage volunteer camp leaders in Villandraut, France report;
- co-leading building of a dry stone hut in Konavle, organized by Konavle Dry stone heritage association press;
- leading an online lecture “Dry-stone heritage of the eastern Adriatic - a tradition on the path to sustainability" organized by Dalmatia Permaculture association;
- co-leading a dry stone terrace reparation workshop in Praputnjak, organized by Praputnjak-cultural landscape association and Dolčina agricultural cooperative report;
- leading a lecture “On dry stone heritage and building skill’’ as part of Zagreb library program “Croatian cultural and natural heritage”;
- leading a dry stone workshop in elementary school’s olive grove old in Crikvenica, organized by Crikvenica Town Museum report.
The event that was supposed to highlight our dry stone year is the XVII. International congress & workshop on dry stone in Konavle - ‘’Dry stone perspectives: challenges after the UNESCO inscription’’. Due to world events, the organizing committee postponed it for autumn 2021 and will announce it once more soon, everyone is welcome!