The people of Tarnava Mare have continued to make objects, tools and articles for every day use. Beauty and simplicity feature because form follows function. These items haven’t died out and been revived- they are still alive! You can find barrels made from local wood, rugs and blankets woven to original patterns from local wool, baskets, tools, metal goods and all manner of objects, made to be used and enjoyed by real people!

Click to see who makes what…


The Wool Weaver’s Story

Maria Nistor learnt her weaving skills at the age of ten from her mother and grandmother. She also learned how to warp the threads with her mother so at the age of 13 she could do the whole process by herself. For 14 years she worked at “Arta Decorativa” in Tg. Neamt where she wove carpets.

In 1990 she moved to Transylvania, together with her husband and her little daughter, where she started embroidery, demonstrating her weaving skills and making some rugs. Maria is creative and skilled in the technique of weaving. She has used patterns from all over Romania but in recent years she has made carpets using traditional Transylvanian patterns.

The Cotton Weaver’s Story

Elena Neagu weaves cotton and for some time she has been making curtains and place mats but without promotion the demand has been limited to local people. She learned her weaving skills from her mother and grandmother but the younger generations were reluctant to put in the required effort and attention to detail.

However, with ADEPT bringing an increasing number of tourists to see her as part of their Food & Culture tours she began to realise the importance of her skills in the culture of the area and was inspired to set up a training school in the village and twelve young women are now being trained. More women now want to join her class but a shortage of space and looms has limited her capacity. Several old looms have now been rescued and repaired.

East London Alphabet Project

The weaving ladies in Malancrav are joining in the East London Alphabet Project, which brings people together from diverse cultural backgrounds to make art works centred on decorating different Alphabets. The group is finishing a textile hanging based around a Roman alphabet and now is engaged in making an Arabic hanging. A New Testament Greek hanging is also being made and a Hindi hanging is planned to begin in the summer. We are very happy to have an old Romanian script to add to the work of the group.

The work is done by women living in the Manor Park and East Ham area of East London, one of the most ethnically varied areas in the UK. The project is funded by Transform Newham and the National Lottery.

The finished art works will be shown in central London later in 2009

The Dyer’s Story

The dyeing workshop held in Saschiz in September 2008 was to revive a tradition long-gone throughout most of Romania, and also to give an opportunity to artists from the Saxon Villages of Transylvania to diversify their products and add value by using naturally dyed wool. At the same time, this was a way to make use of local resources besides wool – existing plant species in the area – and to promote thus, by means of the end products, one of the most important assets of the region: its biodiversity.

The workshop promoted the rediscovery and conservation of the old practice of “dyeing with weeds”, once one of the most important occupations in the household economy of the traditional rural community. The workshop also had an educational component with local school children invited to participate. Read an article from Dialog Textil – a Romanian textile magazine.

The Barrel Maker’s Story

In recent years demand for new traditional 200 litre barrels decreased rapidly so repairs had become the main source of income for Horea Budioan, the Barrel Maker. Then, Fundatia ADEPT suggested that he make a much smaller barrel for urban dwellers who tend not to have large cellars. Now he is offering a demonstration of how to hand make a barrel from a tree trunk, utilising skills and tools passed down from generation to generation. He is selling a 10 litre barrel (made to order) made from plum and mulberry wood. You can visit his workshop, watch a demonstration and order a barrel.

Go to Top