Traditions across Europe-an eTwinning project

“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, TRADITION and myth frame our response.” (Arthur Schlesinger Jr.)

Pottery May 27, 2008

Filed under: Typical activities — ivasil @ 8:17 pm

Pottery is one of the oldest crafts in our country. Archeologists have discovered objects as old as the Neolithic. The most famous of them are the ones from Cucuteni.

It was a hard labour, any mistake has as a result the complete destruction of the pot and this was the reason only men did it. Women only helped with adorning the objects. The raw material was clay and the instrument was a potter’s wheel. Pottery requires a lot of skill and speed, because clay dries very quickly. Some of the objects are made in less than a minute. After they are moulded, they are left to dry in the shade for a few days and then they are burnt in a special oven, after being adorned.

Depending on the way ceramics are burnt, the objects can be black or red. The black ones are polished with a special stone, while the red ones can be painted, scratched with ornamental motifs or cords can be applied on the paste. For painting, the craftsmen use natural colours. The motifs can be geometrical ones, symbols (like the sun),plants, animals (the rooster is typical for the famous Horezu pottery).

Not only pots and dishes are made this way, but also toys, musical instruments, objects for domestic or ritual purposes, for decorating the house (this is a traditional way to decorate rooms in the countryside) or architectural elements. We hope this craft will never die, although not many are willing to learn it. But, as you can see in the video, some young people are quite keen on it. 🙂

Class 8A from School 92, Bucharest


8 Responses to “Pottery”

  1. Gina Says:

    Very interesting!
    have you ever done some pottery course at your school?
    I’m sure this is a good way to conserve traditions among young people! We sometimes do it to let our children know and experience some traditional activity: look at our blog “Italia chiama Europa” on the sidebar and,from there, visit our twinspace !

  2. ivasil Says:

    No we haven’t. Not in our school. But there are pottery workshops at the Village Museum and Peasant’s Museum in Bucharest. Frankly, I’d be terrible!
    I visited the blog and the twinspace. Impressive work, congratulations. Did you work with the same children all the three years?
    We also contributed in a similar one, only with older students. It’s called “Nature and Human Activity”. We just collaborated, Romania was not on the etwinning platform by then. Take a look!
    Thanks for the invitation, I enjoyed it.

  3. Gina Says:

    Yes ,we have been working with the same class and the same partner for three years, we have also had, this year, a flashmeeting. What is the exact address to see your project? could you give me more indications, please?

  4. philjohnson Says:

    our school is Gina’s partner school. We are in a small town called Newcastle-under-Lyme but right next door to us is the city of Stoke-on-Trent. Throughout the UK we are known as ‘The Potteries’ because from the 1700’s until today we are the major pottery-producing city in UK. Our local soccer team is known as ‘The Potters’ !!
    Several of our major pottery-producers hold workshops where children can practise creating pieces. (cups, mugs, teapots – which are similar to coffee pots – bowls, dishes, vases, etc.) I liked your piece, nice work. Just in case you wanted to know a little more about the pottery of UK (and of course my city) then here is a short piece I wrote for the tripadvisor website …….

    The potteries is the nickname that the city of Stoke-on-Trent is known by around the World. The pottery tours are very enjoyable where genuine bargains can be picked up – fancy porcelain or china perhaps – and all purchased for a fraction of what they might cost in a shop. However, the geography and history of the city is such that it requires some planning before moving from one place to another.

    This is because the city was, until federation in 1910, actually six separate towns. (Although the local author Arnold Bennett referred to them as ‘the five towns’ !) So, you might be forgiven for thinking that a small to medium sized city of a quarter of a million people is going to be easy to navigate around – in reality it is actually quite spread out.

    The birthplace of the pottery industry in this area took place at Burslem, a town 2 miles North of the city centre. There is a museum there commemorating where Josiah Wedgwood’s first oven was – it is called Ceramica.

    If you want to look at different potteries, SPODE in Stoke town centre has a good tour. (One of the six towns is Stoke, but the city centre of Stoke-on-Trent is the town of Hanley !! Confused ? Yes, we are too !)

    GLADSTONE is a working pottery museum – all the old processes fully explained + demonstrated, that is in the town of Longton. (about 3 miles outside city centre)

    But the most popular of all the potteries is of course WEDGWOOD. It has a very large tourist centre and is about 5 miles South of city centre, a very worthwhile visit.

    These days we are known more as the city where Robbie Williams (pop singer) came from. !

  5. ivasil Says:

    Hi Gina,
    Go to the homepage of etwinning; Ideas and Practice; Public Twin Spaces and search Nature and Human Activity. This was the first project we ever contributed to. I was an “apprentice” there. We have another going on now, with the same partners and two new ones, this one is connected to a Comenius project, but it’s still a work in progress. It’s in the second year.
    Enjoy the visit!

  6. ivasil Says:

    Hello Phil,
    Thank you for the comment and for the very nice material on your town. I enjoyed reading this very much. Wonderful to see how tradition can be treasured, how it can give a distinctive personality to a place. Really interesting, both the history and the pottery part ; I’d like to see all this as a tourist myself. I wrote it all in my trip planning notebook! 🙂 Maybe next year!
    Thanks again!

  7. ligregni Says:

    In Poland there are so called “Green Schools” students can go to for a few days and take (among other possible classes) a pottery class there, children really enjoy making some pretty objects.

  8. ivasil Says:

    Are those on holidays? like a camp? tell us more, please.
    It’s a nice idea.

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