Horezu Part II: The Workshop

Although we were hesitant at first when the lady from whom we bought the plates offered to show us the workshop and the daily routine with which they create these handicrafts (only because we were in a bit of a hurry), it turned out that making a plate “Romanian-style” didn’t take long time at all. In fact, I don’t think that we were in there for more than 5 minutes. Here’s the shop from outside (actually, it’s a normal basement redecorated as a workshop):

Aaaand another photo from the inside:

After looking around the room we were just in, the lady jumped on a chair in front of a stand which had two cycles at each end. She could spin the circle which was in front of her by turning the one under her legs. She put a raw plate on the thing while she informed us about the fact that the men are usually responsible for shaping the plates and bringing them to this form (they are made of clay).

She chose some random colors to work with, and off she went! She started spinning the circle with her foot, touching the plate very gently with the blush’s end. Oh, I forgot to mention that all the materials they work with are natural. The paints are all made from Earth (the coloring also is provided by various rocks and stones), while the brush’s body is made out of the horns of the cow, and it’s head is of quill.

She just pressed the end of the brush to the plate and that spinning stand practically did the work. Those lines were done in no-time:

She then stopped the spinning, took another color, made some little spots on it and after that arranged some lines on it, but the spinning stand was moving much slower than earlier.

I don’t really know how she made orange-blue flower in the middle. I just blinked twice, when it was suddenly there. And after max. 3 minutes of work, Voila’- a new plate was born. It was fascinating- folk art being made right in front of our eyes! What do you think of the plate?

Of course it still has to dry and has to be burnt before it reaches the shelves, but it’s pretty nice work I think. She told us that even in this state she could still erase it all with water and start over again. They usually dry in an hour or so, after that they’re burnt in a high-degree furnace before they reach their final form. The lady said that she was very slow when she first started doing pottery, but after a while she got used to it and managed to finish the job quickly. So what do you think about this form of folk-art? 🙂

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