BECOME A HOREZU POTTER!
10 days art, craft and culture programme
We offer you the unique opportunity of being initiated by a professional potter in an ancient, beautiful art, using centuries old traditional tools and techniques, while discovering the secrets of a wonderful, historical region. Your training in Horezu ceramics will be assisted by one or more local potters. You will work yourself on the potter's wheel, decorate ceramics and fire it. At the end an evaluation of best ceramics objects will take place. For almost one week the potter will show you how to apply all techniques of realizing traditional Horezu ceramics.
Horezu, considered the Romanian capital of pottery, well-known and appreciated in over 25 countries, opens its doors to those of you interested in discovering and enriching your pottery skills. On the main street, called "Olari Street" (Potters' Street), one may admire famous collections bearing the names of those who gave life to the potter's wheel: Eufrosina Vicsoreanu, Mischiu, Ogrezeanu, etc.
The Horezu Pottery is prodused using traditional methods: the clay is manually extracted from the clay deposits, it is manually tempered and ceramics are fired in wood heated ovens.
Horezu hosts a UNESCO Patrimony site - The Horezu Monastery, built in 1690 during the reign of Constantin Brancoveanu, with its library having an impressive collection of over 4000 books of great value. The school of mural and icon painting established at the monastery in the 18th century was famous throughout the Balkan region.
Bucharest - Horezu (200 km)
Meet and greet at Bucharest international airport. Drive to Horezu. Welcome dinner and accommodation in a rural guesthouse.
First day of your training in Horezu ceramic manufacturing
Horezu in place
Breakfast. Today we collect and transport the clay to the local potter's workshop. For this we use horse or even ox-drawn carts. Weather permitting, we can enjoy a picnic lunch in the middle of the nature. If not, lunch at the guesthouse.
In the afternoon, after we return at the workshop, we prepare the clay for the next day to start shaping the pots. This is not an easy process because it involves lot of effort, since you need to continuously step on the clay mixture to homogenize it.
Dinner and accommodation in a rural guesthouse.
Modelling different clay forms, closely assisted by a Horezu potter
Horezu in place
Breakfast. This day is dedicated to gaining and developing skills in shaping different pots. We can do this manually or on a potter's wheel.
Lunch at the guesthouse.
We will mostly concentrate on shaping plates, trying to get a form as round as possible. It is interesting to shape them on the potter's wheel just by using the hands. The designs vary, depending on the width and the size of the plate.
Dinner and overnight in a rural guesthouse in Horezu.
One day pause dedicated for local visits
Horezu - Sibiu - Cozia - Horezu (260 km)
Breakfast. The pots that have been shaped the previous day have to be left for drying, preferably under the sun.
Therefore we can enjoy some visits in the region. We travel North to Sibiu following the Olt Valley.
In Sibiu we visit the old center and the open-air ethnographic ASTRA museum - including lots of traditional rural techniques and houses, together with pottery workshops, from other pottery centres from Romania like Marginea, Sacel, Corund. All the houses are authentically decorated with specific workmanships to each area. Lunch in a traditional restaurant inside ASTRA Museum.
In the afternoon drive back to Horezu with stop at Cozia Monastery.
Built by Serbian architects, it is modeled on the monasteries of the Morava Valley. The Serbian style was introduced in Wallachia by a monk called Nicodemus. The frescoes in the nave and altar were added in the early 18th century. The Cozia Monastery houses a museum of religious art, and it also offers an amazing panoramic view over the mountains and the Olt valley. Return for dinner and overnight in a rural guesthouse in Horezu.
Continue Horezu pottery training: decoration of the plates with mineral colors
Horezu in place
Breakfast. The pots that have dried out can be decorated. First we have to apply a white layer on the entire surface of the pot. This is made out of minerals and insures a better contrast of the colours on the pot.
Lunch at the rural guesthouse.
In the afternoon, we actually start painting on the pots different drawings and floral motifs using colours made out of mineral pigments. Different colours are spread on the pot using a cow horn that has attached to the end a quill for an easy spread of the colour on the surface.
We will try to create on the pots the Horezu Pottery symbolic drawings, "the Horezu Rooster" and the "Fish", motifs that also appear in other artifacts traditionally made in the region (rugs, decorated Easter eggs). Dinner and overnight in a rural guesthouse in Horezu.
A well-deserved short pause, waiting for plates to dry in the open air
Horezu - Polovragi - Targu Jiu - Horezu (140 km)
Breakfast. In the morning, we arrange the pots for drying out under the sun.
While the pots are left for drying we'll discover another region - we start our visits with the Polovragi Monastery, founded in 1643 by the chancellor Danciul Paraianul, under the rule of Matei Basarab. The church paintings were made under Constantin Brâncoveanu rule and feature depictions from the New and Old Testament, unique iconographic representations of the monasteries from the Athos Mountain, portraits of saints.
