Applied Folk Art Studio "Dzīne" celebrates its 45th anniversary this year presenting the exhibition "45 gadskārtas" (45 Growth Rings) held at the Culture and Folk Art Centre "Ritums" from 30 May to 30 June 2019.
The origins of the woodcarving studio dates back to October 1974 when it was led by the sculptor Betija Strautniece. Since 2009, the head of the studio is Krišs Erdmanis.
Every year "Dzīne" exhibits its works in the fairs and events, contributing to preservation of important Latvian folk traditions and their continuation in a contemporary form. Name of the studio comes from the Latvian word 'dzīne' which means a new spruce shoot. The tree grows, leaving a new mark every year, which in cross-section resembles a ring – the older the tree, the more growth rings. Like a tree, every year studio "Dzīne" adds a new ring to its growth, and this year there are 45 of them! Every year new ideas are developed by "Dzīne" masters and turned into tangible items. Wooden spoons, bread troughs, wooden clogs, and other household items, as well as various sculptures and relief carvings are presented at the exhibition.
Some people meditate by singing or weaving. In the studio "Dzīne", they do so by carving wood. These skills can be compared since all of them requires patience and long hours. While you are in process of creation, you do not notice the time passing – only this way, the genuine masterpieces are created. Studio "Dzīne" is a place gathering the people for whom wood is a dear material to work with and to create special items. Formerly, woodwork skills were required to prepare tools, cutlery, and even footwear. Nowadays, mostly decorative pieces are carved of wood. Though, Krišs Erdmanis, the head of the studio, points out that the wooden things made by "Dzīne" masters should be used on a daily basis, because only this way a user can appreciate their worth. Handmade items are of great value, that's why they are often presented as gifts. In Krišs Erdmanis opinion, the future of craft skills provides an opportunity to change the daily rhythm by coming to the studio and meditating in own way.