Albania: Preservation Skills Training for Locals

 
$6,352
$48,648
Raised
Remaining
Jul 8, 2014

Professional Interest Piques in Skills Training

J O
J O'Connell is a project instructor from Australia

If you’ve been supporting AiP’s hands-on educational program in Albania, or if you’ve been thinking about joining our group of supporters, here’s another reason you’ll be proud to be part of the team.

Adventures in Preservation’s September project created so much buzz among building conservation professionals, that registration for the 2-week session has reached its maximum! The group of 14 – including four from Albania – will use their expertise and learn new skills to find hidden wall paintings and document their findings in preparation for May 2015.

The May session will initiate the restoration of paintings and is open to both students and professionals in the fields of building conservation, art conservation and related fields. The tradition of decorative wall painting, as seen at the Skenduli house, is becoming a lost art, and our volunteers plan to reverse this trend. Your donations will help provide scholarships for students, as well as cover the cost of some materials.

Saving traditions such as the Albanian style of wall paintings is vital to the continued growth of the country's heritage tourism initiatives. These amazing historic houses are the key resource in building a viable economy. Our partnership with Albania’s Institute of Cultural Monuments has allowed AiP and our volunteers to make great progress at the Skenduli house. But without our partnership with you, as a supporter, none of the work would be possible.

We appreciate your continuing generosity which has created such positive results. Our next report will fill you in on September events with plenty of photos to give you the inside story on work at the Skenduli house.

See you then!

Modern layer of paint hides original colors
Modern layer of paint hides original colors
Whitewashed walls hide uncovered treasures
Whitewashed walls hide uncovered treasures

Links:

Apr 16, 2014

Grants Enhance Your Donations - Spreading Training Regionwide

Albanian students receive funding  to join work
Albanian students receive funding to join work

Those of you following the progress of skills training in Gjirokastra know that your generous support over the past few years has made a great impact on this World Heritage Site. Your donations have supported the preservation and continuing use of the city's iconic historic buildings, which in turn has spurred community development.

Our efforts are gaining momentum and others around the world are taking notice and adding their support. Two of AiP's international volunteers have received grants that will cover their cost to join work at the Skenduli house in September. AND includes some additional funds to help cover the cost of materials. Funding is being provided by the International Specialist Skills Institute that supports Australian professionals in gaining additional skills overseas, and The Zibby Garnett Travelling Fellowship that encourages those studying and working in building conservation to gain practical experience abroad, when not available in the UK.

Thanks to these two funding organizations, AiP is now able to use a greater percentage of your donations to cover expenses for Gjirokastrans wanting to work and learn at the Skenduli house. A group from the Gjirokastra regional office of the Directorate of National Culture will be attending; they'll use their new skills to help others in the region save, restore and use their historic buildings. This work is very important because preserving their cultural heritage is the region's only viable path to a sustainable economy, one based on heritage tourism.

We need your continued generosity in order for the September project to be a success. The impact of your donations will not only be felt at the Skenduli house, but will be spread to outlying areas of the region as members of the Directorate share their new expertise. As a result, you will have a direct effect on efforts to raise the standard of living for many people in the region.

We invite you to join this effort and see the results!

Albert Kasi of Directorate prepares for Sept
Albert Kasi of Directorate prepares for Sept
Details of cultural heritage being lost
Details of cultural heritage being lost
Cultural landscape brings heritage tourism
Cultural landscape brings heritage tourism

Links:

Jan 23, 2014

Generous Donations of Time and Technology Boosts Skills Training

Painting uncovered in Skenduli sitting room
Painting uncovered in Skenduli sitting room

Skills training at the Skenduli house has just received a huge boost!

Jennifer O’Connell, an Australian art conservator, is donating 6 weeks of her time to work and teach at the Skenuli house.  She will work along with local and international trainees to discover and document any decorative painting hidden under lime wash and paint on interior and exterior walls.

