By Marius Voica
21 Feb 2012
The world is a wonderful place, full of marvelous traditions sent from generation to generation to remind us once more that not our need for survival makes us valuable as humans, but only a lifetime experience and a great heritage. Some time ago, while travelling through Covasna County in Romania, a rural and unusual sight for our society made me stop my car and take some pictures. Some poor people were making bricks. I couldn't take my eyes off their work because it seemed to me they stopped since hundreds of years ago.
Not really prepared for an interview, but amazed by the talent and skills, I started to ask lots of questions that were going round and round my mind. I could find out that their job is not only a job. They told me with confident voice that brick making was a family tradition for centuries. No need for a factory, just two strong hands and a long experience. Father, mother and daughter doing the same thing as their ancestors did. Like their parents and grandparents. Simple bricks with hard work. A family inheritance and actual business that was never defeated by modern society and technologies.
The story of brick making sounded like this: "All starts by choosing a good place, where the earth is rich in good quality clay. We dig a whole in that ground, extract the clay, mix it with water and bring it to our women by horse carriage to prepare it for the bricks. My wife and daughter make some wood matrixes and poor the mixture inside. We leave them like this, in the light of the sun, for a few days. At the end we build from the bricks a stove that will burn all the clay not yet dried. "
I loved the effect given by the sun light together with the hard, dusty work. And the man and with his horse carriage fitted almost perfectly in the middle of this terrific natural, brownish-colored show. The hands molding the fresh clay and the bricks layed down in the sun or stacked for burning completed the scenery.
I left with a magical feeling in my heart - admiration for our strong traditions, and great memories inside my camera. Once again, handmade is not overrated.