Why not learn weaving in Greece while on your next holiday? Or maybe doll making, using pieces you found during your travels? Or even discovering the secrets behind eco-weaving? All of it is available to you to experience while staying at Live-Bio.
Meet Eleni and her Ergani Weaving Workshop
We met Eleni Pavlou shortly after we arrived. She lives on Poros island, together with her husband Vangelis and their 5 adorable kids, 3 girls and 2 boys. She has been running her business for more than 17 years, first from her parents’ house and since 2013 from its new location in the centre of town of Poros where all the magic happens.
When Eleni was a child she loved doing hand made things. Her dolls always had a new dress or necklace to show off with. Young Eleni was always creative, trying to find new ideas and designs for her little friends. When she grew up, she decided to expand her horizons and study philosophy, pedagogy and psychology at the university of Athens. It was during her studies when she decided to take up seminars for hand made dolls. While still at the university, Eleni found 2 professional teachers who taught her the principles of weaving. Soon enough she realised this was what she wanted to do for living.
One more important event happened during this time. At 24 years old she met Vangelis, who soon would become her husband. Together they decided to leave the metropolis of Athens, follow their passion and move to Poros island where in 1998 they set up Ergani Weaving Workshop. The beginnings were humble. Working form her mother’s house Eleni was following her passion, creating increasingly more sophisticated pieces. In the year 2000 she took up a new challenge of teaching weaving, first to kids and later on to the grown ups too.
Exploring new techniques of weaving in Greece
Eleni was always curious to learn new techniques and to think outside of the box. Soon she also discovered the art of spinning (making yarn from fleece), a technique she liked a lot as it allowed to control the final look of the fabric. Then came felt making (another way to make fabric out of wool), knitting, crochet, embroidery, dying and painting fabrics. Ergani Weaving Workshop and Eleni herself became versatile. As the interest was growing for people to learn those fascinating skills, Eleni continued growing her business. More importantly, she kept following her passion.
In the recent years, when Greece started to go through the crisis, it became more and more difficult to find adequate fabrics and material in the country. Importing was an option, but it was pricey. Eleni had to to be even more creative. She started using plastic bags and all sorts of recycled material to make fabrics. That is when eco-weaving was born. It is especially popular among children as it happens outdoors, in a natural environment. Kids love it!
What can you learn with Ergani Workshop and how much does it cost (summer 2015)?
Weaving for beginners or advanced
2 hours – 25 Eur
4 hours – 40 Eur
2 hours – 25 Eur
Eco-weaving (popular especially with kids)
1 hour – 10 Eur
Doll making (also in a form of a holiday souvenir)
1.5 hours – 20 Eur
Weaving in nature (outdoors)
Available upon request
Whether you are interested in a workshop or not, why don’t you simply come and visit the workshop? Maybe you find a beautiful doll, cushion, handbag or piece of jewellery to take home. All of them are unique and hand made with love and care.
Visit the Ergani gallery on Flickr.