In 1971 after my husband concluded his United Nations job, our family of four returned to Romania where I felt proud with my sound, overall knowledge about historically famous Chinese ceramics and a lot of information about contemporary ceramics in the USA.
I applied for a job to teach Ceramics Technology, traditionally taught by ceramics engineers. My duties expanded exponentially. I realize now that after I reconnected with my job and felt ready to positively mark my presence, I started the most conflicting and tiring phase of my life. This lasted until I retired, 20 years later. I wanted to synthesize all I had learned into big chapters available to students to read but found no time to write. Finally, I accepted a compromise to have temporary teaching notes which gave me a sour feeling of failure. I organized ceramic laboratory and introduced a system of keeping track of tests done. I introduced Raku firing and exercises in different decorating techniques (Greek, Roman, Italian, Egyptian, Chinese…) Together with my students we made hundreds of glazes, colored slips many of them unique and intriguing.
My academic responsibilities consumed time and energy and what remained was not enough to cover my family demands. I was confronted with hard dilemmas; I could not solve. I strived to be accomplished professionally, affirm as good ceramics technology and art teacher, and dreamed to succeed as an artist. My involvement with all aspects of my family life and my job did not seem to have an end, which took a hard tall on my peace of mind and was the start of profound dissatisfaction with life. I did not want to renounce all my life dreams, I was ready to overwork, but no matter how hard I worked, I found myself physically incapable of wearing all the hats put on me. I decided to erase from my priority list my dream to become an active artist; I settled to having only a symbolic artistic activity. I also willingly sacrificed my book about ceramics which I wanted to write. At the beginning, I thought to be a temporary compromise; later it proved to be permanent. I sadly concluded that in my circumstances I could not do more, and I was not aware of what I could do differently. I felt that something was wrong, but I did not have time and energy to look deeper into it, to sort it out, to understand what was happening and why, and if there was a solution to my problem. I lived in a rush with no time of thinking. I followed the traditional women culture I observed around me, which meant bearing all the hardship of real life in silence and dignity.
As I reflect upon my life, I understand that after retiring and becoming a widow, now at 84, I was unbelievable lucky, to live my last segment of life, as my own Master, with a unique chance to accomplish my life’s dreams and projects.