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5 Romanian Pottery Ceramics Workshops to Visit in Romania

5 Romanian Pottery Ceramics Workshops to Visit in Romania

A great diversity of Romanian pottery workshops and centers steeped in ancient history are open to visitors. If you are interested in Romanian traditional ceramics, here are 5 places to visit that are not a tourist trap:

Burnt Clay Pottery from Marginea

Romanian Pottery

The burnt clay Romanian pottery from Marginea, Suceava county, had it’s beginnings around 1500. Marginea prides itself in being one of the few places on earth where black pottery is still being produced by means of a prehistoric burning technique.

Romanian Pottery
Romanian Pottery Marginea, Suceava

There is a workshop where visitors can watch pottery being made by the hands of a few artisans, without paying entrance fee and a store where you can buy ceramics at a good price. Just as in ancient times, today’s black ceramic pottery is made by kneading clay, shaping it on a wheel, drying and burning at temperatures up to 1472 °F.

Video Source: RomanianArtCraft

Read Also Romania’s Longtime Secret of Black Ceramic Pottery

White Ceramics of Corund

Romanian Pottery
Foto Source: Agerpres

Situated in Harghita county, Corund (Hungarian: Korond) is famous for it’s pottery and ceramics since 1600’s. On the first weekend of August, there is a pottery fair with ceramists and traditional artists of Corund.

The craft of ceramic dishes takes a few days and goes through many processes. After the object is left to dry, it is immersed in kaolin, which gives a crisp white color, then dried again.

Next, it is embellished with beautiful floral or zoomorphic motifs and fired twice in the kiln. It is bisque fired and then glaze fired. The best known products are those with a cobalt blue or green background, as well as the white, brown or colored ceramic.

Video Source: RomanianArtCraft

Red Ceramics of Horezu

Romanian Pottery
Foto Source: BestofRomania

Horezu ceramic from Vâlcea county was inscribed on UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists in December 2012. Horezu is famous for it’s red pottery.

Potters clean the earth by use of a special mixer. Each object is shaped on a potter’s wheel with a comb and a special finger technique, which requires training and agility.

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Women decorate the objects in dark shades of brown, red, green, blue and “Horezu Ivory” by use of special tools: a hollowed bull’s horn and a fine wire-tipped stick. The rooster is a central motif, specific to the area. Other motifs found on Horezu ceramics are zoomorphic (fishes, doves), fitomorphic (grapes, leaves, clovers, wheat) and geometric. Then, the object is fired in a stove.

Video Source: RomanianArtCraft

The Ceramics of Maramureş

Romanian Ceramics
Foto Source: calatoriilasingular.ro

Săcel is a commune in Maramureş county, famous for it’s red, unglazed pottery. The use of a very good quality clay, extracted from great depths, the shaping and the simple decorative elements result in great similarities between the ceramics of Săcel and the Dacian Pottery.

The objects are shaped by use of a wheel and decorated with simple motifs, polished with a stone and left to dry for a long while. Finally, they are burned in the oven without being glazed.

The brushwork on Baia Mare ceramics is another example of a great craftsmanship. Two color pottery, usually white/blue and decorative elements (flowers, leafs, birds) are often encountered on the ceramics of Baia Mare.

Other famous artworks are the glazed ceramics from Vama and Lăpuş, painted with horn and brush.

The International Fair of Traditional Ceramics “Cucuteni 5000”

Romanian Pottery
Source: ZiaruldeIasi.ro

Every year, during the last weekend of June, from Friday, 11:20 am, till Sunday, 9:00 pm, tens of traditional potters from all regions of Romania and abroad are exhibiting their artworks at Copou Park from Iaşi. It reunites potters from Bistriţa, Botoşani, Braşov, Galaţi, Harghita, Iaşi, Maramureş, Olt, Suceava, Horezu, Vâlcea, Chişinău, Cernăuţi.

Video Source: BeautifulIasi

One can find both utilitarian and decor items and, among the great variety of objects, there are also reproductions of an early culture, Cucuteni (ca. 6000 to 3500 BC). The craft doesn’t involve the use of wheels. Long coils of clay are placed in circles to form the base first, and then the walls of the pot. Once the desired shape and height of the finished product was built up, the sides would then be smoothed to create a seamless surface.

Read also Shepherd Hand Milking Sheep in a Rustic Sheepfold

Romanian Ceramics Workshops
Foto Source: Adevarul.ro

“The pigments used to decorate ceramics were based on iron oxide for red hues, calcium carbonate, iron magnetite and manganese Jacobsite ores for black, and calcium silicate for white. Spiral ornaments prevail in numerous variations and combinations”(Source: Wikipedia).

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