Pottery, the creation of traditional costumes, the tanning and fur processing, the sewing an weaving, the embroidery, the woodworking and sculpting of the wood, the painting on glass are just some of the crafts known and appreciated as traditions of the Timis county.
In the county of Timis pottery is one of the most common crafts. There were five here in the past pottery centres: Jupăneşti, Făget, Temereşti, Baloşeşti and Răchita.
Currently the the most active centres are located in Jupâneşti, known for it’s famous potters Velcu Trandafir and Barbos Martin. The other important place for pottery is Dumbrava, where Ioan Brita and Carolina Costineanu are combining art and craft to gain beautiful ceramic objects.
The ceramics of Banat is defining for the entire western region, being a red, unglazed ceramics, reminds us, both in form and decoration, of the Roman ceramics. The decoration is applied by brush or finger, and their motifs and forms are different for each region: alveolar girdle, white or brown in Jupâneşti, dots and lines of red and white oxide at Binish or black in Lugoj.
The popular craftsman drew his attention to the utility of the object and its practical value, less on aesthetics, aiming to meet the needs of everyday life.
Creation of traditional costumes
It is believed that Banat is best illustrated with the popular wisdom: ”every house has its ornaments and chromaticity."
The folk costume from Banat is first of all talking about the people here who, thanks to their lifestyle, craftsmanship and in touch with the Central European world since the eighteenth century, were inspired to pick the most diverse materials in the design of their costumes.
The popular port of Banat is stylish and sumptuous, because the thread of gold and silver is the one that gives it, especially to the female costume, a note of nobility and wealth that we do not meet in other regions of Romania.
Tanning and fur processing
The tanning and fur processing in the region of Banat has developed over the years. The coat, the vest and other similar parts have started from the simplest forms, being practical garments designed to protect man from the weather, and have gradually developed into an integral part of the very complex popular art.
The sewing and the weaving
In the villages of Banat there are women who spin the wool, weave blankets on loom or sew textile tablecloths and napkins, but this occupation tends to disappear as young people no longer feel attracted to it.
The woodworking and sculpting
In village communities, there were many who mastered the craft of woodworking. The old peasant made and maintained his own household items: furniture, tools, cookware, cutlery, icons, crosses and toys for the little ones.
Today there are only few people who are willing to discover the mysteries of this ancient profession.
In terms of wooden sculptures generally follow the traditional craftsmanship. The spiral, the circle, the rhombus, the motif of the sun, the roses, the wolf's teeth, the snake, the flower - by their joining- are a symbol of the way the craftsmen understood over time, the world, the life and the death.
Iconography - Glass painting
Originally used as religious images, icons on glass become, in the late eighteen century, elements of decoration of peasant interiors.
In the old houses of Banat could be found 3 to 5 such icons hanging on the walls, with decorative wipes around them. The icon which usually sits on the eastern wall of the room represents the holy patron of the family. Up to now, in some villages in southern and eastern Banat, it is a custom to celebrate the feast of the family on a saint's day.
The icon-painters (called "moalari") came from the "painting schools" existing in Banat until the beginning of the nineteenth century. The names of many of them have been lost in the darkness of times, their art remaining anonymous, dedicated only to God.
Among the peculiarities of the Romanian icon on glass we mention the floral and geometric motifs of the decoration and the symmetry of the decorative compositions.
The figures of the saints and their clothing are usually made of large, colour-filled surfaces. In Banat there is a fine mannequin drawing and a temperate shade.
Events of the popular craftsmen in the county of Timis
The most important events in Timis County that have as their central objective the crafts are:
- The People's Crafts Fair, organised annually at the Banat Village Museum in Timisoara, bringing together craftsmen from all over the country and with different specialisations: bone, wood, fabrication, masks, ornaments
- The Potters Fair from Jupâneşti, organised annually
- The regional fair for crafts in the western region of the country
- Creation camps for children
- Pottery and wood sculpture workshops at: Margina, Branesti, Jupâneşti and Tomeşti