Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Perfect Polish Pottery

In Poland on an agritour in 2012 I admired whole shops full of traditional Polish pottery, now becoming fashionable in the U.S. and retailed by places like Williams-Sonoma because it's durable, poison-free, microwavable and oven-safe, each piece hand-painted with imaginative, folky, usually abstract designs (often in cobalt blue, and yellow and green) and, for ceramics, Polish pottery is cheap. I wanted it all, but since then I've been seeking a single ideal piece to remind me of the warmth of Poland, where I was very happy, and my Polish roots. Had to be useful, authentic and adorable. Then one day this came up on eBay. A ten-ounce cup circled with folk-style rabbits. Divine.
Polish pottery is called "Boleslawiec" pottery; Boleslawiec is Poland's "ceramics city," famed for natural clay used for ceramics production since the 14th century, and much farther back according to archaeological digs. Thriving factories, destroyed during World War II, were rebuilt and individual artists have their own studios; they are allowed to sign the pieces if they make them from from start to finish. Today's typical Boleslawiec piece, with a cream ground and patterns painted in recognizable colors and styles, is a design created in the last half of the 19th century. "Boleslawiec" is in southwestern Poland (I was in southeastern Poland) and is named for Duke Boleslaw the Tall, son of Wyladyslaw the Exile.

1 comment:

Pablo said...

That is beautiful. And I love the back story that gives it more meaning to you.