Transitional Thatch, 2007
Lithuanian straw, moss and pinewood
Extreme Crafts, CAC, Vilnius, Lithuania (25th May - 12th August, 2007)

One window inside the CAC (Contemporary Art Centre), Vilnius, has a thatched roof above it. From in-depth research into traditional English thatching, a thatched roof design was then translated and constructed by Lithuanian thatchers through knowledge of their own craft and materials.

Used as protection from the elements with picturesque ‘chocolate box’ cottage results, thatch is a quintessential British craft. In relation to the CAC’s dominating modernist architecture, Via Vaudeville! introduced an internal small thatched roof over one of its tall windows. This intervention accentuates the isolated view of historic ‘old town’ in Vilnius, whilst reversing the function of such a roof to emphasis its decorative and craft elements.

The process for the thatched roof's construction takes into account a transfer of national/regional crafts. Through in-depth research into English thatching by viewing and meeting English thatchers and a reed-cutter, a design for the roof (image above) was developed and sent to Lithuania, where it was translated and built by local thatchers through their own technique and distinctive materials.

Extreme Crafts had a ‘things-to-make-and-do‘ catalogue to co-inside with the exhibition containing essays, patterns and ideas. It was in the catalogue where Gillian Nott (Editor of Guild News) kindly gave us permission to use her ‘Four-Straw Compass Plait’ -instructional drawings, for our own page. In return we wrote a short text on our project for The Guild of Straw Craftsmen - Guild News, click here to read the full text.

Via Vaudeville! wish to thank and acknowledge the help and support of all those involved throughout the process of realising Transitional Thatch:

Origins of Norfolk Reed:

Eric Edwards MBE, Norfolk Broads Marshman at Norfolk Broads Authority Conservation Area, How Hill, Ludham, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

Broads Authority
18 Colegate
Norwich
Norfolk, NR3 1BQ
Tel (01603) 610734
www.broads-authority.gov.uk

Straw Thatching, Cambridgeshire:

Brian and Tom Mizon re-thatching a cottage at Litlington, near Royston, Cambridgeshire.

Brian Mizon
Horseheath
Cambridgeshire
Tel: 01223 892861
Email: brian.mizon@hotmail.co.uk
(Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex)
brianmizonthatching.co.uk

Reed Thatching, Norfolk:

Aldred Brothers (Stephen and Michael) working on a new house at Horning, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

Steve Aldred
Holly Cottage
Long Common
East Ruston
Norwich
NR12 9HH

Build:

Siaudiniai Stogai - Kestutis Kraujalis and team, Lithuania.

Kestutis Kraujalis
Azuolytes g. 5,
38266 RAMYGALA PANEV__IO
raj. LIETUVA
Lithuania
Tel: +370 615 65080
www.siaudiniaistogai.lt

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