BECOME A HOREZU POTTER!
10 days art, craft and culture programme
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, 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
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)
and greet at Bucharest international airport. Drive
to Horezu. Welcome dinner and accommodation in a rural
day of your training in Horezu ceramic manufacturing
Horezu in place
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.
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
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.
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
Horezu - Sibiu - Cozia - Horezu (260 km)
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
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.
Horezu pottery training: decoration of the plates with
Horezu in place
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.
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.
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)
In the morning, we arrange the pots for drying out under
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.
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
We arrange ceramics for firing
it in the oven, being assisted by the potter
Horezu - Curtea de Arges - Horezu (160 km)
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.
the afternoon, drive and visit Curtea de Arges Monastery,
where Romanian kings are buried. Built by Neagoe Basarab,
Monastery is related to the legend of Manole, the self
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.
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
Last details to be drawn before
the final firing of ceramics
Horezu in place
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, the glaze softens and flows over the surface;
it reacts with the ceramic, forming the transparent
glaze. Lunch in the rural guesthouse.
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
for dinner and overnight in a rural guesthouse in Horezu.
the "D" Day: the potter takes out of the oven
the Horezu ceramics we've made!
Horezu - Pitesti - Bucharest (200 km)
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.
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.
Last opportunity for city sightseeing and shopping in
to Bucharest international airport for departure.
days / 9 nights
guesthouses (ocasionally, bathrooms shared between
tourists) and hotel
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).
A HOREZU POTTER -2017 RATES
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
- transport and transfers in Romania by car, minibus
- all road and parking taxes
- transport of luggage
- English speaking attested tour guide
- all necessary specific materials and tools for
- all taxes
on request for other group sizes or discounts for
children under 12