Karelian handicraft cluster

About the project

January 15, 2018 Karelia saw the launch of “Karelian handicraft cluster” — a project, aimed at bettering the regional model of dealing with handicraft as well as at the development of heritage-based creative endeavours in Karelia. This project of our association became a winner of the 2nd presidential grant for non-profit organisations competition in 2017. Over the course of the first 10 months of the project, events geared towards providing information, conducting research, and educating have taken place in Karelia. All the initiative is directed at devising an effective system of sustainable development for creative industries with a focus on handicraft and design in districts of Karelia.

The project initiated with research assisting handicrafters in exploring the resources of craftsmen, designers, and educational institutions in Karelia. Fieldwork will reveal the range of crafts in Karelia, the number of craftspeople, and designers, the business model for craft outlets, as well as the suppliers for the handicrafters. Would you like to partake in the research and be included into the Karelian handicrafters database? Feel free to fill out the application.

Under this project, a database will be created to strengthen the professional bond between handicrafters, designers, marketing specialists, educational institutions, as well as information sources concerning crafts, craft outlets, and suppliers of materials for craft workshops. Awareness-raising activities will improve the image and the prestige of handicraft as well as the value of handicrafters and designers collaborating.

Educational programs and labs, meetings of handicrafters, and open lectures will lay the foundation for the development of creative entrepreneurship, together with helping to unleash the potential of handicratfers and designers uniting in their work.

The project emphasises creating contemporary designer lines of handicraft items, along with cataloguing the present state of handicraft.

“Karelian handicraft cluster as a regional handicraft development model in Karelia” research

“Karelian handicraft cluster as a regional crafts development model in Karelia” research looks into the state of Karelian handicraft enterprise, legal framework for engaging in handicraft, as well as into factors, determining the sustainability of handicraft. It also offers ways to better the regional model of working with Karelian handicraft. The research was conducted in four pilot territories of “Karelian handicraft cluster” such as the city of Petrozavodsk, Pryazhinsky, Prionezhsky, and Belomorsky districts of Karelia. Handicrafters, designers, ethnocultural centres, educational institutions, shops, where the crafted items are sold, travel companies, local authorities, line ministries, etc. all took part in the research.

The research was conducted by: Svetlana Kolchurina, head of the Association of Ethnocultural Centres and Heritage Preservation Organisations “ECHO”, head of the “Karelian handicraft cluster” project; Tatiana Sachuk, doctor of economics, head of the department of economics and finance at the Karelian branch of RANEPA; Evgeniya Makkoeva, art historian, designer; Ekaterina Logvinenko, senior scientist of the exposition department at the state-financed organisation “National Museum of the Republic of Karelia”.

Implementation period: january 2018 — november 2018

The project was implemented with the financial support of the Fund of Presidential Grants


The project is pilot for Karelia and will be implemented in four areas of the Republic: the city of Petrozavodsk, Pryazhinsky, Prionezhsky, and Belomorsky districts of Karelia. The territories were chosen in consideration with the number of handicrafters, their ethnic make-up and geographical location, as well as the availability of ethnocultural centres in the districts.