Is there any imprint of one’s personal mastery in practicing the folk handicrafts in Romania today? How could be explained variability in the making, shaping, and signifying the artifacts from within the same craft or ethnographic area? Why the craftwork and the folk arts (while they are sometimes reclaimed from ancient peasant traditions, and sometimes are opposed to each other in terms of “[practical] usefulness” versus “[artificial] decoration”) remain mutually convergent in spite of the market development in artisanship? Providing an answer to such questions, the artisans’ “styles” and generally their aesthetic concerns account for equally native and transformative qualities in craftsmanship and folk artwork.
Any discussion about the artistic traditional crafts will question the degree to which the aspects of “style” and “aesthetics” could entirely be related to the craftsmen’s creativity and sensitivity, as inherited and appropriated once for ever. Some of the artisans seem to suggest the effectiveness of individual intervention and evolution into the realm of their own styles or aesthetical choices. Even more pertinent are in this case the artisans’ encounters in the course of their work with the phenomena of stylization and kitsch.