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Authentic polish ceramika stoneware offers unsurpassed quality and versatility of function.

The Hill Country Polish Pottery website specializes in selecting artisan-crafted, hand- painted Polish pottery. All pottery is imported from reputable Polish factories, such as: Ceramika Artystyczna, Cer-Maz, Cer-Raf, Manufaktura, Ceramika Millena, Wiza, WR Unikat, and Zaklady Ceramiczne. This fine stoneware is highly durable, resistant to chipping and is safe for use in the microwave, oven, dishwasher, and freezer. The glazes are made with natural and ecological materials and are U.S. FDA-certified to be cadmium- and lead-free.

As you use the pottery, you will begin to recognize and appreciate each artist's style; the functionality and each specialized product.

Items listed on the website as "special order" may also be available for direct purchase in our local showroom. Bridal registries are also very popular using polish pottery for accent, serving, and bakeware pieces. Contact Cara Laubach at: cara.laubach@netzero.net or (830) 708-3290 with inquiries or to schedule an appointment to shop our local showroom.

The Hill Country Polish Pottery goal is to provide everyone the opportunity to love Polish Pottery and experience this beautiful Polish Pottery in your home and kitchen. You are encouraged to explore these authentic pieces of Polish Pottery for use as functional works of art in your home. Hill Country Polish Pottery offers personalized service to assist you with finding the Polish Pottery piece and pattern you are seeking. Hill Country Polish Pottery offers all levels of Polish patterns and competitive pricing to meet the need of particular pieces in demand.

We hope that you will enjoy the beauty and the functionality of the product with everyday use, along with the ever-growing number of satisfied customers.

History:

Polish Pottery originated in Boleslawiec, Poland over 500 years ago. Boleslawiec is located in south west Poland (Lower Silesia) close to both the German and Czech borders.
  • The ceramics have are (and have traditionally been) manufactured from natural stoneware clays, found near Boleslawiec in the basin of the Bóbr and the Kwisa rivers.
  • Archaeological discoveries confirm that the first ceramic vessels were made in Boleslawiec in the Middle Ages. The oldest Boleslawiec pottery 'factory' operations date from the 16th century to the first half of the 17th century. According to archaeological studies, vessels of various forms (pots, jugs, bowls, flasks, plates, pans and pharmacy vessels and jars), stove tiles, figurines, and money boxes were manufactured there. These items, covered with glazes of different types and colors, often had rich decorations of high artistic value.
  • Polish Pottery guilds also date back to the Middle Ages. Over the first few hundred years, only 5 potter’s shops were members of the guild. The guild made every effort to ensure the highest level of quality. In 1762, Prussian authorities rescinded the 'cap' on the total number of potters in Boleslawiec, since Bolesławiec had already become an important pottery centre in Europe.
  • In the early 1700s, the wheel-turned jugs, with spherical smooth or grooved bellies, emerged. These jugs were coated with bronze glazing, typical for local stoneware. The vessels featured decorative tin details with dates and monograms engraved on them. In the late 1700s and 1800s, jugs were decorated with elastic overlays with biblical, heraldic, animal or plant motifs.
  • In 1753 Johann Gottlieb Joppe made his “Large Pot", which became the symbol of Boleslawiec. The "Large Pot" was over 2 meters high, had the capacity of around 2000 litres. The pot was later replicated in miniature and even became the theme of a theatrical play.
  • The local production of ceramics also made a tremendous technological leap thanks to Johann Gottlieb Altmann, a master potter who was the first to replace the hazardous lead glaze with feldspar glaze that has been used ever since. Altmann was also a pioneer in using white clay, previously used only for overlays.
  • The Vocational School of Pottery (Keramische Fachschule Bunzlau) was founded in 1897 and also stimulated the stoneware trade. Wilhelm Pukall, the first head of the school, had been a foreman of the Royal Porcelain Factory in Berlin. The school employed leaders in ceramics technology as well as exemplary artists. The school sparked development of mould-technologies and promoted avant-garde shapes and decorations. Herein, Bolesławiec pottery workshops grew very fast and products of such companies as Reinhold & Co., Julius Paul & Sohn or Werner & Co. became famous and valued not only in Europe but also on other continents.

Today, the pottery is produced by different factories, producing traditional patterns, as well as designs, which have become representative of each factory style and the artists who produce the Unikat or signature pieces.  Bolesławiec stoneware is ovenproof, acid proof and waterproof.

