Friday, October 17, 2008

Polish Pottery and Crystal

This is the third in a series of 4 articles I'll be presenting in honor of Polish-American Heritage Month (October). Each of these articles will be featuring Polish art pieces from my personal collections. Some are folk art, hand crafted in cottages throughout Poland. Other pieces are manufactured by skilled crafts people in small factories in Poland. They are but a small sample of the Polish heritage I am so proud of.

The Boleslawiec region of Poland is known far and wide for their hand painted pottery. The pottery is lovely, sturdy, and practical, much like the Polish people themselves. I don't know how they do it, really. Hours and hours are spent toiling away on these lovely patterns. True artisans they are!

There are so many beautiful patterns, some are common and others are unique. All of the pottery is stamped with an identifying mark on the back. The unique ones are labeled "unikat".

I have quite a few pieces so it was hard to choose just a few to share here. My Christmas pieces are packed away so I only have one of those photographed to show you. I apologize for my photography. I just didn't have time to stage the pieces well. Here's a look at my Polish pottery collection...

Those lovely but sturdy pieces are a stark contrast to the elegant and fragile cut crystal that Poland is also known for. What? You didn't know? Well, it's true. Most people think of Waterford Crystal of Ireland when they think of fine glassware. But the Poles have a long history of glass making too. Some of the first tradespeople in the Jamestown settlement were Polish glass makers! I just love to see the light dance off the facets of the glass. These are special occasion pieces to be sure.

I can't remember how long ago I started collecting my crystal pieces. It seems like the more I learned about my Polish heritage the more I searched out and found imported items from Poland that I just had to have. I have a nice curio cabinet in my living room that is filled with Polish art pieces. But I could easily fill 3 or 4 more curio cabinets as well. Collecting can become an addiction after a while!

You can find some very nice pieces at online importers but there are individuals in Poland who sell pieces via eBay as well.

So there you have it, two more of my collections of Polish art. I look at many of these pieces every day but it doesn't always register that they are from Poland. I'm glad to have Polish American Heritage month to remind me of the all the beauty that comes from Poland!

Written for Donna's Polish American Heritage Challenge.

My series about my Polish art collections:
Polish Folk Art (Wood Carving and Wycinanki)
Jasia's Amber Collection

Polish Pottery and Crystal
Polish Christmas Ornaments