News item from 2010

Globular Vessel

Pottery Workshops with Master Craftsman Cornell Sitar

Clay, water, a potter’s wheel - and a technique almost unchanged for thousands of years.

Come to the Ashmolean on Saturday 24 July 2010 and meet the craftsman CORNEL SITAR, a true master of ancient Romanian traditional pottery skills. Watch him create pots from scratch, using the same materials used by his ancestors.

The pottery demonstrations are free for all, drop in sessions starting at 11:00am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm. Children are most welcome.

See the exhibition The Lost World of Old Europe: The Danube Valley, 5000 – 3500 BC and be inspired by the ancient Cucuteni Pottery on display. Then under the master’s guidance, try your hand at creating your very own traditional clay pot. 

Cornel Sitar is a traditional craftsman from the Baia Mare region in north-western Romania. He learned his trade from his parents, having first come into contact with the potter’s wheel in 1962, at the age of 13. From 1978, Cornel Sitar began working in the workshop inherited from his father. Pottery and ceramics became not only a way of preserving an ancient skill, but also a business, the entire Sitar family being involved in the workshop.

Today, Cornel Sitar produces 12,000 pieces every year, in about 160 shapes and sizes. The traditional ceramics from his workshop are specific to the Baia Mare, Baia Sprie and Targu Lapus areas, and comprise pots, plates, bowls, jugs and jars, among other forms.

This event is supported by The Ratiu Foundation in collaboration with The Museum of the Romanian Peasant.

Venue: Ashmolean Education Studio
The Ashmolean Museum, Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2PH
Tel: 01865 278 000 E:

The Lost World of Old Europe: The Danube Valley, 5000 – 3500 BC
Supported by the Leon Levy Foundation
Until 15 August 2010
Book Now: Tickets £6.00 / £4.00 concession

The Lost World of Old Europe presents more than 250 artefacts recovered by archaeologists from the settlements and cemeteries of ‘Old Europe’. This remarkable exhibition of gold, pottery and archaeological finds from the prehistoric civilisation of the Danube Valley, in southeast Europe, is presented in Britain for the first time.

Highlights of the exhibition include the ‘Thinker’ and Female Figurine from Cernavoda, as well as many ceramic and metallurgical pieces from the Cucuteni culture in Romania.

The exhibition has been organised by the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University (ISAW) in collaboration with the National History Museum of Romania, Bucharest, and with the participation of the Varna Regional Museum of History, Bulgaria and the National Museum of Archaeology and History of Moldova, Chisinau; and has been made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation.


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