Following the techniques and the tradition of their ancestors, the modern people of Crete, especially in the villages, express their creativity by making folk art objects of excellent quality. In Rethymno various forms of folk art remain alive and are exercised with care: Ceramics, basket-making, wood-carving, stone-carving and, of course, weaving. Some of these arts are traditionally exercised by entire villages, which largely base their economy of them.
Ceramics is the basic occupation of many inhabitants, who make not only decorative pottery but also utensils. Ceramics is a traditional art, the history of which is as old as the Minoan times. In the past, the pottery workshops flourished in the prefecture of Lasithi, producing storage objects of every day use. Today, potters at Thrapsano, Kentri and Margarites mold clay just like the Minoans did thousands years ago. Hundreds of vessels, identical to those found in the Minoan palaces, are still used for storing olive oil, grains and other agricultural products.
The folk tradition is still alive today in the prefecture of Lasithi as well. The aspects of folk culture in Lasithi are expressed through the works and the activities of the local people. Wood-carving, that is, the art of engraving figures and scenes on wood has left an important heritage to the next generations. The professional wood artists have maintained this rare art by handing down their secrets from generation to generation. Moreover, the village Alfa has a tradition in stone-carving, thanks to the wonderful, off-white and relatively soft stone that is mined from the area and has been used since the distant past in building and decoration.
Wood and marble sculptors give life to materials of the Cretan land by manufacturing elaborate works, mainly of ecclesiastical art. Visitors can visit venues exhibiting woodcraft at the villages of Axos and Asteri and marble works at the International Sculpture Symposium in Venerato.