POTTERY

prelucrarea-lutului-ceramica-beius

Ceramics is only one of the forms through which these ingenious people of Beiuș knew how to exploit the natural resources of their region, complementary to meet their needs.

Earth, not always generous in providing good crops, was coming, as we have already seen, with other offers. Besides numerous, already commented upon crafts, let's review the "miraculous metamorphosis of clay with water and fire" for the birth of traditional folk pottery, so well represented in the country of Beiuş by specialized centers such as Criştiorul de Jos, Leheceni, Sălişte de Vaşcău, Cărpinet, Leleşti, Valea Neagră de Jos.

Of course, ceramics is not an invention of the people of these places, it is a pandemic in the presence of human civilizations. It appeared in the Neolithic, with the former sedentary populations of hunters and gatherers that turning next into farmers. For our area, the so-called Starcevo-Cris culture (7500-6250 BC) gives us the first relict of the Rabagani ceramic horizons, near the termal springs at Rapa in Dealu Morii, Cociuba Mare or Tăşad. About them and about other horizons of the development of pottery in our area, the reader has already found some hints. We would like to turn now to the more traditional ceramics produced in the area and which is working until today. We will talk about its origins and the long continuity of this pottery, rural par excellence, perhaps less decorative than fair pottery in other centers, but through archaic structures more spiritualized as decoration and functionality. Both in terms of obtaining this ceramic technology and in morphology, functionality and forms of decoration, probably the last centuries, perhaps the last millennium did not produce significant changes. Its morphology archetypes come from Greek pottery, from the Romans especially, in the Daci ones a little bit. Above all, ceramics reached to representations close to perfection, ideality, won also by exercising over the millenniums to create these forms, and why not, through the ingenuity and the creative vocation of local craftsmen.

To realize the extent of the phenomenon in time and space, let´s try a diachronic documentary record on a local plan. Documents which, once again, come very late, compared to the local pottery´s age. So, in the land record of Beiuş of 1600, peasants appear with Olaru patronymic, obviously coming from an exercise of pottery in the previous generations . In blacksmithing inventories from Boi - Vaşcău are named "an earthen vessel, two new earth pots," and in that of the copper smelter from Poiana a "green oven" is mentioned- a direct reference to tiled stoves, "caminiţele of Cahal" that, certainly, were produced later in Cărpinet or Leheceni. In 1733 in Tarcaia seven potters are mentioned, in Beiuş only a potter, in Negru one potter, but no doubt there were also around Vascau, a census stressing that there was not favorable agricultural land there, but it was an excellent clay for pottery. "Haec possio Territorium exiguum habe Panem et nimium sterile ut plurium Ollis argilaceis gvaeritat". The 1770-1771 record mentioned 19 potters from Tarcaia, 3 potters from Uileac, 6 and 7 potters in Negru and Remetea. It can be easily seen that potters are mentioned only in villages with Hungarian population, a fact that does not exclude, but rather induce the idea that they also existed in Romanian villages. They were not mentioned by the Hungarian government. The Hungarian preference for mentioning their respective villages automatically brought some benefits to them by classifying them in a category subjected. The fact is confirmed by the fact that over a few decades (1809) in Cărpinet village there were 43 pottery ovens, and In Campani de Sus, 17. In Leheceni, in 1803, there were 60 pottery ovens and a few years later (1809), 98. In Sălişte de Vascau there were 59 ovens in 1813 and in Cristiorul de Jos, 12.