Friday, 22 January 2010 13:49




In the commune of Petricani (Neamt county) where I have lived and worked during my internship as a GP (1968 - 1971) (the internship was compulsory in the country side) there was a village inhabited by gipsy spoon carvers called Tolici. After a few months I got the idea of decorating the interior walls of my place with wooden spoons (January 15th, 1970) and given that the perimeter of my dwelling was of 40 meters, I extended my search for wooden spoons to the neighboring villages and then allover the country. I had proposed to myself to have only different models of spoons and those that were similar were called "model varieties". And then I discovered another spoon collector (!), in Campulung Moldovenesc, professor (priest) Ion Tugui, who collected 3500 spoons in 25 years and who was a great partner in collecting spoons and friend. [Without having a previous understanding, both of us benefited from the protecting shield that, paradoxically, the wooden spoons gave us!]. However, I have collected 1879 spoons of different models in 20 months surpassing the collections of museums.


After finishing my internship I obtained an assignment to the city of Piatra Neamt and my dear spoons had to be stored in containers and boxes due to the fact that I had no longer so many walls available. I also gave up the book I was going to write about spoons and which I was about to title "LINGUROLOGIA" (SPOONOLOGY). Yes, that was because apart from the "anatomy" of spoons, wood types, ethnographic data and other "specialty" details, I had gotten to the point that I was able to tell the maker of a spoon whenever I saw one and sometimes I was able to tell how many children the maker had also outside his family! After a period of five years, due to the lack of space for display and storage conditions (some spoons were over 100 years old), I gave them away (heartbroken) to the Ethnography Section of the Museum of the Neamt County (1976) in return for a small amount of money (27.5% of the price of a Dacia 1300 car at that time).

... And this is how I got rid of the nickname: "the spoon-collector doctor from Petricani"!


Click on pictures to enlarge them


The "coat of arms" shows: ½ doctor + ½ spoon collector . It was not given to the museum since it was not homologated at Hague! (made by Iuliu Floares and Gigi Bondoc at a "spoon carvers' gathering").




Photo: Gigi Bondoc

The two tall spoons, 205 centimeters in height, had to act as a entrance door frame...

(cherry tree wood; made at the new workshop of the furniture factory in Targu Neamt with the guidance of the craftsman Gica Cozma - 1971).


Several wooden spoons at an exhibition hosted by the Ethnography Section in Piatra Neamt (September 1980).


Remember. Over the years, around the "coat of arms" I placed a flock of "birds": 12 of them, a classic number. The number of assumed hobbies today is 32... One who is patient enough to look at them attentively will wonder why two of the birds have... square heads. I reply in false modesty: "Not all my ideas were good!" (and I also have the courage to name the two).


In 1993 I purchased the last wooden spoon: no. 2442 (diferent models!).