Romanian woman creates miniature versions of real traditional houses and the details will amaze you

She builds realistic miniature houses with incredible detail. Models of houses that exist in real life and are still dear to the people they belonged to, or to their grandparents or parents. Houses that were filled with beautiful memories of life in the countryside, of amazing summers, spent during childhood, of laughs, harvest, and joy. People don’t want to forget them and sure, photos and memories are great, however what if you could have a little miniature version of them in your house? 

This wonderful idea was brought to life by 32- year- old Ocoleanu-Lapusneanu Alina, from Bucharest, who got into handcrafts when she went into her maternity leave.  She was kind enough to give us an interview about her amazing work. She says:

“ At first I used only recyclable materials: old plywood, boxes, jars, nature elements such as branches, rocks and then I did some research on fabrics and my work started to take more complex shapes. It is a project that gathers many of my passions: modelling, layout, sculpture, painting, embroidery all in a rustic, traditional style.

I respect my family and ancestors a lot and I think we would be able to reach a higher level of spiritual evolution if we remained connected to what they have left behind, on a material level but also through their values and their knowledge.

I am trying to present the village life through my work, the way I have spent my childhood in the countryside, the world of simple, christian people who respected traditions and created their life in harmony with nature’s laws. I like to create miniature village houses from different areas of our country, some of them are exact replicas of the houses where our dear grandparents used to live. Thus, I give people the joy of keeping the memory of their childhood alive and the feeling of belonging to their roots, rediscovering themselves indirectly.”

We were quite curious about the way these houses are built, as it seems to be quite a complex process so we asked Alina more details.

How long does it take to create a house?

A village house takes me between 12-20 hours and even more for houses that have details indoors.

Is this a complicated process?

It is quite complex because it involves architecture studies and also ethnographic knowledge. With every work I feel like I need to learn more and I try to perfect my skills constantly.

What type of materials do you use and how do you find them?

During university I worked part time at a construction materials ‘store and so I learnt about the existence of work instrument and some of the materials I use now. The most important material I use is wood, just as it is used in real houses. I also use solder, cloth, wool, adhesives and water paint. These type of materials can be found in hobbycraft type of stores.

How did you become so skilled? Did you take a class?

I have studied on my own about traditional architecture, about folklore and also about old beliefs. I am fascinated by the symbolistic of codes that are transmitted by peasants through the sculpted and painted motifs which are everywhere: the house entrance, random house objects, vases, fabrics. These are motifs that we need to try to understand them because we have to know the past without which we cannot understand the present and without this we will be lead towards an obscure future, in a circle like a “hora”, repeating the same acts just like a snake that eats its own tail.

I consider that I inherited my skills and craftiness from somewhere inside me and I believe what they say in our mythology that all the facts and the thoughts are inscribed in our genetic code and that it is possible that a predecessor gene will be activated after many generations by higher vibrations ( see examples of this by the usage of DNA symbols in traditional art).

 Did you think of creating something else besides houses?

I am also creating other craft objects such as couple paintings that can be given as gifts at weddings, as well as moss arrangements for teachers and I also create Baba Dochia puppets for Martisor celebrations. I create Christmas tree ornaments, bulbs and the nativity scene.

Have you ever thought of teaching a class on crafts?

I thought of filming it, like creating a tutorial with all the steps to follow for those who want to try, but maybe when I’ll be older. For now, I think I still have many things to learn.

Do you have any future projects?

I want to create a mini-collection that will be exhibited at the traditional art museum, however now it’s hard for me to keep houses in stock. All the little houses are unique and they are personalized according to the region they are from and depending on the family members. The houses are a great gift for the loved ones, they are great wedding gifts, new house gifts or for any other celebration. Their utility is a spiritual one, it is to remind us about our roots and our tradition in order to lead us on our life path.

Ocoleanu-Lapusneanu Alina

You can see more of her beautiful creations on her Facebook page: Confitor Artizanat.






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