Tag Archives: people

Easter in Maramureș

To understand Maramureș, one needs to understand the role that religion has played in this region throughout history. Just looking at the magnificent century old wooden churches present in almost every village, one can sense how important faith is for the identity of these people. God is omnipresent in the everyday life. The most common greeting that is heard in the villages is “Salutăm pe Isus! (Jesus be hailed!), to which the answer is “În veci, amin!” (Always and forever!).

Among religious festivities, Easter is perhaps the most important, even more important than Christmas. Continue reading Easter in Maramureș

The People of Maramureș

People of Maramureș - A Journey into the Last Living Museum of Europe
People of Maramureș – A Journey into the Last Living Museum of Europe
click on the photo to access the pdf book

It is more than seven years now since I and my wife Cristina undertook our month-long trip to Maramureș. Ever since, I wanted to publish a book about the region, focusing on its people and its artists. At the time – 2009 – there were very few photography books on the region, albeit some of the very best (“Maramureș”, by a Maramureș loving Japanese who discovered the region by accident, during communist times –  Miya Kosei – which I regard as the most beautiful and sincere photography book about the region, as well as “Maramures: The Land of Wood“, the beautiful black and white photography of Ana Bârcă).
Continue reading The People of Maramureș

Interview with Teodor Bârsan of the Bârsana village – Maramures’ foremost wooden cross carver

I made this interview of Teodor Bârsan in his workshop, back in October 2005. The digital video technique – and especially the one I had in my hands at the time was not the best. But that matters not, as you will still be able to feel who Teodor Bârsan is and how he carves the beautiful things – small and large – that he does. For a small portrait of Bârsan, please also visit this link.

The Vaser Valley – Passage Back in Time

For the tourist who made it all the way into the historical land of Maramureș, another surprise is discreetly awaiting: the travel back in time in the very heart of nature. This time around, the props are not man but nature made. It is not the old wooden houses in picturesque villages or the people’s garbs like those that the Dacians wore two millennia ago. Instead it is perhaps what may still be the wildest and most beautiful landscape in Romania – and this is not for the lack of competition.

Vaser Valley, Valea Vaserului, Maramures, Romania, Transylvania, mocanita, mocănița, Maramureș, Transilvania, wood, railway, Viseu, Vișeu, Claudiu Moldovan, woods, locomotives,

Continue reading The Vaser Valley – Passage Back in Time

Teodor Bârsan of the Bârsana village – Maramures’ foremost wooden cross carver

Perhaps nobody else embodies more fully the traditional wood carving craftsmanship of Maramureş than Teodor Bârsan of the Bârsana village. It may be no coincidence that his talent flourished in a village which has more wood carvers than any other village in Maramureş: Bârsana is strewn with beautifully carved old wooden gates and numerous wooden houses and boasting two wooden churches one being on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and the other one being one of the most beautiful monasteries of Maramureş.

Teodor Bârsan, Barsan, Barsana, Maramures, Transylvania, wood carver, artist, living human treasure, people, arts, crafts, traditions, troite, gate, old, UNESCO, World Heritage, traditii, scultura, lemn, traditional, artist
Teodor Bârsan carving with his son Ioan

Continue reading Teodor Bârsan of the Bârsana village – Maramures’ foremost wooden cross carver

Tănase Burnar – Dacian pottery is well and alive and the maker is in the Săcel village

 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.

Tanase Burnar, Sacel, Maramures, Pottery, Traditions, people, living treasures, old, ceramics, Transylvania, Romania, Transilvania, Săcel, Maramureș, olarit, ceramica, ceramica nesmaltuita, caramică nesmălțuită
Tănase Burnar working in his workshop in the Săcel Village

Continue reading Tănase Burnar – Dacian pottery is well and alive and the maker is in the Săcel village

Ion Bledea – where raw talent meets wood carving

Ion Bledea is not a typical sculptor. He does not have a formal education in sculpting and his starting point is rather humble. He began his ascension to fame in the halls of the artistic section of Sighetu Marmaţiei’s main furniture factory, some 35 years ago, during communist times.

Ioan Bledea, Ion Bledea, wood carver, sculptor, artist, Sighetu Marmatiei, Maramures, Romania, Transylvania, people, crafts, living treasures, sculptor, Sighetu Marmatiei, Sighetu Marmației
Ion Bledea carving at his former workshop abutting the Roman Catholic Church in Sighetu Marmației

Continue reading Ion Bledea – where raw talent meets wood carving