Discover Horezu in Romania
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Glass Icon PaintingTop of Form
The painting of glass icons is, together with wall painting, an important branch of folk painting. Icons were traditionally painted on wood, canvas, metal or glass, in order to embellish the peasant houses.
It is said that glass icons are painted using a model. This is why, perhaps, the glass icons are not, as a rule, signed by the painters, because they are not original creations.
Glass painting appeared relatively late after the painting of icons on wood and canvas. In the houses of the peasants, glass icons were placed alongside towels, bowls, pitchers, etc., decorative items whose harmony gave a compositional unity to the interior of the house.
The wickerwork of vegetal fibres, present in most areas of the country, has often reached a high artistic level. In the areas where the raw material was abundant – rush, hazel or osier twigs, wheat, rye, and oats straws, maize husk – the wickerwork of vegetal fibres becomes a specialized craft.
Since the Neolithic age and until the middle of the 20th century, numerous and varied objects have been made using these crafts. The objects made of twigs, alone or combined with other materials (most often with rush) were, often, closely connected with the inhabitants’ current occupations (agriculture, fishing, hunting, gathering, harvesting, etc.): harrows, all types of baskets (larger ones, for carrying fish and grapes, smaller ones, for berries, taller ones, carried on the back, for heavier items, longer ones, made of rush, round ones, used to carry their meals to the field workers), nets and enclosures for fishing and sheepfolds, snares, baskets for carts, etc. Objects made of twigs were also used as items of furniture: trellis was used for bed platforms, suspended or portable cradles, spoon and bowl shelves, etc.
The craft of wickerwork, one of the oldest known to mankind, preceding both the art of weaving and the art of pottery, as some archaeological deductions seem to prove, is brilliantly represented in all the Romanian historical provinces. Besides, this was the first technique of house-building, being still present nowadays in various ethnographic areas, where the walls of the houses are made of thick wickerwork.
In the Horezu area the most common are the items made of hazel twigs, because the hazel tree grows abundantly in the local spontaneous flora. Baskets of all sizes and shapes are made, according to their destination.
The wickerwork items made of vegetal fibres keep either the authenticity of folk art pieces, or the value of the manufactured objects, both useful and decorative, that are so appreciated in the modern world. During the last few decades, this craft began developing and extending, the range of products going from the most varied utilitarian objects to decorative products, furniture and interior design items.
Therefore, we think that the traditional craft of wickerwork is an endless inspiration source for contemporary folk artists, ensuring, as well as other fields of folk art, a fertile basis for the future directions of modern decorative art.