Joining forces with Jennifer and donating their services is a crew from Stroria Ambiente Monumento (SAM) of Calabria, Italy. They will teach trainees how to use 3D laser scanning to produce high quality photographs that detail the wall surface. From these images, reproductions can be made that mimic the brush strokes, making it visible on a flat surface.

A conservation specialist from Albania’s Institute of Monuments will join them in teaching techniques and beginning the conservation work. Training will include additional methods of identifying underlying painted surfaces if laser technology is not available.

We invite anyone interested in decorative paint conservation to join community members for two weeks with these experts. Trainees will learn both cutting edge and traditional techniques. 

Come to Gjirokastra to give your time and soak in the knowledge – September 7-20, 2014.

Is decorative painting hidden under lime wash?
Is decorative painting hidden under lime wash?
Trainees documenting visible painting under eaves
Trainees documenting visible painting under eaves

Links:

Oct 28, 2013

From Near Ruin to Vital Business

Babameto house before restoration
Babameto house before restoration

Can you believe it’s been only four years since work started to save the historic Babameto tower house in Gjirokastra? Portions of this massive stone house had collapsed, yet Cultural Heritage without Borders was able to design and complete a project bringing the house back to its original glory. And today, with assistance from AiP volunteers, the tower house is completely restored and serves as a travel hostel. The hostel provides comfortable, safe and inexpensive lodging for its guests as well as bringing new jobs to the community. Your efforts played a vital role in this amazing transformation, and more importantly, in enhancing not only the city’s beauty but the community's sustainable economy through increased tourism. We are infinitely grateful!

Adventures in Preservation is again joining Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHwB) in ramping up our efforts to restore the Skenduli tower house and three additional houses nearby. It is with great excitement that we will return to Gjirokastra for two, two-week sessions: April 25 - May 9 and September 12 - 26, 2014. We plan to repair wooden balcony features and decorative wood ceilings, document and restore decorative painting, continue plaster repair and much more.

We are diligently working to organize a productive, fulfilling and memorable journey and hope that you will consider joining us. All volunteers are welcome and experience is not required. Your participation or financial contribution will go a long way in revitalizing the Skenduli house and making its success story just as compelling as that of the Babameto house.

If you know of someone who might consider joining us in Gjirokastra, we’d be grateful if you would pass this information along. Likewise, if you have ideas for attracting wider project support, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

Again, thank you for your continued interest and generous support.

Restored house on day of opening ceremony
Restored house on day of opening ceremony
Re-plastering with lime plaster
Re-plastering with lime plaster
Guest room ready for travelers!
Guest room ready for travelers!

Links:

Aug 1, 2013

Skenduli Hands-On Learning Open to All

AiP volunteer from Australia learning plaster prep
AiP volunteer from Australia learning plaster prep

The Skenduli House repair and restoration project in Gjirokastra is moving forward thanks to your continuing support. In September, architecture and preservation students from around the Balkans will once again come for two weeks of learning and working at the site as preservation continues.

What you may not know is that ANYONE is welcome to join this hands-on learning experience.  If experiential travel is something you love, this opportunity will offer you a memorable way to be involved and help the community.

In 2014, two sessions are open, one in April and one in September. For each two-week session, we hope to have ten volunteers, also known as citizen preservationists, join students and professionals from around the world. Teams of 8 will work with a craftsperson, receiving a great deal of individual instruction to learn the historic arts of lime plastering, wood preservation, and other work that may be on tap during your session.

We would like everyone, regardless of your experience with historic preservation, to know you are welcome to come and learn new skills, enjoy excellent Albanian cuisine, and explore the culture all in the company of other dedicated volunteers. It's remarkable that such an amazing experience for you will at the same time greatly support efforts to move Gjirokastra toward a sustainable economy for its citizens.

Your donation can go even further in person, as you extend the impact by contributing to the actual preservation efforts at the Skenduli House!

Drawing class at Skenduli option for volunteers
Drawing class at Skenduli option for volunteers

Links:

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Project Leader

Judith Broeker

Boulder, Colorado United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Albania: Preservation Skills Training for Locals