My sister moved to Poland in February 2011, a two-year corporate reassignment. She’s based in Wroclaw, formerly Breslau, Germany. The town of Boleslawiec (Say it 3 times fast. I dare you.) is located approximately 120 kilometers from Wroclaw and is famous for the handcrafted pottery produced there for over 350 years, according to the Museum of Ceramics. I attempted a visit but was thwarted at the train station. Of the thirty or so people milling about, no one spoke enough English to convince me that the train I was about to board was the right one. Because I only had three days in Poland, I could not afford to wake up from my travel nap in a distant, unidentifiable, unpronounceable eastern European burg.
I opted for Plan B. The guidebook supplied by my hotel (The Scandic – compact, clean rooms at extremely reasonable rates.) indicated there was an outlet store (Ceramica Boleslawiecka) in Wroclaw on Ostrow Tumski, near Cathedral Island. I headed there and was thrilled to find a small store crammed full of wares created by many of the Boleslawiec artisans.
I selected bowls, salad and dinner plates from four different, yet complementary patterns. They were carefully wrapped for transport. Although I had reserved plenty of room in my bag, I grew very concerned about the additional weight. These pieces are substantial; my arm was two inches longer by the time I arrived back at the hotel. Happily, I was not given the dreaded “HEAVY” tag at check-in and every piece arrived home intact. They brighten my kitchen because of their cheerful colors and remind me daily of my sister who’s so very far from home.
If Poland’s not in your travel plans, Polish pottery is available stateside. One source is Holley Ross Pottery near Lake Wallenpaupack in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.