Traditional Bulgarian Crafts SOU “Hristo Botev” - Aytos
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The lumber-mills• Lumber-mills were for the most part powered by water wheels. The lower end of the water channel, where the water entered the water wheel, was a pyramid shaped funnel. From the height of the water and therefore the large amount of available energy, the wheels were able to spin at a fast rate, from 30 to 120 revolutions per minute.• Each mill cut its boards by the length, width, and thickness that the original trees allowed and by the specifications of the purchaser.• An automatic system was created to feed the trees into the saw blades, similar to the automatic feeding of water into the water wheel, in order to make the running of the mill more efficient.• The tree was attached to the movable wheel by way of an iron grip. With the help of the workers, two trees could be placed one on top of the other, to be run through the blade at the same time. (c) 2007 brainybetty.com ALL 3 RIGHTS RESERVED.
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Water - mills• A watermill is a structure that uses a water wheel or turbine to drive a mechanical process such as flour, lumber or textile production, or metal shaping (rolling, grinding or wire drawing).• Typically, water is diverted from a river or impoundment or mill pond to a turbine or water wheel, along a channel or pipe (variously known as a flume, head race, mill race, leat.The force of the waters movement drives the blades of a wheel or turbine, which in turn rotates an axle that drives the mills other machinery.• Water leaving the wheel or turbine is drained through a tail race, but this channel may also be the head race of yet another wheel, turbine or mill. The passage of water is controlled by sluice gates that allow maintenance and some measure of flood control. (c) 2007 brainybetty.com ALL 5 RIGHTS RESERVED.
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Fulling - mills• Fulling or tucking or walking is a step in woolen clothmaking which involves the cleansing of cloth (particularly wool) to eliminate oils, dirt, and other impurities, and making it thicker. The worker who does the job is a fuller, tucker, or walker.• Before the invention of scribbling and spinning mills in the late 18th century, fulling was the only mechanical process in the manufacture of cloth. After a piece of cloth had been woven, it was taken to a water‐powered fulling mill, where wooden hammers would pound it with fullers earth in order to scour and cleanse it.• The cloth was then hung on tenter frames to be stretched back to its original size. (c) 2007 brainybetty.com ALL 8 RIGHTS RESERVED.
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Bulgarian Brandy distillation• Rakia is the traditional drink of Bulgaria. It is a clear alcoholic beverage made by the distillation of fermented fruit. It has a high alcohol content varying anywhere between 40% and 95% alc.There are different types of rakia, all depending on what fruit it is made of (grapes, plums, apricots, pears, apples, cherries, figs, quinces). In Bulgaria, rakia made from grapes is the most popular, but slivovitza (rakia made from plums) is also popular. Making rakia at home has been a part of Bulgarian traditions for centuries. Nowadays more and more of the produce is being commercially produced in distilleries. (c) 2007 brainybetty.com ALL 11 RIGHTS RESERVED.
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Rose Oil distillation• For centuries, the oil-bearing rose has been grown in the Bulgarian Valley of Roses as it is known today. This is an area with pretty favourable climatic conditions and fertile soil including a string of valleys situated between the Balkan range and the Sredna Gora mountains. The major rose fileds are situated in the areas around Karlovo, Kazanlak, Plovdiv, and Nova Zagora.• The rose-picking season starts in the second half of May (the day varies in the different places depending on the local conditions), lasts for a couple of weeks and ends around mid-June. The harvesting goes along with the Rose Festival and a beauty contest for the Rose Queen title. Held during the festival days are demonstrations of the rose-picking technique and the rose distillation process, tasting of rose jam and rose brandy. (c) 2007 brainybetty.com ALL 13 RIGHTS RESERVED.
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Pottery• The pottery-making is a traditional Bulgarian craft dating back from the times of the Thracians and Romans who once lived on our lands. That is why this art includes closely interwoven styles and different techniques, passed through the generations. (c) 2007 brainybetty.com ALL 16 RIGHTS RESERVED.
The pottery is related to earthen pots - pots, ewers,bowls, dishes, pans, censers, deep goblets and otherkinds of ware. In the past, the pottery-making flourishedin most of the big villages in Bulgaria. . The finedecoration and ornamentation were applied throughseveral techniques: hand engraving, color painting andapplication of geometric design patterns. Theengraving, also called “coloring”, was achieved byrotation of the potter’s wheel, thus forming the famouswave lines, stripes and arched forms. Most of theelements of the color painting included figures offlowers, birds and animals. Another specific feature ofthe pottery art are the chimneys ends, used fordecoration..Today, sill a great variety of chimneys ends can beseen in the areas of Koprivshtiza and Panagurishte. (c) 2007 brainybetty.com ALL 17 RIGHTS RESERVED.
