I must begin this story with a confession – I just liked Diana from the first moment we’ve met, so it’s no surprise that we ended our talk hugging, like we’ve known each other for years. I felt the positive energy all around us, in her workshop, in her voice, in her eyes, everywhere. In an old, abandoned pottery factory, Diana brought back life and makes art every day. She is still using an ancient technique, a cow horn with a goose quill in it to paint manually every piece of pottery. And the satisfaction is not only in her results – her products got to Germany, Holland, England, Spain, France or Greece – the main satisfaction is doing what she loves, every day, with joy, with passion, with gratitude, with love.
Can I take a picture with your shoes? is my first laughing question in our full of emotions interview. “Make heaven from what you have” and “Make art from your life” is painted on them, and it expresses her simple, beautiful way of thinking – every day is happiness, enjoy every moment, have courage, fight, get out of your comfort zone, build, trust yourself – and you will certainly succeed in accomplishing your dream.
The passion comes working hard
Diana Popescu (37 years old) comes from Horezu, a small Romanian town famous for art pottery – the technique used to make the pottery is UNESCO heritage. “I discovered it being an apprentice at a ceramics master, but all the passion and love just came working hard. After learning the technique, you just create your own world. The rest is only about soul, every color, every model”, Diana says.
She had 16 years when she learnt, and it took her years and some unsuccessful attempts to get to work all by herself. To be convinced, first of all, that she can do it – usually, it’s a work that is done in couple, she tried this also, and the result was not the expected one, at all. But the day she truly believed in herself, that she can, that there’s no impossible in life, in any field, that it depends on you only to make your dream happen, that day everything changed.
“You can do all by yourself, anything you want, you just have to be full of enthusiasm, to have the joy with you, the force you have when you truly want something can not be described”, she says.
The miracles from the old, abandoned factory
Famous for pottery made in here for hundreds of years, Horezu had a pottery factory in Romania’s communism years. After that period ended, 30 years ago, the place was abandoned. But Diana simply knew, when her “all by myself” became a certainty, that she could not find a better place for her workshop.
When she decided to rent, the place had no electricity, no current water, no heat. It was cold and dirty, but the whole soul of the pottery who tells stories was there. And she just felt the connection from the first moment she entered – that was the perfect place for her dream to come true.
“I’m here to continue, I don’t think that it just happened to choose this place. I started rearranging it step by step, and I was happy for every nail, every cable, every piece of wall painted. I invest in this space and in my inner welfare, in the same time”, she says.
I’m looking around, while talking to her, and I just can’t stop smiling. “We are not the masters of time, but we can make a sense to every minute. Have a great day”, it’s painted on a window. “Harmony and peace are the ones who rule in this workshop” is written on a wall, and an old icon is put just under. “The talent who works has prosperity and everything he needs”, stays on another wall.
Of course, there are a lot of pieces of pottery, the oven where they are burnt, old tools. But, in every corner, there are also her joy, her happiness and her trust.
Old technique, art and love
Someone helps Diana in modeling the pottery, then she does all the work by herself – finishing, then drying the pottery, burning it twice, applying the glaze, and the painting, of course. And here it’s the most beautiful part of the story. The technique is very old, dates from hundreds of years and is UNESCO heritage. She still uses a cow horn with a goose quill in it to paint manually every piece of pottery, like in the ancient times. The colors and natural and ecological, you can use old models but you can also reinterpret some of them.
Bowls, plates, cups, flower vases but not only come to life from her magic hands. Many of her clients want personalized objects – for pensions, restaurants, bars, life events like weddings, for instance. Her clients are from Romania and abroad also – from countries like Germany, Holland, England, Spain, France or Greece.
The key to happiness
Diana is, today, a person who is truly living her dream, and she is very happy. But it took her time and work, with herself first of all, then in workshop, to get here. There are no big secrets or things extremely hard to be done to get in here. You just need a lot of courage to start and keep on going, she says.
“When I work I feel like I’m born again, I recreate myself, I heal myself, I’m in a dimension full of love and joy. I offer and I receive back much more. Of course you can, you just have to trust yourself. You need courage every day, you don’t have to give up, be sure you won’t make it from the first time but you do not give up.
When what you think, what you do and what you feel go in the same direction it’s impossible not to have the best results. You need people beside you, to share the joy with, and I’m so blessed for my family and my friends.
And you should never forget – every day is happiness, I have the freedom to be exactly how I feel”, she adds.
You can find Diana on Facebook, HERE
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, here, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.