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Special people

Published on August 14th, 2019 | by Ramona Sarac

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Painted furniture, made with love. A teacher and an economist turned their passion into a successful business

Rodica (43 years old) and Viorel Dilganu (54 years old), an English teacher and an economist, followed their beautiful dream and turned their passion into a successful business. Viorel learnt carpentry from his grandfather and still uses some of his old tools to make wonderful, massive wood pieces of furniture. Once finished, Rodica covers them with traditional Romanian models, flowers and a lot of soul. Their art is highly appreciated and their products got not only to Romania but also to America, Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Israel or Palestine. Both graduates of a Popular Art School, Rodica and Viorel only hope that they will have the chance to teach young generations their wonderful art and, that way, the tradition will go on.

“What do you feel when you do your work?” it’s a question I frequently ask while talking to people who turned their passions into a way of life. And that’s the moment when, looking at them, I understand, from their look, from their eyes, from the emotion in their voice, more than I would do from a lot of elaborated sentences. And Rodica and Viorel were simply shining all over our interview, not only when answering that question. Because painted furniture is a big part of their souls, they do it with love, with joy and with gratitude for the happiness they bring to their clients.

From passion to business

Rodica is an English teacher, Viorel is an economist, and they both keep on working in their fields. But they decided to give a chance to a beautiful passion that dates from childhood, for both.

Viorel’s grandfather was a carpenter, and simply made him fall in love with this ever since he was a child. When he talks about him and their work together his eyes are shinning, there’s so much emotion in his voice. He kept his memory and all his precious advices in his soul. He still uses his main tool, “rindeaua”, that is 70 years old and still very good. “I also have a small chair inherited from my grandfather, that I keep in our workshop, as a model”, Viorel says. Rodica paints from her childhood, also, and besides the studies that were necessary for their professions, they both graduated the Popular Art School, Rodica in painting and Viorel, in sculpture.

At first, they did small, decorative objects, that they offered to their friends. And it was one of them who told them “You are doing such beautiful things, why don’t you try to turn this passion into a small business?”.

In 2015, they attended their first craft fair, and the story keeps on going, ever since.

The workshop where the time stops

“I disconnect myself completely when I paint, these are the moments when I have the best mood, I’m in my world, I’m only thinking about the model I have to do and do it best”, Rodica says, smiling.

She uses traditional Romanian models, flowers, geometric forms, faces of Romanian peasants. And a piece of soul in every painting she makes, no matter if it’s a furniture set or a simple wood spoon. “When I work. I feel like giving the wood its soul back. Carpentry relaxes me and makes me more calm, a better person. When I enter the workshop I simply don’t realize when the evening comes”, Viorel adds.

From Europe to America

The pieces made in Dilganu’s family workshop, furniture or decorations, are highly appreciated. They had orders from pensions, private wineries, shops, also a lot of individual demands. Their products got all over Romania and abroad also, from America to Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Israel or Palestine.

“Our biggest satisfactions are at craft fairs, when people come to thank us for what we do, for our products. You really feel you make something that lasts and it’s special”, Rodica says.

The tradition goes on

Rodica and Viorel try to learn all the time, they read, go to fortified churches to see old models, they want to keep what’s old and valuable and try to pass it forward, to the new generations.

“What I’m doing it’s in my grandfather’s memory, and I wish so much that the local authorities help me open a school where I can teach the children what I know from my grandfather. It’s not only a business, it’s a life project and a project for the future, we would like to teach the young generations what we know”, Viorel says.

You can find more about Dilganu’s family workshop on their Facebook Page, HERE

PHOTOS FROM PERSONAL ARCHIVE

Do you know a very special person? Someone who has followed his dream, built it piece by piece, with passion, energy and lot of soul? An usual, simple person who did something in life, who you can identify with, who can be, for others, a source of inspiration? Tell me about that person and let’s tell the others his/her beautiful story. Write me at specialstories00@gmail.com, here, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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