Pottery Workshops

If you wish to learn the art of making pottery on the wheel and dig back into the past history of the Saxons, just come to our Saschiz Pottery Workshop. Our local craftsmen will personally guide you through the "sgraffito" techniques which are thought to have been used by the local artists in the 18th century. You can enjoy a truly pottery experience using the tools you need to make your own traditional cobalt blue pot.

Workshops include a short presentation about the history of the Saschiz blue pottery, followed by instruction in clay preparation and a short introduction to glaze application and to specific decorative techniques.

Workshops costs include materials and are as follows:

  • 90 RON for up to 2 persons
  • 160 RON for up to 4 persons
  • 350 RON for up to 10 persons
  • 600 RON for up to 30 persons

Your visit can be booked through Saschiz Tourist Information Centre, situated at the base of the Tower of Saschiz Fortified Church.

Project Updates

The main objective of the project was reestablishing the old pottery centre in Saschiz renowned for its blue ware since the 1700s by training young people from the Saxon Villages region of Transylvania in pottery skills.
Our aim is to revive the manufacture of traditional local pottery, including further training for local young people and constructing a pottery workshop in the village of Saschiz.
In 2012 –2015 period, four young people were trained at Camelia Botnar Foundation’s centre at Cowfold, in the UK.
Saschiz Pottery Centre was established and opened in 2015 with the support of Camelia Botnar Foundation and the Saschiz Municipality. The workshop’s aim is to revive the traditional crafts of the Târnava Mare area and to encourage tourism and education, providing tourists and schoolchildren with the opportunity to take part in pottery workshops. 
The pottery is now productive and offers employment to two young local people, and helps to attract visitors to the area. 

Project Location

Saschiz was an old pottery centre renowned for its blue ware since the 1700s. The small pottery closed in the 1970s and the traditional white-on-blue motifs were taken over by the pottery in Corund and motifs reversed (blue-on-white).The Saxons who lived in Saschiz over the years were not just farmers. They also developed craft guilds. The documents speak of pottery craftsmen who made their place among the traditional guilds of the time in the 17th century, besides shoemakers, furriers, blacksmiths and carpenters.

The Origin

The origin of this kind of ceramics has sparked controversy. Between 17th century and 18th century, in S Bohemia or Moravia, a set of white clay creepers, cobalt-lined in blue cobalt, decorated with ornaments - deer, bird, tulip, grape, vrej and so on – were made according to a special technique, by not covering some portions of blue enamel.The resemblance of the cobalt blue Transylvanian vessels to those in the Czech Republic led to the hypothesis that the Saxon ceramic pieces could be considered as a continuation of the Moravian ceramics.*

Decoration

For decorating the plates and pots, pottery makers used to draw geometric elements such as the dot, the sinewy line, the circle, the spiral, the cord, the chess board as well as symbols such as the two-headed eagle, the stag, the bear with ram horns, the bird, the grape, the tulip, the sun flower, the pomegranate in abstract shapes. The most often encountered motif is the grape, as symbol of Christianity, wealth, abundance and joy, but also the grape vine, especially in wine-growing regions. Bird motifs are also present on a cobalt blue background. The crow, the chicken, the partridge were represented individually or as part of a composition (e.g. the bird hunting for a worm, which can actually be considered a classic ornament of Transylvanian cobalt blue ceramic). Top quality vessels were made to order, for weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations. In such cases, the pieces have the year, the names and the initials of the person who issued the order written down on them.*

Technique

The technique is currently under debate. Some researchers claim that this type of ceramic must have been produced using the "sgraffito" technique. This consists in the application of two layers of angobo (ceramic paste used for finishing pottery pieces) of different colors on the pot, and scratching the upper layer so that the bottom layer becomes visible through the scratches. The craft made of clay, in the blooming state, was given with a white angobe, after which another blue angobo was applied. After drying the second layer, the decorative pattern would be engraved, so that the white layer beneath would have appeared on the surface. It would be followed by gilding with a transparent, colorless enamel and, at the end, the bowl would be burned. Other researches have developed a new theory, according to which it is not the "sgraffito" but the "batik" technique that creates the desired effect. "Batik" means drawing the ornaments with fluid, hot beeswax and then covering the whole pot with blue enamel. The enamel does not adhere to the parts where beeswax had been applied, and so the patterns keep the color of the base. Although the method of making the Saschiz blue ceramic decoration is a controversial topic, it is distinguished by the perfect shape and processing technique at a level rarely reached. After 1815 these pieces, of special value, were imitated, but without reaching the original artistic standard of the pottery makers *.

Related Projects

Revival of the old crafts - Saschiz Pottery Workshop

Training of young people from the Saxon Villages region of Transylvania in pottery skills in order to revive the old Saschiz pottery centre renowned for its blue ware since the 1700s.
Funded by : Camelia Botnar Foundation
Project Duration: 2012 - 2017 (5 years)

Want to support our projects?

Our Strategic Partners

Biodiversity conservation and community development in Transylvania
TOP