Boleslawiec is a small town situated in south-western Poland that first started to produce pottery in the Middle Ages, and which by the 19th century had 15 potteries. This area lay within German borders at that time, and the town was known as Bunzlau. Despite the political changes, pottery production continued. Using a range of traditional methods, it is now the largest pottery using manual production methods.
Although the pottery handcrafted in Boleslawiec is very characteristic and easily distinguishable, it comes in a variety of different shapes, sizes and decorations. Besides this, they are hand-decorated using a punching technique that helps make each product individual. Among the typical ornaments are a number that are believed to be inspired by the pattern found on a peacock’s tail, including dots, circles and small flowers.
These wares are made of white clay, decorated, glazed and fired in special kilns. Despite the traditional appearance and the hand-made techniques used to create them, the pottery is durable enough to be used in dishwashers, microwaves and freezers. Thanks to the homogeneous colours of the pottery, items with different decorations match even when mixed together.
Another centre where Polish pottery is produced is Wloclawek. The pots, plates and bowls from Wloclawek have different decorations, focussing on plant and flower motifs.