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Bells crafting• Bells crafting in Bulgaria developed after the 15-th century and is associated with the stock-breeding in the areas surrounding the mountains. The bells included forged and molten handbells, as well as church bells.• The mastery of the bellmaker was proven by achieving the proper tune of the bell and making the bells “sing”. The tune depended on the size and thickness of the metal, and the welding as well. Different kinds of techniques were applied, depending on the materials the handbells were made of. (c) 2007 brainybetty.com ALL 20 RIGHTS RESERVED.
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COPPERSMITHS’ WORK• Coppersmiths’ work is another craft with traditions in Bulgaria. During the centuries, masters have made daily-life items, objects for the cattle and the farm. People say that the best coffee is made in a copper Turkish coffee-pot, and a brandy, heated in a copper vessel, tastes like heavenly honey. The copper utensils had an important part in the everyday life of Bulgarians.• The copper works became a popular marriage gift, conveying a message of warmth and a cozy home for the young family. Today’s craftsmen continue the traditions of the past. (c) 2007 brainybetty.com ALL 22 RIGHTS RESERVED.
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Cutlery• Cutlery is one of the earliest crafts that flourished in Bulgaria and the ironware crafts developed in the following areas: the town of Gabrovo, the villages of Shipka, Kostenetz etc. Craftsmen made elaborate swords, yathagans, razors and scissors.• The cutlery workshop consisted of a smithy with a fireplace and a blower, used for the treatment of the metals and also a second room – for final treatment and finishing. After the forging and attaching the handle, the knife was sharpened on a whetstone. A special feature of the cutlery was that the works of craftsmen included also tilled horns, bones and wood used for the handles. (c) 2007 brainybetty.com ALL 24 RIGHTS RESERVED.
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• The workshop where the leather was treated was called “Tabakhana”. Usually it was a very large room for treatment of raw buffalo, cow, calf and other types of leather. A wide range of materials were used for treatment - lime, ash, oak barks, sumac, sea-salt and sawdust. Until the Liberation of Bulgaria/ 1878/, mainly four types of leather were treated: “sole leather” from buffalo and ox; “semi-treated sole leather”- from cow and horse leather; “sahtieni” – from goat; “mechini” from sheep leather – used for lining of shoes. (c) 2007 brainybetty.com ALL 27 RIGHTS RESERVED.
The treatment of thick leather consisted of threebasic stages: refreshing and cleaning of the leather,whitewashing and tanning. For that purpose were usedbig and small wash-tubs, a cauldron for heating the water,a wooden tub, a wooden press for squeezing the leather,buckets, irons for scraping, wood racks and others. Thetreatment of the so-called “nude leathers” used formaking of modern shoes, boots, belts, saddlebags wasdone in a very specific way. To keep the quality of thewool, the pieces of sheep leather were coated with slakedlime paste and fireplace ash. The coated leather was left for twenty-four hours tostale and then the wool was pulled out by hands. Toremove the nasty smell, the cleaned leather was put in asumac solution. The leather-workshops had bigimpressive verandas used for drying of the leather. Theleather clothes, caps, saddles, reins, belts are part of thetypical Bulgarian crafts using the treated leather as mainmaterial. (c) 2007 brainybetty.com ALL 28 RIGHTS RESERVED.
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Textile weaving• Textile weaving has always been another fundamental handicraft in Bulgaria, serving ordinary people’s needs for clothes and furnishings, as well as being a highly decorative art form in its own right. The art of textile weaving in Bulgaria reaches its pinnacle, of course, in the crafts of rug-making and carpet-making. Carpets from Chiprovtsi in the Western Balkan Mountains (Western Stara Planina) are of international renown. Also much respected are carpets from Kotel, Koprivshtitsa and the Kamchiya region. From the Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains comes the thick, coarse goat-wool rug know as a kozyak. There are also beautifully coloured chergi (blankets) found in many parts of the country. All these Bulgarian carpets and rugs serve both practical as well as decorative purposes. (c) 2007 brainybetty.com ALL 30 RIGHTS RESERVED.
Weaving is an ancient Bulgarian craft. Original techniques are used for the making of fabrics for home consumption. The basic raw materials are wool, goat’s hair, linen, hemp and cotton. For dying Bulgarians use mostly colorants of vegetable, animal and mineral origine.(c) 2007 brainybetty.com ALL 31 RIGHTS RESERVED.
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Embroidery It is not related to water but Bulgarian Embroidery isone of the most outstanding achievements of Bulgarianfolk art with its impressive colour combinations andpatterns. Each region in Bulgaria is known for its ownstyle of decoration and color combinations.The typicalfeatures for all the country are the geometrical figuresand the prevalence of the red. All the blankets, sheetsand dresses were hand made of wool, cotton, linen. Afterthe fabrics had been woven, the clothes were decoratedand embroidered by hand. The threads could be woolen,cotton or silk. (c) 2007 brainybetty.com ALL 34 RIGHTS RESERVED.
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This project has been funded with support fromthe European Commission.This presentation reflects the views only of theauthor, and the Commission cannot be heldresponsible for any use which may be made of theinformation contained therein. (c) 2007 brainybetty.com ALL 37 RIGHTS RESERVED.