Factories:
Ceramika Artystyczna was founded in 1950, and has been making award winning Polish Pottery for 60+ years. This is a cooperative factory with the profits shared by the employees. The coffee pot with Castle mark on the bottom of each piece (or the former mark of the Castle with "B" on top) represents Polish pottery from Ceramika Artystyczna, recognized with numerous awards for artistic design and quality.  The pottery from Ceramika Artystyczna, made of whiter, denser clay, incorporates more intricate designs and shapes, and has an unsurpassed glaze.
  • Today, Ceramika Artystyczna produces more than 600 forms (shapes) and 2500 ornamental patterns - which is perhaps the best testament to the factory's capabilities. This provides a diverse assortment of forms and design for a very broad variety of use and function.
  • The master artists of Ceramika Artystyczna continue to produce exquisite designs and are known for specializing in the "Unikat" or "Signature" pieces.  Each piece is manually decorated with the traditional stamp method (tiny patterns are hand- painted with either paint brushes or special sponge-made stamps). Many of Ceramika Artystyczna's workers are graduates of the Wroclaw Academy of Fine Arts & most are women. Certified Master artists train apprentice artists and produce "Unikat" (Unique) or "Signature" (Artist signed) pieces with colors and/or designs that are individual to each artist. Due to the time involved in making each individual piece the supply of different shapes and patterns is often limited.
  • The current predominant design/pattern colors are cobalt blue, brown, green, and some yellow dyes since these dyes are the most- resistant to high fire temperature.

Ceramika Millena, established in 1998, is a family owned stoneware studio, located just 5 miles outside of Boleslawiec. Ceramika Millena creates and produces fine Polish pottery from locally sourced clay. Each piece is shaped in their own molds, then, exquisitely hand-decorated and glazed. The pieces are then fired to over 2250 degrees Fahrenheit. While the traditional decorations of Polish Pottery were inspired by the colors of the peacock's feather, employing cobalt blue as the predominant color, the artists of Ceramika Millena craft designs with flowers, leaves, stars, fruit, shells and many other shapes. Their contemporary designs draw on the warm tones of nature and the four seasons.
  • Victoria Laubach commissioned a Unikat pattern, which has been incorporated into the Millena pattern selections, and retains the pattern name, Laubach. This pattern can be special-ordered in any forms by customer request. Also available by special request are small knobs for drawers or small doors.

Manufaktura, a privately owned stoneware factory in Boleslawiec was established in 1993, as a merger between the Smolenski and Zwierz families. The factory began with an employment of 10 to a currently more than 100.
  • Manufaktura uses their own specially created paints and has over 200 functional products and 70 original patterns. They are continually producing new shapes and designs while maintaining high standards for quality and functionality. The stoneware offers an appealing combination of beauty, function, elegance and versatility, which has created a recognition of their stoneware throughout Poland, Europe and the United States.
    • Master artists create unique "Unikat" and artist-signed Signature pieces, hand-decorating pieces, combining stamping and brush strokes, and reflecting the individual artist's expression of color and design. The decorations and shapes are based on tradition of this craft; however, continue to evolve, combining rich tradition with the modern world.
  • The process of producing pottery takes place in several stages.
    • In the first stage the indigenous clays are mixed with water and other natural and ecological materials, and become a liquid mass, which is poured into molds formed from plaster. Plates and bowls are still shaped by hand using a potter's spinning wheel. To assure smooth surfaces each piece after being removed from the mold is hand washed with a sponge. Firing at 1472 degrees changes the color of the form from gray to pink and is called bistwit.
    • Each piece is then hand-decorated using small sea sponges, cut for each pattern and color. Centuries old traditional patterns using cobalt blue, greens and reddish browns continue to be produced.
    • Each piece is then coated in a special glaze and a second firing occurs at temperatures of 2282 degrees, which creates a surface extremely durable, and highly resistant to scratching, chipping and wear.

Zakłady Ceramiczne “BOLESLAWIEC” was established in 1980, with the company being authorized to use the name of the town.
  • Zakladay Ceramiczne invites you to explore the products from his factory distinguishable by their original style and high degree of functionality. The production of the stoneware assures safety of the product for the absence of harmful substances, and high durability and resistance for use in microwaves, dishwashers and refrigerators, for food preparation and serving.
  • Zaklady offers more than 400 functionally designed products in more than 130 handcrafted designs.
  • Tableware is made by either casting the body in gypsum moulds or by forming individual shapes by means of hand-driven or mechanical potter’s wheels. Items are then cleaned, mugs and cups are fitted with handles, and clay is dried by a natural cycle of partial water evaporation. Once dry, tableware is fired for the first time at 800 degrees Celsius. Water bonds are broken and evaporated during firing, the clay shrinks and becomes hard and light grey-coloured. After rinsing, these clay "biscuits" are decorated and then glazed. Decorations made with underglaze paints are coated with a thin protective layer of glaze. It is applied by submerging the vessel in a vat filled with semi-fluid glaze or by spraying it on the surface. The decoration is then not visible under this protective glaze until after the final firing.
phone: (830)708-3290    |    email: cara.laubach@netzero.net    |    © 2018 Hill Country Polish Pottery