In the old days, grandmother sat at the spinning wheel spinning yarn. Children were playing, listening to her stories or singing together. When yarn was spun, dyed and dried it was transformed into gloves, socks, blankets, clothes, etc Elders would teach their young ones as they were taught before them by their elders. This ensured the longevity of traditional crafts.
Since time immemorial, people have archived their knowledge through drawing or writing. Visual storytelling and symbolism are prominent in creative expressions throughout the ages. Symbols reflect the ancestral understanding of life and its values. Inspiration and wisdom came from nature. Deepened understanding through observation and respect. Mother nature is the beginning, continuation, and conclusion of everything. They believed that harmony is the key component of a wholesome life. Ancestors lived in accordance with the laws of nature and the lessons learned over time. These insights turned into values by creating the roots of cultural heritage. Which is most often seen in handicraft traditions; mirroring a story.
The Baltic folk art embodies a unique sign language that only own kin can understand. The symbolism used in traditional handicraft traditions embodies the soul of the people. Its dreams, desires, higher values, tips, and insights. Thoughts, blessings, and intentions are encoded in traditional textiles. A language that existed a long time before me and you.
In the ancestral household, handicraft knowledge was passed on by grandmothers and mothers archiving their techniques and designs in notebooks. This tradition, unfortunately, has stagnated with modern-day progress. Nowadays authentic - traditional knitting, embroidery, and other textile designs are mostly found in museums and books. The digital age has helped to highlight and gain recognition of traditional folk art. On the other hand, too often losing its true essence and roots in the ocean of information. Symbolic patterns in modern handicrafts are arbitrarily combined, generalized and altered, mostly due to ignorance. Authentic -traditional designs disappear due to a fact that original versions/combinations are no longer made...
With that awareness, the necessity of cultural heritage safeguarding arose and BALTICA was born. BALTICA contains identical tracings from authentic Baltic handicrafts. Folk costume embroidery, knitted gloves, and socks, woven blankets - all live in BALTICA pages. Like in 1989, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania stood together to create the Baltic Way - BALTICA proudly unites traditional designs of these three countries.
It is our hope that BALTICA will serve as an inspiration for handicraft projects of knitters and embroiders nowadays as it did for those before us. Each of the six Baltica’s include 33 traced ethnographic designs open to color interpretation according to your taste. Choose your favorite, color it and count your way into crafting something special. May the legacy of Baltics live on - one stitch at a time!
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