The ceramic pots used to prepare, store, transport and consume food, played an important role in people’s daily lives. In their production process, burning is an essential stage, during which, through fire, the clay changes its chemical and physical properties, becoming a more durable material. Burning represents the use of fire in a special kiln, built to obtain temperatures necessary to change the clay into the finished product. The kiln for burning the pots in the picture was photographed by Romulus Vuia, in 1923, in the town of Baru, Hunedoara county, Hațeg County. Pots produced in Baru Mare, as well as in the surrounding localities (Baru Mic, Livadia de Câmp, Livadia de Coastă) were known as “Bar pots”, due to the quality of the clay coming from this location. The image shows a man dressed up in work clothes (dark-colored, wide-brimmed hat; long shirt with rolled-up sleeves starting from the shoulders; wide drawers) placing pots inside a kiln, preparing them for burning. The conical kiln, with stone walls and earthwork, is protected against weather by a clapboard roof. The kiln is placed next to a wooden structure with a four-sided roof with shingle covering. On the lateral, the wall of the kiln has an opening that makes it easier to place the dishes inside, and later it’s walled up. At the bottom of the kiln, one of the fire pits can be seen, where the wood used for burning was placed. In the image, two types of pots can be distinguished that were produced in the Baru Mare centre. The “girdle pot”, ovoid, pot-bellied, large-sized, which has an alveolate girdle and two wide and short handles, positioned face to face, located under the round mouth. Most of the pieces in the picture are cooking pots, of different sizes, with two handles placed side by side on the same side of the mouth (called “ulcoanie”). The cliché, registered with title “Kiln for burning pots”, with inventory no. 22, is made in the gelatin-silver bromide technique on glass support, with dimensions of 9 cm x 12 cm.
Photo: Museum Archives