Exploring the History of Polish Pottery

April 02, 2022 4 Comments

 Travel with us to learn the History of Polish Pottery. 

Uncovering the history of our everyday objects can provide a moment in our routine that makes us feel connected to the past.

The history of Polish Pottery is fascinating and multi faceted.  The more you learn, the more intrigued you may become.

The factories are small and special.  This is why the demand is greater than the supply. These pieces of art have been produced in Bolesławiec, Poland in small locally owned businesses for centuries.

When is the earliest known evidence of Polish Pottery?

There is some archaeological evidence for pottery in the 7th century!  Of course, these are just remnants of pieces, but it is interesting to know that the qualities that make it special have been known for hundreds of years.

Polish Pottery is made in Poland

The white clay that the artisans use is found along the Bobr river in Bolesławiec, Poland. 

As far as research shows, the next time there is evidence of Polish Pottery is in the late 15th Century.  In the 1500's they typically used the special white clay placed in hot ovens, with colors like brown and yellow, and lead glazes

 Polish Pottery in the 20th Century

Beginning in the 1900's, artisans working with Polish Pottery began to embrace the very modern concept of functional art.  The idea is to mix  design with everyday products like bakers, and vases.  Part of this shift may be attributed to the opening of a Ceramic Technical Training School called Keramische Fachschule.  The Polish government opened this to foster development of the art of pottery and design.

Polish Pottery production

In the 1920's, during the Art Nouveau movement, hand painted artisan pottery was desired by the fashionable elite.

 At this time, the Pfauenaugeor or Peacock's Eye,  became part of the Polish Pottery legacy, and it still lives on today. More colors were also introduced during the Art Deco period in Polish Pottery. This period was an alluring period overall in decor, design, and art.

War ruins things, and during World War II all the Polish Pottery factories closed.   Luckily, in the 1940's the small factories began to re-open, and they continued the tradition with all the classic patterns and forms, plates, bowls, mugs,  in many of the same beloved patterns.

Polish Pottery Today

Some things have changed, but many have stayed the same at the factories in Boleslawiec, Poland. They still use traditional design and forms.  The factories are still owned and operated by the local companies, with skilled artists that hand paint every design. The Peacock is still a beloved pattern at Polish Pottery Outlet!

Polish Pottery Outlet

4 Responses

Cynthia Fitch
Cynthia Fitch

July 02, 2023

There’s a wonderful new Polish Pottery Shop in LeClaire, Iowa! You must see it!

Laura LaFontaine
Laura LaFontaine

November 30, 2022

Would love to visit your store when I’m in Denver.

Anne Wittenborn
Anne Wittenborn

September 17, 2022

Wow! I loved learning about the history of Polish pottery, but especially enjoyed seeing the artisans make the beautiful pottery pieces. Thank you for sharing this delightful information!


April 02, 2022

Fascinating. Love our pieces and now I know some really great history of it.

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