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Raugo or Fermented Ceramic in Lithuania

From 2015 12th to 17th January Ilona Šauša went to Vilnius to carry out a research of raugos keramika / fermented pottery in Lithuania. The trip was supported by the Nordic Culture Point Mobility Program ( I. Šauša visited the exposition of the National Museum of History and its archaeological and ethnographical funds, the Open - Air Museum of Lithuania in Rumšiškės, met a pioneer of reconstruction process of fermented pottery in Lithuania a ceramist Dainius Strazdas who also is an author of a several articles about ancient ceramic technologies.

The study in the archaeological funds of the National Museum showed that fermented pottery in Lithuania was known already in the 14th century, evidenced by the shards found in Old Town of Vilnius, the places where were situated pottery workshops. The archives of the Ethnographical Department of National History Museum and the Open - Air Museum of Lithuania have a great fermented pottery collection and other materials, included photos where is shown the complete process from clay preparation to the fermenting of ware demonstrated by master Kairys Povilas in 1976.

A notable roll in development of fermented ceramic plays Vilnius Academy of Arts, which cooperates with D.Strazdas. One semester the students of the Ceramic Department are taught a variety of raku techniques and fermented ceramic too. Using this technique has been developed a number of diploma works. Also societies ‘Amatu Gildia’ and ‘Vilniaus podžiu cechas’ give significant contribution in renovation of this kind of pottery.

At the end of the project,on January 16, in the Vilnius Art Academy was led seminar ‘Raugo keramika – Fermented 'Baltic Raku', similarities and distinction with other raku techniques’. In the framework of the seminar were presentation by I.Šauša, ceramic firing and fermenting master classes. The seminar was attended by professional ceramists, potters and students from Vilnius, Kaunas and Alytus cities.

The project was carried out in cooperation with the society ‘Amatu Gildia’ and Vilnius Academy of Arts.