When a person has a love for pottery and follows the latest trends in Europe, it is common to come across Polish designs. However, there is more to this dark blue and white heavily-patterned motif than first expected. Whether one wants to round out their knowledge of this particular type of European pottery or simply enjoy learning about Polish history, these five unique facts about the pottery of Poland are interesting to almost everyone.
Strange Original Polish Pottery Stamps
One of the things that sets Polish pottery apart from other types is the heavy stenciling in the glaze. These designs may not be intricate, but the close stacking of painted shapes is a distinction of the Polish pottery tradition. Interestingly, when this style of pottery became organized into guilds around 1511, the pottery designs were applied with stamps fashioned from potatoes.
The First Polish Pottery Colors Were Not Dark Blue
When someone becomes familiar with Polish pottery, they will note that many colors will be represented, but few pieces will contain purple. Typically, the pieces will have a white background with dark blue stamping. Despite the current white and blue stoneware trend, the Silesia region where they are crafted has a 1000-year history of using local clay. It is particularly high in minerals needed to create a strong stoneware. When a clear glaze is applied to make it waterproof, the final product has a distinct glossy brown exterior.
It Was Not Always Called Polish Pottery
In America, when shopping for Polish pottery, there is usually no need to know an alternative name. Nevertheless, for shoppers wanting to find European pottery directly from Poland, they may find that it is referred to as authentic Boleslawiec pottery. This means that it is stamped with a seal that typically says Handmade in Poland. This may be written in several different languages depending on where the product was originally marketed toward. It may also be called by the German name Bunzlauer or Bunzlau pottery.
The Most Popular Polish Stoneware Design
As previously discussed, Poland is well-known for dark blue and white designs. One of the most popular shapes is the eye of the peacock feather. Other common motifs are dots, speckles, floral patterns and triangles. While white and blue are classic colors for Polish pottery, there are also authentic pieces glazed in green, brown, orange and yellow.
Unique Ways Polish Pottery Is Used
Everyone has pottery represented in the form of coffee mugs, dishes, teapots and serving bowls. Nonetheless, Polish pottery is found in ways that few other pottery regions of the world attempt. Good examples of distinct Polish pottery forms are rolling pins, Halloween Jack-o-lanterns and succulent garden containers. Regardless, the potters of the world have a special place in their hearts for Polish pottery in the form of Easter egg and Christmas ornaments. This particular type of pottery was historically fashioned in the wintertime when Polish farmers made stoneware as a group in front of the hearth.