Dating back to the Neolithic period, pottery represents the oldest and most important “household industry”, in which the three essential elements- water, earth and fire- come to life in the hands of the Romanian peasant.
Pottery finds itself today at the border between craft and art, necessity and aesthetic, whereas initially it had a much more practical purpose- creating household items (bowls, basins, jars, mugs, pots) to prepare, transport and store food.Due to its spectacular evolution and the imagination and creativity of pottery craftsmen, in our days, pottery turned into artisan ceramics, with a new function, clay objects being used more and more to decorate homes and art exhibits.
Pottery represented and represents in some cases the livelihood of folk craftsmen. Moreover, the pottery technique has had a place in the social life of the community, and a major role in the events that mark the human existence from birth to death, depending on the shape and material of which the pottery is made. For example, in funerals there is a custom of breaking a dish, to show the end of a destiny.
Pottery entails a tiring, hard work, that requires effort, physical endurance and knowledge of shaping the clay, as any error could lead to destroying the dish. This is the reason why pottery is a trade destined exclusively for men, while women bring their touch to it by decorating it.
The raw material used in the practice of pottery is argil or clay. The process of crafting a dish is complex, as it must go through many stages and must be worked on with a series of utensils, like the pottery wheel and a special oven for baking the ceramic.
In the past, clay objects were hand crafted and then dried in the sun for months, but they wouldn’t last the passage of time. The invention of the pottery wheel and the oven for baking ceramic represented a true progress in the art of pottery and has been kept through today.