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Polish Pottery

by Robert Baird


The picturesque country of Poland is located at the intersection point between the eastern and western sections of the European continent. It was in 2004 that Poland became a member of the European Union. If one studies the culture of the country, it will be seen that as a result of its strategic location and unique history, Poland has been considerably influenced by the cultural nuances of both eastern and western Europe considerably which is reflected in its lifestyle and folklore and also the indigenous artworks. In the different fields of cultural activities, Poland has proved itself time and again in the world arena be it architecture, fine art or literature and even celluloid. Pottery is one of the best known and popular of the various artworks and it is a tradition that has survived the passage of time and today is world famous for its intricate designing forms and quality. It is interesting to note that the origin of stoneware or pottery in Poland has a long and enriched history associated with its growth. It was during the closing years of the 18 th century and the beginning of the 19th century that the earliest specimens of polish pottery may be dated to. In the province of Bunzlau, which was them a part of the German region of Silesia, presently a part of the polish territory, the earliest samples of polish pottery were found and were referred to as Bunzlauer stoneware.

One of the most popular designs of traditional polish pottery known as the ‘eyespot' design characterized and influenced by peacock feathers originated in this region and was extensively developed by the artists of the time. However, during the period of the Second World War, all these extraordinary works of art were destroyed. But, after the war had subsided, Poland once again continued its tradition of constructing pottery and artwork and factories were also set up for this purpose. Currently, Poland is one of the foremost pottery producers of Europe and the tradition has been kept alive especially in a small village within the polish country known as Boleslawiec. In this region, skilled artisans, inspired by times and trends of ancient and medieval central European folk art, continue to derive pleasure out of forming unique pottery designs. It is interesting to note while the designs remain mostly inspired by traditional art forms, there is no restriction in terms of shape. Polish pottery is available in exquisite designs in multifarious shapes. Polish pottery is displayed in all the major antique shops and museums in Europe .

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