Mara Zsuzsanna – painter, restorer

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I studied in the art high school in Miercurea Ciuc, after which I was admitted to the restoration department at the University of Fine Arts in Iași. My qualification is painted wood restorer, but during my time at the university I also learnt about icon painting and about painting on glass, which I also really like.

Folk motifs have always been of interest to me, I loved the coffered ceilings, I went on lots of local history tours, and I also delved into the professional literature of this subject. Many of the motifs caught my eye, and at some point it occurred to me that I would like to pass on this knowledge to the young. This is why I started painting old traditional motifs on glass, hoping that today’s young people will be more open to the new form.

In the Sasfészek Craft Yard I teach traditional folk motif painting on small furniture objects for tourists and students. I believe that our folk motifs are of value and that it is important to pass them on to young people, as well as to make them known to a wider public. To this end, visitors can look forward to workshops I prepared, where they can gain a deeper insight into these motifs and furniture painting.

Both Magdolna – seamstress

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I graduated in Textile Fabrication in 1983, after which I worked for five years in the jacket department of a ready-made garment factory. Already around that time I have asked my mother –   who was also a seamstress – to write me down how much material is needed to sew twenty traditional Szekler folk costumes for women. I didn’t do much about it until I was fifty, but then I decided I would sew a Szekler folk costume for myself. After I finished it, more and more local people came to ask me to make folk costumes for them. In addition to the women’s costumes, I now sew men’s costumes as well, the first of which I sewed for on of my family members, and then came further requests.

At the craft yard we would dress up rag dolls I sewed in traditional folk costumes, so I would teach the interested children and tourists how to sew traditional folk costumes. I think it is very important that more people get to know our folk culture, and here I think not only of folk costumes, but also of old crafts, folk songs, folk dances. I trust that through this activity the craft yard will contribute towards this goal.

Tankó Lems Llc. – woodworker

Our company was founded in 1992, which we registered in 1996 as a limited liability company (Llc). Initially we were engaged in furniture making, then gradually we switched to making roof structures, stairs, windows and doors, building elements. We mainly produce for the local market, that is, we strive to meet the needs of the surrounding area. Our workshop currently has three employees.

Tankó Lems Llc. is a direct neighbour of the Sasfészek  craft yard, so it was convenient to provide the wood materials needed for furniture painting – however small furniture, on demand. At the same time, we try to support local initiatives, so there was no question if we would join this team

Vitos Fodor István – Vitos Chimney Cake

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My grandmother, auntie Rózsika Fodor, was the kneading, wrapping the dough for the spit cake maker referred to by locals only as Auntie Krisztina. Since this activity was more and more often audited, our family decided to engage in it officially, in accordance with the regulations. Thus, we registered the company in 2002, and from 2003 we spent four to five years travelling the country and exploring where can we sell the chimney cake. Based on our experience, we now attend up to 25 fairs per year, and the number of employees have grown from the addition three to 15. In addition, we have a permanent booth at Lake St. Anna since 2007.

For tourists arriving at the craft yard, we provide the opportunity to make their own chimney cakes, from kneading, wrapping to baking and flavouring the cake. Thanks to the spectacular baking oven, not only the work put into making their own delicacy may delight the visitors, but also learning how to make a traditional Szekler cake.

Potyó Gyula – grain producer

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I have been farming since the 1990s, when we regained our collectivized lands. The main activity profile of our farm is livestock breeding, more precisely cattle breeding, but as an additional activity we also cultivate grain. Over the years, livestock, machinery and farmland as well have grown in size. Currently, we cultivate 11 hectares of arable land, of which some are cultivated with grain every year.

The chimney cakes made during the bakery workshops at the craft yard are made from the grain we cultivate. I think it is important to encourage this initiative because I think it is essential to promote the traditional lifestyle on a larger scale. The rural life of Szeklerland – whether it is agriculture, folk crafts, material heritage – is one that is no longer found in many places, and therefore of value.