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Karelian Craft and Design Network
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The project intended to develop and modernise the souvenir and craft industry in the Republic of Karelia by adopting European, mainly Finnish, best practices in product design, distribution, and marketing.

Main activities

• Carrying out a study on European experiences in developing the souvenir industry, completing background research on the souvenir market of the Republic of Karelia, • Creation of a Craft and Design network website, an online craft and souvenir shop, and a database of 201 craftsmen and their products from the area of the Republic of Karelia, • Establishment of central office in Petrozavodsk, its side branches and four craft workshops, • Provision of training on various levels for professionals in the art industry and for those just getting started in craftsmanship, • Product development and organising of exhibitions.


The project had a study done on European experiences on developing the souvenir industry and completed background research on the souvenir market of the Republic of Karelia. A publication was produced based on the research. In addition, a database of 201 craftsmen and their products from the area of the Republic of Karelia was created. The database was included on the Craft and Design Network website created during the project at http://crafts.karelia.ru/news eng.htm. A craft and souvenir shop was also created for the website. The project created and equipped craft workshops in the pilot areas in Petrozavodsk, Belmorsk, Kemi in Viena, and Olonets. Lectures, seminars, educational courses, and craftsmen’s learning trips to Finland to craft and design organisations were arranged in order to develop the quality of the crafts and souvenirs. The subjects of the courses included national tradition, craftsmanship techniques, developing new souvenir designs, and packaging. In addition, professionals in the craft industry were offered personal consulting. An art curator network was created in the pilot area, in which Finnish and Russian designers assisted craftsmen in creating 75 new souvenirs. The products were created in accordance with the planned ‘Karelia Brand’ for which a logo was also designed. Business plans were created for three products for small-scale experimental production. The project opened the Karelian Craft and Design Network coordination centre in Petrozavodsk and communication offices in the areas. The coordination centre was responsible for networking activities with the regional communication offices, which implemented the collection and distribution of the souvenir products by operating as local souvenir shops during the tourism season of 2008. An exhibition of new souvenir products was organised in Petrozavodsk. A network between Karelian craftsmen was established during the project activities, and the offices and coordination centre are still operational after the project.

Basic information