On January 25th, 2024, the fifth meeting with the participating students of the High School/Junior High School of Soufli took place at the premises of the Silk Museum of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP), a partner in the ARACNE project. After the preparatory meetings of November 2023 and following the request of the students to participate in artistic and experiential activities related to silk, PIOP organized four activities, according to their interests and as communicated by their participating professors.
The first activity took place at the inner yard of the Silk Museum where students had the opportunity to experience the traditional way of dying silk fabrics using raw materials. The dye was previously prepared with the use of pomegranate while vinegar was added to the mixture to help enhance the color. Students sunk the fabrics in the pot with the boiled mixture, stirred for a while, and then placed the fabrics in another pot with cold water to lock the color on the fabric. Afterward, the fabrics were taken out to dry while the other activities occurred.
The other three activities concerned artistic creations with cocoons and took place at the Brika Mansion which is located within five minutes’ walk from the Silk Museum. The Brika Mansion was built in 1890 and is a representative cocoon house of Soufli. It was built exclusively for sericulture’s needs from skilled workers that came from Bursa. The Brika family was also one of the few that grew silkworm eggs. The family donated the mansion to the municipality in 1991 and today it operates as the Municipal Folklore Museum of Soufli.
For the artistic activities, four tables were prepared with materials. The students chose their preferred activities and picked the according table. The first group worked on the making of wedding crowns decorated with white and pink cocoons.
The second group made key holders with cocoons and decorative marbles but also seemed to enjoy their time with creative basketball playing.
The last two groups decided to create jewelry with cocoons and other decorative materials. One group worked on making earrings, while the other got busy with making necklaces.
At the end of the experiential and artistic activities organized by PIOP, the participating professors collected the students’ creations for temporary safekeeping. They intend to organize an exhibition related to silk on the premises of the High School/Junior High School of Soufli. They will also showcase their activities within the ARACNE project. More information on that event will follow in the next months.
Gagoulia, Panayiota (1992) Η αρχιτεκτονική και πολεοδομική οργάνωση του χώρου στο Σουφλί και η σηροτροφία [The Spatial Organization of Soufli: Architecture, Urban Planning and Sericulture]. In: Sericulture at Soufli. P. Gagoulia, A. Louvi, M. Economou, S. Papadopoulos, M. Riginos. Pp. 108-123. Athens: Cultural Technological Foundation of the Greek Bank for Industrial Development (ETBA).