Από το δάσος στα πριστήρια και τα ξυλουργεία
GRUAPA DI KATRANI| Producing traditional katrami* (pine tar)
research and documentation
location: Vovousa, Zagori, Epirus
date: 16/07/2021 - 18/07/2021
co-organisers: Vovousa Festival
support and aegis: Ministry of Culture and Sports
collaboration: Giannis Zisis, Paschalis Zisis, Kostas Paganias, Thanasis Paganias, Christos Vrasanis, Alekos Drougias, Ole Jørgen Schreiner
lecturers: Vasilis Nitsiakos, Eleftheria Tsakanika, Kostas Paganias, Charalabos Lykidis
photography: Christina Paraskeuopoulou, George Detsis | Vovousa Festival © 2021
video: Argiris Karagiorgas, Christina Paraskeuopoulou
During Vovousa Festival 2021, an experimental small-scale reproduction of the traditional process for producing pine tar took place through the hands-on workshop ‘Gruapa di katrani’. The construction of traditional pine tar kilns is closely related to the forests and the management of natural resources, while depicts a forgotten craftsmanship which was distinctive for the Vlach villages of the Pindus Mountains, especially Distrato (Briaza) in Konitsa region where the last traditional pine tar producers, Ioannis and Paschalis Zisis live.
The workshop included the demonstration and practical application of all stages of the process: from the selection and preparation of the pine sticks along with local forest workers and loggers, until the kiln’s construction and its incomplete burning for the final product’s distillation.
During the workshop fourteen students and young professionals had the opportunity to attend to all the stages of the process and apply them until the pine tar was produced.
Furthermore a series of open talks and lectures was held in parallel with the workshop. On topics such as: the use of timber in architecture, its traditional and modern methods of protection, the applications of traditional pine tar, the ecogeography and the cultural identities of the inhabitants in the Aoos river area.
The workshop ‘Gruapa di katrani’ aimed to document and promote the traditional craft of pine tar production, as well as to initiate a dialogue on the modern value of preserving traditional crafts as part of the cultural heritage of a place.
*katrami (or katrani; pine tar) is a thick oily black liquid with a strong smoky odor produced by a special distillation process of dadi, which is the resinous part of old black pine trees, and has various applications, including the protection of wooden surfaces.