A large collection of dinner plates, covered roasters, mixing bowls, cups, teapots, canisters and vases, along with Christmas angels and ornaments, are on display at Ceramika Polish Pottery.
Could there be any place better to shop for Polish pottery than in Poland? How about Westlake, Ohio?
With more than 40,000 pieces of handmade stoneware at Ceramika Polish Pottery, this authentic functional art is ever so chic. Whether you are looking for something unique for your kitchen or that one-of-a-kind gift to give someone on your Christmas list, you will find a plethora of stoneware that is elegant yet practical at this store located in Williamsburg Square.
Ceramika Polish Pottery, which opened in April 2011, carries one of the largest selections in the country of authentic Boleslawiec stoneware from Poland. Nestled on the Bobr River, the Ceramika Artystyczna cooperative creates the world’s most sought-after stoneware designs with more than 4,000 patterns. And thanks to Ceramika Polish Pottery owners JoAnn and Rick Holton, who bring the stunning pottery to Northeast Ohio, we too can appreciate the Old World technique of hand-stamped designs that have been passed down through generations.
The local artists individually hand craft each piece using a sponge stamping technique. By meticulously cutting natureinspired
shapes in dried sea sponges, each skilled artisan applies the designs in a continuous stamping rhythm until the pattern layer is complete. Some brushwork is applied in more intricate patterns, such as in the Unikat and Signature series.
“Every piece of stoneware captures the emotion of the artist’s hand at the moment it is being created,” says JoAnn. “The resulting patterns have subtle variations, making each piece its own unique creation.”
“It takes 12 days to make a piece of stoneware from beginning to end, from the time the artisans draw the pattern on paper to the time he or she is stamping it on the stoneware to then firing it in coal and gas ovens,” explains Rick.
Some special signature pieces are signed by the artists and become collector’s items. When you purchase a personally signed item, you get a picture and profile of the artist.
“After spending a week with the artists this summer in Poland, it was truly inspirational that we were able to capture photos of them painting our pieces,” says JoAnn.
Many of these photos are displayed throughout the Westlake store to give you a deeper appreciation for the product, which shows the work involved to create the pottery.
What JoAnn describes as “functional art,” the hand-painted stoneware originated as folk art in the early 1800s. It was originally
patterned after the eye in the peacock’s tail fan. Artist Maria Ciszewaska is inspired by two of the oldest symbols, the circle and the dot. “This blue and white dot Unikat pattern is one of the most difficult patterns—and the most sought after,” JoAnn comments. “We are lucky to have some of Maria’s pieces in the store.”
Artist Krystyna Deptula gets her inspiration from nature. “At times I watch nature on a beautiful day, add some imagination, and my mind triggers combining a flower with a flower, bud or a leaf,” she says. “Then the idea has to be transformed to pottery and that is how a pattern is born.”
All Ceramika pottery is formed from white clay exclusive to the Silesian region of Poland, with a lead-free glazing that is applied and then fired in excess of 2,000 degrees centigrade.
From dinner plates to covered roasters, mixing bowls, cups, teapots, canisters, vases, coasters and trivets, all the handpainted
stoneware is safe to use in the oven, microwave and dishwasher and is impervious to abrasives.
“This extremely durable stoneware will not crack or chip easily, cooks evenly, and holds heat and cold for long periods of time, making them wonderful serving pieces,” says JoAnn. “Plus, you can cut on them without marring the surface.”
“You can find anything from a $16 ornament up to a $350 large stew pot and everything else in between,” she adds. “One of our most popular items is the intricately painted honey jar shaped like a honeycomb with a bee sitting atop the lid paired with its own matching wooden spoon. Some of the more unique pieces are butter dishes, deviled egg dishes, teapots, garlic keepers and dog and cat food bowls.
“Everything in our store is unique,” says Rick. “We don’t have a product catalogue because it would change monthly.”
Arriving just in time for the holidays, Christmas luminary trees, Santas, ornaments, bells, angels and snowmen all in various
Polish pottery patterns are on display in the store, along with handmade angels in three different sizes made from a white clay stone with beautiful carved faces and light aqua wings.
The store also carries Polish Christmas cards from Zakopane adorned with beautiful folk art Christmas scenes and Polish greetings, along with calendars, note cards and napkins.
As authorized distributors of the Ceramika Artystyczna, Rick and JoAnn also supply more than 300 gourmet kitchen shops throughout the United States, the Caribbean and in South America, in addition to carrying the items in their Westlake store.
Ceramika Polish Pottery is located at 25895 Detroit Road, in Williamsburg Square in Westlake. Store hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Sunday noon-4 p.m. Call 440-899-7646 or visit www.BluePeacockImports.com for more information.