Posted on 2019-10-02    Category Traditions

Will continue today to tallk about the processing of stone, explaining to you how it was done this things by our craftmens.

a.) Breaking stone technique

This was the most widespread technique in the Romanian craftsmanship. In the stone was made a cut called a stump in which holes were made ten in ten centimeters with a depth of 10-15 cm in which they were knocking, one by one, with a baroque of 10-15 kg. This process cut off large stone blocks weighing up to 2.5 tons that were transported home to the craft with a special car pulled by 6-8 buffaloes. Usually, the quarries were not far from the workshops of the stonemasons, and they found themselves in the village at a small distance. For a right burst of stone stones was used a special tile with wood icons and water, a method used by the ancient world for breaking the stone.

The technique is the following: digging a ditch into the stone to keep the water in it. There are a few holes in the bottom of the gutter, where they forcefully force a few hardwood and well-dried wood icons. The oars are beaten with a baroque in the holes in the trough, then the water pours into the trough, usually in the evening, and until the morning they swell because of the water and by swelling up the stone rock was cracked to be dislodged. The great advantage of this technical process is that the stone always cracks straight - oblique. This procedure is used in cases where a large block of stone without cracks is needed in order to cut off the pieces needed for certain works, or especially when the stana is used for sculpture.

For less important works, the technique is used with the icons hit by the baroque, thus the extraction time is considerably shorter, but the quality of the stone can be impaired by the force of the baroque blow in the icons. These processes are used both in the quarry to dislodge the piece of stone from the rock and at home in the workshop of the stone craftsman as it does not have efficient installations.

  1. b) The stone cutting process

This process is used either in workshops or in quarries. In workshops, this is done using the hand or saw blade at the desired dimensions of the craftsman. In his quarry, cutting was done with a special saw when the stone was less hard, limestone.

  1. c) The extraction of stone from the quarry with the help of the explosive occurs in the first decades of the last century. Field research has found that before the First World War, the first "iron splints" appeared, in the countryside to drill the rock for the explosive. All these new tools and techniques are a direct influence of the mining influence. The stone masters took over these mining techniques because they did not meet demand with their traditional, traditional tools.

Specialized stone-built villages appeared throughout the country.

 Dobrogea - Mihail Kogalniceanu, Carjelari

 Moldova - Ardelean Bicaz, Bicaz Chei, Ţepeseni, Bicăel, Dirmoxa

 Apuseni Mountains - Pietreni, Băjeni, Ciuruleasa, Ardeu,

 Oltenia - Baia de Fier, Polovragi, Dobrita, Şovarna, Bala

 Iron Gates Basin - Vârciorova, Dubova, Padina, Mehadia, Baile Herculane

 Resita area - Gârlişte, Caşarova, Căvărani

 Transylvania - Strâmbu, Chiuieşti, Ciceu, etc.

The products of the stones

The stone products are very varied by the nature of the requirements of their beneficiaries: building stone, stone blocks, funerary poles, stone poles, house steps, fountain trays, wine lined tracks, grinding stones, stone stones, tools for sharpening tools, trots for poultry and animals, drain rainwater troughs, tests, ornaments etc. The sculptor's craft has developed greatly in the Romanian lands where the big boyars tried to rise to the level of their closer or further neighbors, this trend leading to the development of an ornamental architecture, both interior and exterior, with sculpture or painting, to which Besides foreign masters, Romanian masters also participated and printed a popular line.

In contrast, small and medium-sized landowners living in the country and in peasant farms are developing a craftsmanship of folk craftsmen, themselves peasants, with the rejection of outside influences. That's how persistence is explained in the sculpture the popularity of some ornaments, whose origin can be attributed to cultures before our era. Those who have practiced this profession throughout the centuries have come to a great specialization with time. The specialization played an overwhelming role in maintaining the craftsmanship and transmitting it to us in time and space.

The ornamentation of stone products is special. The monumental monuments in the Buzau area have a special value through their ornamentation, by the special symbolic composition of the decorative motifs. Thus the inbred crosses represent the life beyond the grave of the respective family, the triple cross, a large one with two small ones, represents the mother with the two children, and the ornamentation of these monuments is as brilliant and optimistic as the sun and the tree of life.  In the area of ​​Cluj or Campulung Muscel, in the carved or painted ornamentation of the stones, predominates different workplaces, customs and crafts, the whole cycle of life.

Among the scenes, the most widespread are the ones that relate to plowing, by carving in stone a wall of a peasant with a wooden plow pulled by two oxen from whose drawing can be reconstructed both this tool and the shapes of the field from time to time. Other scenes represent the beehive with the whole scene of cosnita hives, woven from rods and rush and systematic beehives.  It is not neglected either viticulture, fruit growing, with scenarios of keeping beverages in a traditional cellar. Also in the category of work scenes are the mining mines, where the appearance of a mine, the miners in the specific costumes, the typical tools, the hammers, the icons, the chisels and the support forms of the galleries in the mine.

The great variety of columns supporting the terraces of the houses has floral motifs, zoomorphs, scenes from known fairy tales or the "secret dinner", as well as "the serpent hunting", palm trees, etc., the masters reaching a great and refined mastery sculpting anything stone model, from column capitals to intricate ornamentation required by local beneficiaries or even by architects and builders to monumental buildings such as the former Royal Palace.

The cut of the stone is done with the saws, the canvas being of simple iron without teeth, and the cutting is done by rubbing the panels back and forth by constantly adding water and sand for cutting. Pressing on the canvas to cut it is done with a metal bracket that attaches the canvas that prints a fairly high cutting speed. Such a facility cuts a 10-12 tonne stone block in 24 hours. The products are equally distributed throughout the country. The careful study of this popular craft gives us the image of its historical development throughout the country, and particularly its unity and continuity through working tools and products.