For more than 30 years, in a family workshop from Horezu, a small romanian town famous for pottery industry, Ion Palosi and his wife, Mihaela, make every day both ceramics and art. They use ancient techniques learnt from parents and grandparents, work with joy and love, and put a part of their soul in every object they make. And the results are in line with their work – pottery objects made in their workshop got all over the world, from Europe to New Zeeland, South America, China, Japan, South Africa or Alaska. Famous visitors came to their workshop, and stood at potter’s wheel – Romanian presidents, prime-ministers, King Michael and Queen Anne of Romanian or Charles, Prince of Wales.
Small romanian town of Horezu is famous for pottery craft – the technique used to make the pottery is UNESCO heritage. And Palosi family is famous not only in the area for their work. After more than 30 years in family’s workshop, their products got all over the world, and many famous visitors got there. But, maybe the most important thing, their passion for what they do is the same – in their magic hands, the clay gets shape, colors and a piece of their soul, also.
With love, for more than 30 years
Ion Palosi (56 years old) fell in love with pottery craft more than 30 years ago, when he met his wife, Mihaela. “We were at our first dates, my wife’s parents are ceramists, and it was the first time I entered a pottery workshop. I was fascinated, I’ve always wanted to work in archeology, it was not possible, and then I said I’ve found my vocation”, he says.
He started like this – learning from his parents in law, practicing on a 300 years old potter’s wheel. Then he was offered a work contract in Cyprus – in greek ceramics.
“I told myself it was a train I shouldn’t miss. I worked in Cyprus for two years and a half, and I returned to Romania with a completely different mentality. It was in 1996, Romania was after an awful socialism, and I returned with a different vision about work, business, everything. Beyond ceramics, I learnt a lot about business, also – how to behave, to approach, the seriousness of a business”, he adds.
They were the first in Horezu who opened a workshop – now the main street is full of pottery shops, but more than 30 years ago, when they started, there was a meadow in there, nothing more. “We started with a room, a very small workshop, with a traditional oven, with wood, and a manual potter’s wheel”, he remembers.
The business grew in time, with very hard work, between 10 and 14 hours a day, without week-ends or holidays.
Three kinds of pottery
Today, whole family keeps on working, even if they succeeded in developing a successful business. Ion Palosi models and paints, Mihaela, his wife, and one of their daughters do the painting.
There are three types of pottery that are made in their workshop – traditional ceramics from XVIII-XIX-th century, that actually made Horezu famous, then contemporary ceramics and painted ceramics after the first combustion. All kinds of dishes are made – depending on demands.
All over the world
Both romanians and foreigners discover Palosi pottery with delight and joy. Foreign customers are all over Europe, New Zeeland, South America, China, Japan, South Africa or Alaska. “They love our work because it’s authentic, and the Horezu decoration is very special, comparing to other ceramics types”, he says.
Not only foreign customers came to visit. Famous guests came to their workshop, and stood at potter’s wheel – romanian presidents, prime-ministers, King Michael and Queen Anne of Romania, Charles, Prince of Wales, famous actors and filmmakers.
After more than 30 years of work with clay, some things changed. Today, pottery is made with electric potter’s wheel, burnt in electric oven. But modeling is still done with hands, painting also. And there’s one thing that hasn’t changed at all. And that’s love for work, pure passion, a piece of heart in every piece of ceramics.
“The fact that you bring a ceramics object to life and that a part of you remains there is an unique feeling. You give life to a clay bulge. When someone buys it you feel like giving a piece of your soul”, Ion Palosi adds.
He is lucky to feel that way, after so many years of hard work. Still being in love with your profession, after doing it for a lifetime. And he is lucky for another thing, also – for the chance of teaching other generations, at the Popular School of Arts.
You can find out more about Palosi pottery on their Facebook Page, HERE
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