About Polish Pottery
History of Polish Pottery
Boleslawiec (Bunzlauer) stoneware originated as folk art in the early 1800's in the German province of Silesia. The name Bunzlauer comes from the name of the then German town of Bunzlau, which is now part of Polish town of Boleslawiec. This city is located on the Bobr River in southwestern Poland near the German and Czech border. This entire region has a history of pottery making dating back to the early 7th century. Early pieces from the 1700's and 1800's were used by farmers as storage pieces and had a chocolate colored glaze. At the end of the 19th century, the potters of Bunzlauer began to introduce new lines of pottery intended for use in the parlor. At the same time, they began to experiement with colored glazes, sponging techniques, and various decorations. In 1898, the government established the "Keramische Fachschule" (Ceramic Technical Training School) to foster development of the art.
Bunzlauer pottery experienced a renaissance in the early 1900's that introduced the "Jugendstil" movement--the German equivalent of Art Nouveau. During this time, the "Pfauenauge" or "Peacock's Eye" became the universally accepted trademark decoration of the spongeware now produced in the area. The 1920's brought a trend towards more colors in response to the Art Deco movement. After World War II, the region of Silesia was annexed to Poland and the majority of the German population was expelled. After the war, the region was rebuilt and pottery factories soon reopened.
Today in the small village of Boleslawiec (pronounced "Bowl-slaw-ick"), Poland, skilled artists still individually handcraft and hand paint each piece of pottery using a hand-stamping technique and free-hand design.
UNIKAT (Signature) Series
When an artist achieves the highest level of accomplishment they earn the privilege of creating their own work from start to finish and sign their work. The work they produce is called UNIKAT in Polish, meaning unique. UNIKAT pieces are rare and because of the artistic design, they command higher prices. All UNIKAT pieces have the artists signature on the bottom. Please browse our pieces from Ceramika Artystyczna and Vena to see these magnificent pieces!
Polish Pottery Factories
- Ceramika Artystyczna - While all ceramic factories in Boleslawiec produce beautiful pieces, the artists associated with the Ceramika Artystyczna (CA) cooperative produce an abundance of exquisite designs and pottery of the highest caliber and quality. Ceramika Artystyczna has won several awards for artistic design and quality. This particular pottery is made from whiter and denser clay and incorporates more intricate designs and shapes. Many traditional and contemporary patterns are available.
- Vena - Since the company was established in 2003, it has drawn from the rich tradition, while introducing the spirit of up-to-date style and creating unique artistic handicraft. The regional handicraft nature of their products have been confirmed by the certificates of the Warsaw National Artistic and Ethnographic Commission. Our entire Vena collection is UNIKAT and signed by the artist.
Durability & Use
This handmade and hand-painted pottery is fired at temperatures of 3,000 degrees Farenheit, making it not only durable but impervious to abrasives and resistant to cracks and chips. All pottery is intended for everyday use and is lead/cadmium free. The glaze allows foods to release with little or no oil. All pieces are safe for the refrigerator, oven, microwave and dishwasher. (Always allow them to come to room temperature when going from the extreme of the refrigerator/freezer to oven. Extreme temperature change will crack the pottery.