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Wooden Church Restoration Workshop

posted Mar 19, 2010, 12:06 PM by Claus Zapffe   [ updated Dec 9, 2010, 10:14 AM ]
25 - 30 April 2010 
Location: The village of Curtea, Timis County, Romania 
Organizing partners: Moderno AS
Funding framework: EDUAC 

Full workshop title:
Heritage and Restoration - Learning about the painted wooden churches of the Banat region and building-up practical restoration skills in both architecture and painting.

In April 2010 ESUA held the Heritage and Restoration short course in Curtea, Romania, merging crafts (painting and painting restoration) with architecture.

The purpose of the “Heritage and Restoration Workshop” was to give the attendants a broad understanding of the complex relationship between a Romanian village and its church/churches, the history that has lead to a vast collection of wooden church typology and the rigor and rituals that determine the religious painting distribution inside a traditional Romanian wooden church with their symbolism. The attendants were also given a thorough incorporation of the techniques of analyzing and mapping the degradations of a wooden structure, the techniques of analyzing and mapping the degradations of paintings on a wooden surface, the skills and knowledge needed for the precise measuring and correct representation of an historic wooden building and the correct way of detailing the necessary documentations mandatory when restoring an architectural monument.

The outcome of the project was to create, with the students, the necessary documents (measurements, detailed drawings, inventories, etc.) that are needed in order to start the architectural and painting restoration project for the Curtea wooden church.

The theoretical courses were supplemented with discussions in situ (field trips) about the history of wooden churches and the afferent religious representation, the theories and techniques of architectural restoration, the theories and techniques of painting restoration , the techniques of precise measurement and drawing of historic wooden churches and Cultural Politics and Heritage related documents.

Practical work that will on one hand call upon the students to apply directly the information learned in the theoretical curses and on the other hand will allow them to gain practical skills needed in therestoration process. 

The practical activities were the measuring of the wooden church and drawing it in detail and creating and evaluating pathological schemes of the church and it’s interior paintings.

The workshop attendents were:

Five painting restoration students: 
Ion Lozovan, Flavia Pau, Robert Szep, Nina Cioroboiu and Cristina Muntean.

Five architecture students: 
Florin Dobricean, Titus Blaj, Silviu Saftu, Marius Zdrenghea, Anna Pisarek and Lavinia Vladut. 

Doina Mihailescu UVT tutor
Filip Petcu UVT lecturer
Silvia Trion UVT lecturer
Andrea Foanene lecturer
Liliana Rosiu UPT lecturer
Doina Antoniuc UPT lecturer
Vasile Oprisan architect consultant and tutor
Bogdan Demetrescu UPT tutor
Claus Zapffe ESUA organizer
Michael Mehaffy ESUA organizer and lecturer
Bogdan Isopescu ESUA organizer

The short course in Curtea will be followed up by two more courses on wooden church restoration during 2011.

Below is the original presentation of the workshop:


Goals & objectives:
The purpose of the “Heritage and Restoration Workshop” is: 
  1. To give the attendants: 
    1. A broad understanding of: 
      • the complex relationship between a Romanian village and it’s church/churches 
      • the history that has lead to a vast collection of wooden church typologies 
      • the rigor and rituals that determine the religious paintings distribution inside a traditional Romanian wooden church and there symbolism 
    2. A thorough incorporation of: 
      • the techniques of analyzing and mapping of the degradations of a wooden structure 
      • the techniques of analyzing and mapping the degradations of paintings on a wooden surface 
      • the skills and knowledge needed for the precise measuring and correct representation of an historic wooden building 
      • the correct way of detailing the necessary documentations mandatory when restoring an architectural monument 

  2. To create, with the students, the necessary documents (measurements, detailed drawings, inventories, etc.) that are needed in order to start a restoration project for the Curtea wooden church. 

In order to reach the set goals, the attendants will be approached through two directions:
  1. Theoretical lectures (supplemented by image of relevant examples and discussions in situ) about: 
    • the history of wooden churches and the afferent religious representation (2 lectures + 1 fieldtrip) 
    • theories and techniques of architectural restoration (1 lecture) 
    • theories and techniques of painting restoration (1 lecture) 
    • techniques of precise measurement and drawing of historic wooden churches (1 lecture) 
    • Cultural Politics and Heritage related documents (1 lecture) 

  2. Practical work that will on one hand call upon the students to apply directly the information learned in the theoretical curses and on the other hand will allow them to gain practical skills needed in the restoration process. The practical activities are: 
    • measuring the wooden church and drawing it in detail 
    • creating and evaluating pathological schemes of the church and it’s interior paintings
    • practicing painting restoration techniques on wooden icons


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