The history of the family since 1568
"From the point of view of painted furniture study, the situation is exceptionally fortunate in Vargyas. In this beautiful village of the woodland region (Erdővídék, Udvarhelyszék), the fashion of painted furniture persisted, and at the same time remained one of the greatest centres to produce Transylvanian furniture of high quality. Here, in the person of Sütő Béla Senior, one can recognise one of the most famous living masters and tradition preservers of painted furniture making" - Writes about my great-grandfather Dr. Kós Károly in his "A Vargyasi Festett Bútor" (The Painted Furniture of Vargyas).
The first two representatives of the Sütő family, arrived from Fiátfalva (the same Udvarhelyszék) to Vargyas, as carpenters and joiners , in order to rebuild and furnish the Daniel Castle. The census of year 1627 registered the Sütős, already as liberated bondsmen. The craft of painting and carving furniture was transmitted from father to son, over 14 generations.
The present home of the Sütő family was built of stone in 1773, instead of the former, simpler one made of wood. Painted Furniture becomes common in most regions of Székelyföld towards the end of the 17th century. Until then, the furniture was mostly plain or lightly carved, made of hard wood.
These decorations were created with the help of a groove knife or jack-knife; whereas, their motifs can probably be traced back to heathen ages. The Sütős themselves practiced this particular branch of folk art, and practice it even today.
In our family the most ancient tool referring to furniture painting is the paint pulverising rock, on which Sütő József the Second , carved his name on one of the sides in 1680 and on the other side Sütő István his own in 1754. This is a marble plate having two cavities on the sides, on which , with the use of two small grinding stones, the paint was made unctuous and easy to spread. The pulverising rock is still used today, since we prepare our paints according to our traditional methods, the same way as we still paint with a free hand, guaranteeing this way the originality of each piece.