Traditional and artistic crafts - heritage and modernity

The foundation of the project is rooted in the fact that innovation has always been crucial in all aspects of life in the Idrija region. In order to survive in the challenging living environment of the Idrija Basin, individuals had to be innovative, regardless of their gender. As a result, our area has constantly witnessed the emergence of various new skills, knowledge, professions, and numerous crafts. However, some of these aspects have not been sufficiently explored or preserved for future generations, nor have they been adequately showcased and promoted.

Partners in the project:

  • LAS s CILjem (lead partner)
  • Mestni muzej Idrija – Muzej za Idrijsko in Cerkljansko (MMI)
  • Center za upravljanje z dediščino živega srebra Idrija (CUDHg Idrija)
  • Idrijsko-Cerkljanska razvojna agencija d.o.o. Idrija (ICRA)

Total project value: 126.796,61 EUR

Project value by partners and co-financing from CLLD funds:

  • Partner name: LAS s CILjem; Vrednost projekta v EUR: 1.019,30; co-financing CLLD in EUR: 585,68
  • Partner name: MMI; Vrednost projekta v EUR: 53.073,67; co-financing CLLD in EUR: 41.631,72
  • Partner name: CUDHg Idrija; Vrednost projekta v EUR: 52.759,64; co-financing CLLD in EUR: 36.877,86
  • Partner name: ICRA; Vrednost projekta v EUR: 19.944,00; co-financing CLLD in EUR: 16.559,25

SKUPAJ: Project value in EUR: 126.796,61; Co-financing CLLD in EUR: 95.654,51

Project duration: 1. 4. 2019 – 31. 10. 2020. The project is divided into 2 phases as follows:

  • 1. phase: 1. 4. 2019 – 28. 2. 2020
  • 2. phase: 1. 2. 2020 – 31. 10. 2020


The starting point of the project is the fact that in the Idrija region, it has always been necessary to be innovative in all aspects of life in order to survive in the otherwise harsh living environment of the Idrija Basin. Both men and women had to be innovative, resulting in the constant emergence of various new skills, knowledge, professions, and numerous crafts in our area. However, not all aspects of the heritage of domestic and artistic crafts could be included in the project. Therefore, the partners decided to focus on the following themes:

  • The first lace that arrived in the Idrija and Cerkno area in the early 18th century, its production, and smuggling. The prominent figure will be the well-known smuggler Melhiorca.
  • Mining lamps in the mine. We will explore the craft of making oil lamps and carbide lamps, which were specially designed for miners and mine management, and were produced from the 16th century until the early 20th century.
  • Pottery and the production of special clay vessels - retorts for the distillation of cinnabar ore, which were used in the Idrija mine from the early 16th century to the mid-17th century.

Based on these themes, we will prepare numerous educational programs for vulnerable groups, educational programs for primary and secondary schools, and tourism programs for various target groups. The aim is to revive, present, transfer knowledge, and revitalize these crafts, as well as to incorporate them into entrepreneurial and tourism offerings, creating new job opportunities. We will also develop concepts for various workshops and public events, pilot their implementation, create promotional materials, and carry out promotional activities to raise awareness about the importance of preserving and protecting cultural heritage and to increase accessibility to it, including for vulnerable groups with different limitations.

Activities in the project: WP 1 Exchange of experience, knowledge, and their implementation in the LAS area

1.1. Preparation of a joint plan for the further development of traditional crafts and craft tourism in all LAS areas.

1.2. Exploration of successful initiatives in the Loška Valley Local Action Group (LAS) region.

1.3. Exploration of successful initiatives LAS between Snežnikom and Nanosom.

1.4. Exploration of successful initiatives in the LAS area of Vipava Valley.

1.5. Exploration of successful initiatives in the LAS area LAS s CILjem.

1.6. Implementation of good practice in the field of traditional crafts.

1.7. Partner meeting and presentation of partner LAS in the area of Loška Valley.

1.8. Partner meeting and presentation of partner LAS in the area of Vipava Valley.

1.9. Partner meeting and presentation of partner LAGs in the area between Snežnik and Nanos.

1.10. Partner meeting and presentation of partnering LAS areas LAS s CILjem

WP 2 Development and marketing of services and products

2.1.Research on Marina Melhiorca and her smuggling suitcase, as well as domestic and artistic crafts typical of the era in which she lived (18th century).

2.2. Production of costumes based on the research findings.

2.3. Preparation of worksheets and creation of an interactive picture book about Marina Melhiorca.

2.4. Illustration of a typical character "Melhiorca and the miner" and concept for various promotional materials.

2.5. Research on the old craft of making mining lamps.

2.6. Presentation of mining lamps (oil lamps, carbide lamps, electric lights, etc.) throughout the centuries in the Idrija mine - small exhibition.

