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View inside a kiln with several Polish pottery cups.

View inside a kiln with several Polish pottery cups.

View inside a kiln with several Polish pottery cups.

About Polish Pottery

Polish pottery is also known as Bolesławiec pottery based on the area it is made in, Bolesławiec, Poland. Ceramics has been a part of Boleslawiec and the entire region’s history for an extremely long time. Potters and ceramic artists are on record from as early as the 14th century.

The geography lends itself to ceramic work as the area is rich in natural clay deposits; the clay is still excavated today. It has a high feldspar and silicon content, and is classified as stoneware after firing. It is fired at extremely high temperatures, around 1100-1300 degrees Celsius. The clay is brown to grey in color, and rough in texture compared to finer claybodies such as porcelain. Stoneware is sturdy and vitreous to semi-vitreous and porous when fired. Glaze can be applied and the piece can be re-fired to create a watertight surface.

All authentic Boleslawiec pottery will have “Hand made in Poland” stamped on the bottom. The Boleslawiec pottery that is most recognizable today is the white or cream colored ceramic with dark blue, green, yellow, brown, and sometimes red or purple motifs. The most common designs include dots, abstract florals, speckles, “windmills”, and the favorite “peacocks eye”. It is collected by private collectors all across the world, and is also part of many museum collections in Europe, the largest collection being in the Museum of Ceramics in Boleslawiec, in Boleslawiec, Poland. However, with the commercialization of the industry, Polish Pottery ceramics are now sold throughout the world for everyday use in the kitchen as well as collectibles.