International festival “City of Crafts”


Craftsmanship is deep-rooted in the heritage of the Vologda Region. For many centuries the traditional crafts that are steeped in legends and tales have brought joy to the Russians because of their skilfully worked designs. Many kinds of folk arts were brought to perfection in the Vologda Region.

Original and distinctive are the productions of Vologda’s folk artists. The local traditions of decorative and applied arts have their roots in the hoary past. In their craft the masters put their high workmanship and practical wisdom. And their productions acquired the value of genuine art.

Among the popular Vologda’s specialities are wood engraving, coloured enamels with gold and silver veneer, carving on birch bark, the original technique of "tinplate frosting", woodcuts, production of polychrone tiles and the art of wooden statuary.

The 1st international festival “Voice of Crafts” was held in Vologda in 2014. Taking place in the heart of Vologda, the international festival - running September 4th-7th - featured a series of activities and initiatives, including a fair for crafts, and showcasing heritage material, and traditional products.

The festival is aimed at popularization of folk arts and handicrafts among the younger generation. It is arranged with an active backing of the Vologda City Administration and a Handicrafts Centre “Reznoi Palisad (Carved Fence)”.

A complementary public programme includes concerts, a craftsmanship competition, performances as well as workshops by handicrafts experts.

The festival emphasizes the importance of traditional craftsmanship in Russian heritage and supports craftsmen’s efforts to preserve, revive, and transfer their skills to future generations.

Every day of the festival is devoted to various programs that reveal to the audience the secrets of one of the folk crafts in the heart of Vologda - Kremlin Square.

During the festival artisans show off their virtuosity in making valenki (kind of felt boots), in wood engraving, wood carving and painting, which are also one of the most popular handicrafts in present-day Vologda Region. During the festival, the skilful hands of blacksmiths create veritable works of art from wrought iron and steel. Also potters, lace-makers, embroiderers and weavers demonstrate their skills.

International Folk Crafts Festival “Voice of Crafts” started out the new year with a new name in Vologda in 2018.

The organizers of the international folk crafts event announced that it is now be known as City of Crafts. The Vologda City Administration and a Handicrafts Centre “Reznoi Palisad (Carved Fence)” that run the event announced the rebranding.

So after four very enjoyable and successful years, the festivals continue under a new name - “City of Crafts”. As usual the festival includes creative workshops, lectures and round table meetings where leading experts on folk culture share their ideas and projects.

In 2018 Vologda became home to the International festival “City of Crafts” on June 29-July 1.

In 2019 Vologda City played host to the second edition of the International Folk Crafts Festival “City of Crafts”on June 14-16. The festival gathered craftsmen from 40 Russian regions and from such countries as Germany, Belarus, Armenia, Estonia, Bulgaria and Uzbekistan.

View slideshow of the International Folk Crafts Festival “City of Crafts”