Continue to Women's Cave (Pestera Muierii) - used as refuge by women and children in old times, while their men fought in frequent wars.
Lunch in a restaurant or picnic lunch.
In the afternoon, drive to Targu Jiu. Constantin Brancusi was born in the close village Hobita, and had a workshop in Targu Jiu. Visit of the central park, where some of his impressive sculptures are exposed: the Table of Silence (Masa Tacerii), the Gate of the Kiss (Poarta Sarutului). The Endless Column (Coloana Infinitului) will end our visits.
Drive back for dinner and overnight in a rural guesthouse in Horezu.
We arrange ceramics for firing it in the oven, being assisted by the potter
Horezu - Curtea de Arges - Horezu (160 km)
Breakfast. In the morning, we arrange the dried pots in the wood heated oven and then we fire the wood. The firing temperature gives pottery its finished appearance and its strength. After the fire is done, we leave the pots to cool down in the oven till next morning. Lunch at the rural guesthouse.
In the afternoon, drive and visit Curtea de Arges Monastery, where Romanian kings are buried. Built by Neagoe Basarab, the Monastery is related to the legend of Manole, the self sacrifice. According to the legend, the wife of the master stonemason Manole was embedded alive in the stone walls of the church, sacrifice meant to ensure the success of the work. Manole and his team were left on the roof without ladder by the prince, so that they could never build a church as beautiful as this one again.
In an attempt to fly down, Manole made himself a pair of wings out of shingles, but they were of no avail, and he would crash to the ground like Icarus and die. Upon his crash, on that very spot, a spring would gush forth. Visit the ruins of the Princely Court, an ensemble originally comprising a church and palace, build by Basarab I in the 14th century.
Return for dinner and overnight in a rural guesthouse in Horezu.
Last details to be drawn before the final firing of ceramics
Horezu in place
Breakfast. Today we can glaze the dried pots in order to make them look shinier and for the colours to be better underlined in contrast with the pot design and background. Glazes are usually made of powder of glass - the mixture of powders is mixed with water and applied to the ceramic surface by spraying, brushing, or dipping. The glaze is then dried and fixed onto the ceramic surface by firing.
During firing, the glaze softens and flows over the surface; it reacts with the ceramic, forming the transparent glaze. Lunch in the rural guesthouse.
In the afternoon, discover Horezu village life. We visit the Natural Reserve of "Trovants" (bigger or smaller formations of petrified silicons from the Sarmatic Sea) and the Horezu Monastery. The name of the village comes from the name of the bird (owl - "huhurez") that can be heard during the night in the surrounding forests. Return for dinner and overnight in a rural guesthouse in Horezu.
It's the "D" Day: the potter takes out of the oven the Horezu ceramics we've made!
Horezu - Pitesti - Bucharest (200 km)
Breakfast. In the morning, the owner of the pottery workshop will evaluate and select the three pots that ressemble the most to the authentic Horezu pottery. The persons who created them will receive prizes, consisting of pottery objects. Then we leave for Bucharest.
Lunch in a restaurant in Bucharest. In the afternoon, city tour of the town surnamed "the Little Paris": University Square, Stavropoleos Church, Lipscani Street (the former merchants' street), the Palace of the Parliament (Ceausescu's new palace, the second building in the world after the Pentagon) - in case it will be opened for visits at that time, the Old Princely Court. Farewell dinner in a restaurant with folk music performance. Overnight in a 3* hotel.
Breakfast. Last opportunity for city sightseeing and shopping in Bucharest.
Transfer to Bucharest international airport for departure.
|Duration ||10 days / 9 nights |
|Lodging ||rural guesthouses (ocasionally, bathrooms shared between tourists) and hotel |
|Notes ||1. Rates do not apply in Easter period. |
2. According to the opening hours for some visited sites (e.g. museums), this programme can be applied as it is if Day 1 is Monday, Tuesday Thursday or Saturday. If Day 1 differs, some visits or activities will be replaced consequently.
3. Price does not include: extra taxes for cameras and filming (requested in some places), personal drinks off the boarding, tips (optional).
BECOME A HOREZU POTTER -2019 RATES
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS
|PERIOD || |
| |1210 EUR | |
- lodging: 8 nights in rural guesthouses and 1 night in hotel (on a double room basis occupancy)
- boarding: full board (as specified in the programme)
- entry tickets for the visits included in the programme
- transport and transfers in Romania by car, minibus or coach
- all road and parking taxes
- transport of luggage
- English speaking attested tour guide
- all necessary specific materials and tools for exercising pottery
- all taxes
| |1034 EUR | |
|Quotation on request for other group sizes or discounts for children under 12 |