As we launch our latest unique collection of Casa de Folklore ceramics on Objects & Finds we got together with Alice, founder to discuss her journey and learn more about her passion for Romanian craft.
Hello Alice, we're excited to launch our Casa de Folklore collection, can you tell us more about yourself and your journey?
Thank you for having me! I'm thrilled to share my journey with the O&F community. I was born and raised in Romania, surrounded by the rich traditions and crafts of my country. After completing my education, I embarked on a quest to celebrate and promote the beauty of Romanian craft through Casa de Folklore.
How does your family heritage inform your collections?
My family heritage plays a significant role in shaping my collections. Growing up, I was immersed in the stories, techniques, and cultural significance of Romanian craft passed down through generations. It instilled a deep appreciation for the artistry and skills involved. I aim to honour this heritage by preserving and reviving traditional techniques in my ceramic collections.
When did you first discover your love for Romanian craft?
My love for Romanian craft began at an early age. I have vivid memories of helping my grandpamother weave and and wash sheeps wool. I loved accompanying my grandparents to local markets and festivals, where I witnessed skilled artisans working on their crafts. The vibrant colours, intricate patterns, and the passion with which they were created inspired me greatly. These experiences ignited my love for Romanian craft and became the foundation of my journey.
Can you tell us about the importance of the relationships with the artisans you work with?
The relationships with the artisans I work with are of utmost importance. I believe in fostering genuine connections and collaboration. By working closely with these talented artisans, I not only ensure the authenticity and quality of our ceramics but also contribute to the sustainability of their craft. It's a mutually beneficial partnership that helps preserve traditional techniques while providing artisans with fair opportunities to showcase their skills.
Casa de Folklore ceramics are functional pieces with intricate designs and each piece is unique. Tell us about the process of creating the ceramics and what makes these unique to Romania?
Creating Casa de Folklore ceramics involves a meticulous process that combines traditional techniques and contemporary design. Skilled artisans handcraft each piece using locally sourced clay, shaping them on simple kick pottery wheels, and hand-painting intricate designs. These designs often draw inspiration from folklore, nature, and traditional motifs, making them unique. The combination of functionality, intricate designs, and the cultural narrative behind each piece is what sets Casa de Folklore ceramics apart.
What inspires the artisan's use of colour and pattern in the pieces created?
The artisans' use of colour and pattern is deeply rooted in Romanian folklore and cultural symbolism. They draw inspiration from nature, traditional costumes, folklore tales, and historical patterns. These elements are then translated into vibrant colours and intricate patterns that reflect the richness of Romanian culture. The use of specific colours and patterns can also carry symbolic meanings, telling stories and preserving the cultural heritage within the ceramics.
In an age of mass production your ceramics are full of history and craft. Do you feel we are seeking more authentic, unique ceramics to enrich time spent well, enjoying good food and shared experiences?
Absolutely! In today's fast-paced world of mass production, there is a growing desire for authenticity and unique craftsmanship. People are seeking objects with a story, a connection to tradition, and a sense of heritage. Casa de Folklore ceramics offer exactly that—a chance to enrich everyday experiences, appreciate the artistry behind the objects we use and embrace the slower, more intentional aspects of life.
What’s your favourite object or find from our collection?
It's difficult to choose a favourite, but I must say the Ella Bua-In collection is quite special. The deep blue colour, hand-painted motifs, and elegant shapes are devine, I love the lemon juicer in particular.
Can you share any rituals in your daily routine to help with finding balance?
Finding balance is crucial in my daily routine. I start each day with a few moments of mindfulness and reflection. I also make time for creative activities, such as sketching or experimenting with new designs. Taking breaks throughout the day to connect with nature, exercise, or simply enjoy a cup of tea helps me recharge and stay grounded.
Where do you like to go to feel inspired?
I love exploring traditional craft markets, visiting museums and art galleries, and immersing myself in nature. Travelling to different regions of Romania, where I can witness diverse cultural expressions and interact with local artisans, is an endless source of inspiration for me.
What destinations influence you?
Several destinations influence my work. Transylvania, with its rich folklore and traditional crafts, holds a special place in my heart. The Maramureș region, known for its wooden architecture and intricate woodcarvings, also inspires me. The painted monasteries of Bucovina and the pottery centres in Horezu and Marginea are other notable destinations that influence my creative process.
What do you treasure most?
My grandmothers handwoven rugs are very close to my heart but the thing I treasure most is the connection to my roots and the ability to preserve and share the cultural heritage of Romania through Casa de Folklore. It brings me great joy to see how these ceramics bring people together, spark conversations, and create meaningful experiences.
What’s next for Casa de Folklore?
The future for Casa de Folklore is an exciting one. We plan to expand our collections to include other traditional crafts of Romania, such as textiles and woodwork. We also aim to collaborate with more artisans, both within Romania and beyond, to create unique pieces that celebrate the beauty and diversity of global craft. Our ultimate goal is to continue promoting cultural preservation and sustainable craftsmanship while fostering a sense of appreciation for traditional art forms.
Take a browse through our collection of unique Horezu ceramics from Casa de Folklore here