The mom’s group that does the playgroup I take the kids to does a yearly (or so) trip to Poland to buy Polish Pottery. This is the first year I’ve been able to make it and I’ve been looking forward to it for about a year and a half. It’s moms only, no kids, and we all shop ’til we drop. It was so much fun. Lots of thanks to Ivan for keeping the munchkins for me so I could go.
Polish Pottery is distinct because it’s made from clay in the region near Bolesławiec, which is where most of the shops that sell the pottery are. The designs are really pretty and unique. It was a little overwhelming at first, but really fun.
We stayed at Klicków Castle a few miles from Bolesławiec. They have better pictures on their website. I couldn’t get the whole thing. It was chilly, but really pretty. There was ivy on the inside that was turning orange and red and it was really a beautiful hotel.
The view out our window had trees and out the hall window was this really interesting metal thing sticking out of the wall.
We got to the hotel around 8:30 at night, ate dinner and headed to bed pretty quickly so we could start early the next morning. We got going around 8:00 and headed for Bolesławiec to go shopping. The shops were packed with pottery. Some of them are a room in a smallish house with pottery on shelves. The first one we went to was a room in the back with women painting, a hall where you check out and this room packed with pottery. The factory stores were bigger.
We went on a tour of a factory and watched them throw the clay. We got to see the ovens they use and the people shaping and painting the pots. They let us touch some stone pallet-like things they put pots on to fire them. They had been out of the oven for a full 24 hours and were still warm.
The paint looks light purple before they fire it, but turns deep blue in the oven. The far left pieces have not been fired, while the right-most container and lid are finished pieces. You can see the color change.
My favorite design was this one I think, although I got a mug with ladybugs that I really like too.
And finally, all my stuff (with the exception of the ladybug mug and two spoons I got for the kids which I forgot to put in). I also got some gifts, but as their recipients have not received them yet, I will not be showing pictures of them online.
An additional perk to the trip was that we drove through a lot of Europe to get there. It was an 8 hour drive through 5 countries and I had an interesting experience of buying myself lunch at a gas station in the Czech Republic without even knowing the exchange rate or the name of the currency there. I thought to check the Polish currency, but not all the ones we’d be driving through in between! For those of you that are nervous for me, the sandwich was only $3 or so, and Europe has some pretty countryside.