2.7. Creation of a virtual image of Perkmandeljc (hologram).

2.8. Production of old mining craft - pottery, translation of a chapter, and depiction of distillation locations.

2.9. Creation of a virtual demonstration of distillation in retorts, and presentation on panels.

2.10. Design and creation of a small exhibition on distillation in retorts at the Hg Smelting plant.

2.11. Designing invitations for two events: "In the Glow of Mining Lamps through the Centuries" and "Days of Mercury - Reflections of the Silver Age."

WP 3 Knowledge and skills transfer and training programs

3.1. Preparation and pilot implementation of pedagogical and andragogical programs on the topic of domestic and artistic crafts.

3.2. Production of an informative brochure for different target groups with pedagogical and andragogical programs about Marina Melhiorca and the miner.

3.4. Theatrical performance of "Melhiorca."

3.5. Development of a concept for the event "Rudnik oživi" and pilot implementation.

3.6. Development of a concept for the event "Odsevi srebrnega časa" with demonstrations of old crafts and knowledge.

3.7. Development of a concept for an event during the Festival of Idrija Lace and the Idrija Žlikrofi Festival, also showcasing old crafts and knowledge.

3.8 Development of a concept for a new product, namely an outdoor tour of the  Hg Smelting plant, and pilot implementation.

3.9. Development of guided tour programs for different target groups and pilot implementation.

3.10. Workshop on storytelling for guides in Anthony's Main Road and the Hg Smelting plant.

3.11. Production of an informative brochure by CUDHg Idrija with a print run of 15,000 copies.

WP 4 Promotion of new products, practices, procedures 4.1. Release of a DVD with a film about Melhiorca. 4.2. Production of a documentary video about various knowledge and crafts in the mine, titled "Taužentkunstlerji" at the Idrija Mercury Mine. 4.3. Promotion of CUDHg Idrija events. 4.4. Photographing the events. 4.5. Jumbo poster 4.6. Media bus 4.7. Creation of promotional materials on the topic of Melhiorca.

WP 5 Communication, dissemination, and project promotion

WP 6 Project management and coordination 

Results and benefits for the LAS areas involved in the project operation: 

Established collaboration, acquisition of new knowledge, and transfer of good practices among the involved LAS.

Established collaboration among different target groups (including providers of domestic and artistic crafts DUO, who will jointly enter the market) and heritage stakeholders, heritage tourism, and professionals in the areas of the involved LAS s Ciljem.

Quality preservation of cultural heritage.

Conducted research on specific crafts for each area and a joint plan for the further development of traditional crafts and craft tourism.

Development of new products and services based on professional research and the creation of new job opportunities, resulting in positive economic growth in the LAS s Ciljem areas involved in the operation.

Sustainable management, preservation, and promotion of cultural and natural heritage.

Implemented promotional events and created promotional materials.


  • Establish conditions for job creation: The project will develop numerous new tourism, educational, and adult education programs, products, and services, enriching the existing offerings of two important tourism stakeholders in Idrija, who are also project partners. This will provide a new entrepreneurial stimulus and initiative in our area. The project will contribute to improving conditions for job creation in the social sector - tourism and education.
  • Develop and design new tourism products or services: Based on several studies of traditional crafts in Idrija, the project will develop new tourism services and products. Concepts for new tourism and awareness events will be prepared and piloted. The number of new products and services in the area will be at least 16, including the Melhiorca character, Perkmandeljc hologram, new costumes, interactive picture books, activity sheets for children on the topic of Melhiorca, an exhibition on old mining lamps, virtual representation of ore roasting in retorts, an exhibition on ore roasting in retorts, concept and pilot implementation of 6 public events, activity sheets for visitors to Hg Smelting plant, 3 informative brochures, etc. All the mentioned elements can be summarized as: 1. Enhancement of the tourism offer of the Idrija Municipal Museum, 2. Enhancement of the tourism offer of the Heritage Management Center for Idrija Mercury.
  • Preserve and revive the heritage of the area: One of the main project objectives is the preservation of the cultural heritage of the area and building further development of the area on the foundations of this heritage. By researching old, almost forgotten crafts, their modern presentation, revitalization, and promotion, we will contribute to preserving at least 3 traditional crafts: lace-making, lamp-making in the mine, and pottery.
  • Activate the potential of vulnerable groups: Many project activities will involve various vulnerable groups, with some activities specifically targeting them, such as preschool and school children, youth, individuals with sensory impairments. At the same time, representatives of vulnerable groups will be involved in our activities as participants.

The content of the website is the responsibility of CUDHg Idrija. The managing authority for the implementation of the Rural Development Program of the Republic of Slovenia for the period 2014-2020 is the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Food.

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