Under the sign of the wooden cross

"The man that turns wood into churches.
by Mihai Patrascu"

According to common knowledge, a masonry church is a durable church; this may be true but the wooden church remains the enchanted one. Cornel Cușner has grasped this since childhood by admiring the wood and the craft of the artisans form the Land of Lăpuș while transforming it into cult objects, into household items, houses, gates, fences or churches. Wood has its own existence, beyond its special language, only revealed to those who are willing to be part of a singular communion. When you approach wood with faith and love, it starts to talk, as Cornel Cușner, one of our greatest wood builders and restorers, openly states.

People are entities that live and develop better as party of their natural environment and wood is part of that natural ambiance that may influence our wellbeing, both emotionally and physically. Constructions using this matter can transform our homes into an oasis of silence and relaxation, also contributing to the absorption of air humidity.

Taught by his father to love and to discover both wood and honesty in everything he does, to work and be rewarded according to the traces left on the palms of his hands and the sweat on his forehead, Cornel has taken the reputation of the artisans of Maramureș way beyond the borders of the Land of Lăpuș. The 40 churches that he built throughout the world, from Geneva to the United States or the Vatican, are the places where Romanians far from their homes gather each Sunday in their communities and shed their nostalgic and sore tears when they think about their loved ones, be them alive or departed. Wood gathers and unites, lives and loves – or blesses the ones that bless it in return.

This is how he has spread the durability and the enchantment of wood throughout the world, this is how he restored wooden churches (in Stolojeni, Bogdan Vodă, Rozavlea, Buzești etc.), historic monuments (Stephen’s Tower – Baia Mare), castles (Teleki – Pribilești, Satulung etc.), the crosses of the Merry Cemetery, etc.. This is how he became a part of the hundreds of wooden houses where he left his traces of craftsmanship or part of his soul in France, Italy, Austria, Germany or Switzerland... because more than half of his works are outside our country’s borders.

We breathe soul into wood vesting new shapes, and this is an honour to us – these are the words of Cornel Cușner to convince us that the products made by his company in Baia Mare, Rustic Ltd, actually turn wood from raw material into sacred space, so people will be inspired by faith. 

Mihai Pătraşcu