Incredible Wooden Clogs On Trend Just a Few Decades Back
Today, being surrounded by technological evolutions which encompass every aspect of our life, it is hard to believe that only a few generations back we had a world without computers, no wireless and phone. „People from rural areas worked hard for their food, using water from streams, digging wells, travelling miles for barter”, says Olariu Ilie, from the village of Iaslovăț, a carpenter with the experience of two eras: one with little technology and one with advanced technology.
I listen to him in amazement at how hard they worked and all they got done, enduring pain with a never give up attitude. They tended the animals and grew enough grain to be self-sufficient. Everything they used was made from scratch: from housewares to clothing and shoes.
“In winter we wore wooden clogs. Wooden shoes provided excellent insulation.”, he says while climbing down an attic ladder with a block of wood in his hands. „The most popular types of wood. used in making wooden clogs were poplar, lime, birch and any other softwood.”
He is the kind of man who knows everything about anything: he is as good at building houses and digging wells, as he is at making different objects, from barrels to making a wooden rake and weaving looms. We are inside a barn in the front yard, where he organized a little workshop.
A flock of hens graze among the green grass, still wet from a rain shower. Their clucking adds to an image of an appeased, serene rural scenery. Right up front stands the house that he built himself and, nearby the front porch, is a 65 ft deep fountain with ice cold water. It’s so nice to be here on a searing summer day, serving a refreshing glass of water in the shade of a grape arbor.
Mr. Olariu describes life in the past, one which encourages us to think of past time as a simpler but happier time. His face glowing with joy, while carving the piece of wood with a chisel.
“The wooden clogs were traditionally known as “bocânci”. Everyone had a pair of these shoes – men and women. In winter, they would tap the soles with iron bands, allowing them to slip more easily on ice. A pair would last up to two winters. In summer we went barefoot to the field.”” He continues to cut the sole, freely measuring and marking with precision and polishing it with a disc sander.
In the end, he nails an upper piece of leather and the clogs are ready. I look at the simple shoe, forgotten by history, and can’t believe they were popular only a few decades back.
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