Pottery in Horezu, Romania has been recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Sorin Giubega’s grandfather and father were potters, so naturally, Mr. Giubega decided to follow in their clay-caked footsteps at the ripe old age of 8 years old.
Now a “Living Human Treasure” as named by Romania’s Ministry of Culture, Mr. Guibega runs a pottery business with his wife Marieta on Olari Street – or Potter’s Street in Romanian – where they engage in traditional methods that have been practiced for over 300 years.
Horezu is home to about 50 artisans who make pottery year-round with two distinct roles: modelers shape the clay into pieces while decorators paint ancestral motifs like waves, spirals and roosters all over them.
To create these intricate patterns, decorators use specialized tools like brushes made from cat whiskers or boar hair, ox horn pens with quills from goose or duck feathers and even twigs with metal pins to get creative!
Once decorated and dried out, kilns are fired for hours then glazed & fired once again before being adorned around town — advertising each artisan’s craft similar to clothing designers showing off their latest trends via human mannequins walking around bustling metropolitan areas.
Recently gaining popularity among design-oriented retailers such as Lost & Found based out of LA; FindersKeepers located right down the road in Copenhagen (for those taking eight-hour car trips) along with Milan-based Cabana and London boutique Casa De Folklore only mention several shops that carry this type of style sold worldwide – not too shabby considering how obscure it may seem at first glance
While demand is high right now within cottage industry circles speaking specifically towards overseas clientele clamoring for locally made goods crafted using ancient techniques passed down generations tell you what kind must pay close attention carefully lest end up mimicking something unintentionally resembling an 8-year-old’s confection.
To maintain the UNESCO nod highlighting the pottery as intangible cultural heritage – Romania submits a report every six months outlining measures of retaining the tradition of Horezu pottery alive while keeping up with modern influences like using electric kilns which comply with EU regulatory standards set by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding lead and cadmium. A new and innovative way to reach higher temperatures normally fated for glazes containing those two metals during manufacture has gained ground compared real wood-burning kiln used traditionally; some decorators have even painted pieces in shades of vibrant pink, yellow, reds instead sticking monochrome shade schemes foisted conventional buyers – bucking trends altogether!
While fulfilling clients’ wishes remains paramount, Constantin Popa isn’t too thrilled about saturated colors having decidedly “nothing to do” with traditional designs from within Horezu. But then again newer designs can only help keep things fresh so why not try them out! No matter how close maintains one foot into the past another seems intent remaining firmly planted onward towards future progress just so long so they don’t lose relevance amongst peers
Despite changing design trends Constantin Biscu powering away at their craft kick wheel where he can make upwards 300 glazed blouses per day makes it clear that there are essentials where old fashioned methods reign supreme over flashy new age ones any day.
Considering all this popularity soaring lately though doesn’t come without its costs hence many families own parcels atop hills providing desired gray earth required potters avoiding making purchases throwing money elsewhere needs met locally grown veggies and various kinds livestock cheaper than most grocers !
The Olari Cultural Center on Potter’s Street plans to officially open later this year featuring live demos by makers showcasing their techniques along with conferences hosted showcasing what being done right here at home abroad no less delivering on goal becoming recognized as internationally acclaimed “Living Human Treasure.”