Organic Arts – De Mână. Transylvanian food stories

Organic Arts

THE STORY...

WHO IS ORGANIC ARTS

Organic Arts produce 100% organic rush products in the village of Tonciu, Bistrița-Năsăud in North Transylvania, Romania. Szilagyi Ilona, the owner of Organic Arts, considers herself lucky that she was born in a place and a period where traditions were an integral part of everyday life.

As a child, she always nested with parents and grandparents while they were weaving rush. She listened and played with rush threads and learnt how to weave from her grandmother without realising it. In adulthood she realised that her skill was a huge treasure and now she weaves not only to earn an income but to carry on the tradition left to her by her ancestors.

WHAT DO THEY DO? 

Tonciu is a locality where rush weaving is one of the main occupations and the people are extremely talented at the craft. With less younger people taking care of the craft Szilagyi decided to create the Association of Weavers from Tonciu, whose purpose is to preserve and teach the craft to younger generations.

Every year from the beginning of August until late Autumn, the rush begins to be harvested from different places, as rush doesn't grow in the same place every year. During this time the village is left without men, as they go to collect enough raw material to last for for a whole year. The rush is cut with a sickle, often the people work in mud and cold water to the knees or even waist. The cut rush is pulled out of the lake and tied in "skirts" with a circumference of 1m. From this around 10 baskets can be woven. It is then transported by cart, truck or train back to the village.

At home it is unpacked and left to dry for a few days and stored in at attic or a barn. The preparation of the rush for weaving begins in the evening. It is watered and then covered so that it becomes softer and is easier to weave.

THE RANGE...

From here it is woven into various products such as shopping baskets, bread or fruit baskets, boxes, hats, slippers, flower pots and many more. We can take orders for products that are not currently on the website, so please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss a possible pre-order.

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