Every summer, the University of Oregon leads an architecture, historic preservation, and conservation field school in Croatia. The program travels to different sites each year, exploring both the mainland and the Dalmatian islands. Activities in 2014 included a week learning about stone carving, documentation of villages, and restoration work on stone beehives. Days were quite busy but filled with interesting opportunities and unique experiences! The program is open to UO and non-UO students, and to people transitioning or considering changing fields (like me). This year’s field school began on June 20th. Join me for Day 6 of the field school, Day 4 at the Klesarska Škola (stone-carving school) in Pučišća on the island of Brač.
7:00 – Wake up and get ready for the day. (Alternative: wake up at 6:30 for a quick pre-breakfast swim in the harbor.)
7:30 – Breakfast buffet in the school cafeteria with a group of Austrian sculptors who are on a working vacation in Pučišća.
8:00 – 9:00 – Visit the workshop of a local stonemason to see modern, electric stonemasrony machines in action and hear a little about their use.
9:00 – 12:00 – Return to the school to pound away on limestone blocks using traditional techniques and tools–no electricity-powered machines here! Graduate from flattening the surface of a large stone to doing a simple decorative relief, which is altogether more fun and easier on the arms and hands.
12:00 – Head out the doors of the school and launch yourself into the turquoise Adriatic for another refreshing dip before lunch.
12:30 – Lunch in the school cafeteria.
1:00 – 4:00 – Free time allotted for individual sketching, swimming, doing course readings, and napping. Take a walk to the local cemetery to attempt some sketches.
4:00 – 7:30 – Visit local farmer and long-time Pučišća resident Ivo to tour his farm, which includes a grove of olive trees, remains of stone beehives, and a small house built from dry stone walls that was used until the mid-20th century (now home to an old jacket and a bat). See lots of giant spiders. Repair a dry-stone fence. Teach Croatian translator/cultural ambassador/program assistant the joys of riding in the bed of a pickup truck.
7:30 – Dinner back the the Klesarska Škola cafeteria.
8:30 onwards – Free time for watching the World Cup games, playing cards, going for a nighttime swim, and complaining about the large boats full of tourists that are blasting their music.
All photos by Hallie Borstel.