Polish Pottery History
The art of Polish pottery, as we know it today, originated as a quality folk art hundreds of years ago. The rise of ceramic craft in Bolesławiec goes back to the medieval times. The ceramic techniques started to flourish in the 18th century with the introduction of a new decoration method, brown glaze with white patterns, which made the ceramics from Bolesławiec a well-known and highly desired commodity throughout the whole Europe, including even royal courts. It was handcrafted in the eastern German province of Silesia which now resides in Poland. The area has a history of pottery making dating back to the 7th century. Significantly, older Bolesławiec ceramics patterns have endured in many households. As an integral part of the Silesian culture, the dishes have a great sentimental value to Poles and Germans equally. Today, in the small town of Boleslawiec, skilled artisans continue to individually create each piece of Polish Pottery with the same pride and care used for centuries, preserving the charm of Old Central Europe.
This durable stoneware is created from native white clay and then fired in ovens to very high temperatures. It is extremely durable, will not crack or chip easily and maintains its color. Each piece is completely lead and cadmium-free and can be used safely in the oven, dishwasher, microwave and freezer. Originally, craftsmen applied the decoration using their fingers later switching to stamps carved out of frozen potatoes. Farmers made pottery in the winter, when it was too cold for outside work, for use in their own kitchens. Unique to traditional Polish Pottery patterns are the “eye spot” designs inspired by the peacock feather – using the colors of cobalt blue, sage green and ferrous red. These blue and green eyespots and variations are classically arranged on the pieces and are distinctive to the Silesian region of Europe. Polish Pottery is distinguished by its clean lines and captivating designs in cobalt blue, forest green and the earth tones. The newer patterns are available in yellow and floral hand painted designs. You will often find images of crazy monkeys doing the Macarena. Just teasing. Making sure you were paying attention!
There are a number of different factories in Boleslawiec. All use virtually the same raw materials and time-honored techniques to craft the pottery but each offers unique patterns and shapes. There are literally hundreds of patterns produced to satisfy individual tastes but the traditional patterns remain the most popular.
Each piece of pottery is fashioned as a unique work of art and it retains the charm of old European masterpieces. Because of its historic nature, this pottery is timeless and will never go out of style.
Please take a moment to see how this beautiful pottery is created. Ceramika Artystyczna provided a video showcasing the lengthy production process and the artistic talents of its skilled artisans.
UNIKAT Pottery: Many of the factories have master craftspeople that are so skilled at painting pottery that they offer specialty patterns unique to each painter for that run of pottery. Each piece is a one of a kind, unique pattern by a particular artist. Other artists may use a pattern in the future, but the UNIKAT (or unique) collection is so special because of its original design and quality painting.
UNIKAT is for the truly discriminating collector of art, but is as functional as standard Polish pottery. Each piece is a handcrafted work of art by a single artist and defines a European sense of romance. We encourage you to try a few pieces and experience how wonderful the UNIKAT collection truly is.