The Paper Mill Association (Moara de hârtie) has initiated and is developing The Paper Mill and the Crafts Village Complex in Comana (Giurgiu county, very close to Bucharest), that consists of 10 creative workshops based on old crafts, that used to be practiced in the Romanian traditional village: weaving at the hand loom, reed mace processing, blacksmith, pottery and ceramics, woodwork, traditional kitchen, traditional mill and bakery, as well as book-related crafts: hand-made paper, letterpress printing and bookbinding.
Our mission is that of being a focal point of synergy between people, crafts and art, doing this by:
1. Direct experience – the Comana Paper Mill and Crafts Village Complex is open to visitors every week-end, from April to October.
2. Education and training – throughout the whole year, we organize practical workshops with children and adults, on topics related to creativity and crafts.
3. Manufacturing handmade objects in the spirit of the old crafts, conceived to be relevant and appreciated in the XXIst century.
During the eight years since the idea of a Paper Mill first occurred to us, we have not only dreamt about the beauty of this place, but also worked a lot in the direction of creating it.
In 2011, we inaugurated in Comana a small Workshop-Museum, a place unique in Romania, dedicated to old book-related crafts. The Paper Mill brought here more than 12.000 children and adults in 6 years, people who visited the Workshop-Museum and participated in educational and creative workshops of handmade paper, letterpress printing and bookbinding.
Remarking the enthusiasm of both children and adults in direct contact with activities inspired by old crafts, in 2014 we decided to open a new way and to build here, in Comana, a small village dedicated to Romanian traditional crafts. For this dream to come true, we wrote a project, and the Comana Crafts Village could be built due to funds from the Norwegian Government.
In order to achive our organizational goals, we have also implemented projects in the area of training for crafts and promotion of crafts, such as:
- Original Journey in the World of Books and Printing, financed by the National Cultural Fund (2012)
- Youth (re)discover the European Culture of Printing, financed by the Youth in Action Programme (2013)
- "Well crafted” model of training and occupation in South – Eastern Region, financed by the Human Ressources Development Sectoral Operational Programme (2014-2015)
- Summer School Verna-cultura. Traditional Crafts in the context of contemporary architecture, financed by the Architecture Stamp Fund, by the Union of Romanian Architects (2015)
- Communities in the Romanian Plain (re)discover crafts, financed by the Capable of Good programme, supported by Kaufland and implemented by the Civil Society Development Foundation (2018-2019)
- Craft Education and Local Identity, financed by the National Cultural Fund (2019)
- Crafts for Local Development, financed by the Capable of Good programme, supported by Kaufland and implemented by the Civil Society Development Foundation (2019-2020)