In Săcel, another wonder has survived the centuries: unglazed, red ceramic pottery. It is the only place in Romania where unglazed red pottery is still produced. The family of Tănase Burnar of Săcel has been making ceramic ware for more than eleven generations. The technique is the same as the one in the prehistoric La Tène period in Dacia, using a very unique, greasy type of clay found in the area at 12 to 15 meters depth in the hills near the village.
Tănase showed us the Dacian-style oval kiln in the basement of his house after making us a demonstration. This involved the preparation of the clay, the shaping of the pot on a manual, foot-operated wheel and its later polishing with a river stone to make it impermeable and close porosities. The wood-fired kiln is more than five hundred years old, has a semi-circular shape and is partly buried under the ground.
Not only the technique bears the Dacian heritage but also the shape of the wares. One can equally find here the Dacian cup with three legs, as well as the large pots with tall and narrow necks.
Despite his fame, the sales Tănase makes are insufficient to make a living. The son Dumitru is applying to university but has no plans on giving up a tradition that lies deep in his family blood.
For more photos of Tănase Burnar and his work, visit The Artistssection of this website.