One of my favorite photographic themes is Romanian traditions. And when I say this, I mean traditional clothing, traditional crafts, traditional houses and the way the romanian peasants lived their life.
One of the most remarkable facts is the romanian peasant was always very inventive. Unfortunately, this was a need that came from the poverty. Unable to buy anything, in many cases bound to the land they worked, the romanian peasant was forced to find ways to improve the quality of life or at least to survive.
Many traditions were lost, but there are still a few determined not to let this valuable things go. I consider myself one of them. At the beginning of this year I've met a few craftsmen that teach the old ways to the young.
This part of Romania where I live, Oltenia, is less oriented to the new ways, there are some old people that care for the old ways. It is a great moment for me to meet someone who can tell me something about the old ways, who can show me some old items, hand made, valuable for them.
I was invited to see how romanian traditional pottery is done (using a potters wheel - one of the two ways to do pottery in Romania). The potter was waiting for us dressed in romanian traditional clothing. I couldn't hope for more.
Then, he took his place at the wheel - the wheel he inherited from his father, and his father from his father... The wheel, he said, is at least 200 years old. The room was small, it had a ceramic stove, a bed and his work place - the wheel.
I hoped for a bigger place :) then he told me he is living there. He said, a potter must live near his clay work, he has to wake up every night to turn upside down every cup and plate in order to dry properly without changing shape. It was a great experience! And I am hoping for more!
Photo credits: Razvan Nicolescu.