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On the UNESCO List of Immaterial Cultural Heritage, Romania is present with Horezu Ceramics. Renowned as a tradition and kept with holiness, there are some of the most important representatives of Horezu, representatives including Mihai Bîscu, experienced ceramist. An important and predominant element in the pottery of Horezu is the rooster, alongside which we can see the red and yellow of Horezu, as famous as the Voronet blue. Plates of various sizes, "cutting" and "rounding", mugs and jugs, all decorated neatly with motifs and zonal symbols such as snakes, ropes, sun, trees, stars, people, all these symbols living in perfect harmony with the already the well-known Cocoş de Hurez.
Originally, clay pots were used as an ordinary, useful utility in every household, but in time it became an art and was carried forward with honor, becoming a true tradition, the potters going to the rank of artists. Technically, the process of pottery is very strict. The distance from the clay used to the artistically decorated plate, ready to use, is very large and involves some clear steps, the burning of the pots and their preservation being very important. Once entered in the universe of Mr. Bîscu's studio, careful and excited he explains the path of the clay from the quarry to the plate or platter that will stand on your table.
The material used for the pots is brought from quarries, known only by the potters, they are digging in the autumn and then brought to the workshop, placed in the mixer and after being prepared to the necessary consistency, it is covered to be kept in favorable conditions. After modeling, the pot is left to dry, then decorated. The most important part is the "burning" of the pots. In a former storehouse, in the courtyard of the house, Mr. Bîscu shows us the oven in which hundreds or thousands of pots were burned. The oven was built by his father. The furnace in which the pots are burned has a capacity of several hundred pots, depending on size. First heat the oven, then place the pots in it and cover with clay shards. Once this operation has been completed the flame is increased and the pots left to burn for 8 hours. After that the dishes are removed from the oven, allowed to cool and then rinsed again and re-packed in the oven for 8 to 10 hours, depending on how the oven burns, then leave to cool.
Mihai Bîscu, artist Bîscu from Olari village, makes us a demonstration and a plate is born from a clay pot under our own eyes. The demonstration is an emotional moment and a thrill passes through our bodies. Apparently simple, the process is complex. Pottery is one of the basic occupations in the village of Olari in Horezu. The beauty of the vessels obtained and their usefulness often compensates the effort. As the potter craftsman Mihai Bîscu said, "when I look at them I feel satisfied and eager to create some more." In the Olari village of Horezu there are only 5 or 6 craftsmen, popular artists, masters of traditional ceramics who labor and carry with pride and sweat the art of Horezu pottery.
Photo Gallery
Mihai Bîscu The artist from Olari village, Horezu