People are Rediscovering Traditional Bulgarian Crafts and Learning Them, Elena Artisans Say

People are Rediscovering Traditional Bulgarian Crafts and Learning Them, Elena Artisans Say

Elena, Central Bulgaria, March 30 (BTA) - An increasing number of people are rediscovering traditional Bulgarian crafts and are beginning to learn them, potter Valentin Dimitrov told BTA. The master artisan from Elena has been working with clay for over 40 years. He graduated from the School of Crafts in Troyan (Central Bulgaria), after which he returned to his home town.

His workshop is located in one of the small picturesque streets by the river passing through the town. Fourteen years ago he emigrated to Canada where he taught pottery at an art centre in Toronto. His students included doctors, lawyers and specialists in various fields. Dimitrov said that after their busy day they wanted to return to nature and the shortest way to do that is clay and the pottery wheel.

After two years in Canada Dimitrov returned to Elena. Now he is teaching pottery. He also makes pottery wheels and kilns. He will be one of the artisans who will demonstrate his art in the European Artistic Craft Days, which will be held on April 1 and 2 in Elena.

Kristina Vassileva and her family have preserved another local craft - making lollipops by their own technology. The children of all generations have helped in the small workshop, the young woman told BTA. She learnt the craft from her grandmother and is now teaching it to her children.

The skill of kneading the sugar dough and of forming the lollipops is important. The technology includes water, sugar, vinegar, aroma and colour.

The tourist centre in Elena has a facility where the children who want to can make their own candy, Vassileva said.

Wood carver Milcho Bonev thinks the craft is educational, which is why it is good to be taught to young people because the results cannot be seen immediately but require effort. He himself has been teaching young people for 30 years.

Source: Elena, Central Bulgaria