Sunday, March 22, 2015

Behind Closed Doors

Doesn't that title just scream "juicy confession time?"  Well, I do need to admit that I love Polish Pottery more than I realized, and it took a trip to Bolesławiec for me to realize it.  I've given my kitchen cupboard contents a makeover, and I'll give you a peek "behind closed doors" soon.

First, I need to give a great big shoutout to my friend Samantha for taking care of my boys on Friday. I couldn't have gone without her.  I also want to thank Tina for being the driver, and enabler (in a good way) of all the fun. I also want to thank the ladies who came for being real, sweet, and encouraging to this newbie. Second to last, I want to thank my sweet husband for pushing me out the door, AND FILING OUR TAXES while I was gone!!  And most importantly, I want to thank GOD for safety on the roads, the wonderful time of fellowship, and the provision for this weekend.  It's the first time in my 40 years I've actually done a "girls shopping trip."

I've known about Polish Pottery since my first Easter as an Active Duty military spouse.  Hubby and I were invited to a family's home, and the table was set with the most whimsical mix-and-match plates I'd ever seen.  No two were alike, but they all complimented one another.  I gushed over them, and promptly put "Go buy pottery in Poland" on my bucket list. I've since seen it for sale at many Exchange stores I've been to, and never once bought a piece for myself.  I figured it wouldn't count becuase I didn't get it in Poland.

Several times since arriving to Germany, I've been invited to join friends who were headed to Poland to get some pottery from Bolesławiec.  For one reason or another, each weekend I had previously been invited didn't work out for me.  But... I finally got to join a sweet group of ladies that went this weekend.

This type of pottery is pretty distinct, and I expected it would be hard for me to find something I liked. Before the trip, I visited a few stores online to see if a pattern would jump out at me, and one did.  I thought I wanted to try to coordinate with the place settings I already have.  The second store we went into had a few pieces of it, so, I got some grey-striped cereal bowls and black and white striped egg cups at Millena. If a person were to visit my house and eat out of this bowl, they might never suspect it was Polish pottery.  It just doesn't have the look of any of the other designs.  

The next store was Ada's. It's a tiny shop where you could see every step of the creative process, from the moulds, to the application of the paint designs, with a sliver of a showroom:

These sponges are used to apply the repeating patterns.  
Awaiting the kiln

This is the main breaker for the electricity in the shop

Just outside

Those shelves in the background are the whole showroom!
It was fun to comb the shelves and see more of what I had seen at bazaars and kiosks for the last few years since becoming aware of the renowned Polish pottery.  I enjoyed seeing my shopping companions get excited about finding more of what they loved.  But I still couldn't imagine coming home with boxes full of the stuff.  I am a pretty content gal, and thought I might buy just a handful of pieces, if anything suited my fancy, and the price was right.

The next shop was one I'd seen often on my friends' Facebook walls, had they been there. They have gigantic pieces of classic Polish pottery displayed in front. I got an obligatory "I'm in Poland" photo, then wandered in (and wandered out without purchasing anything):

Wouldn't this make a great jigsaw puzzle?

It was a bit overwhelming, and still nothing was grabbing my fancy.
The place is very photogenic. I was appreciating the artwork without having to spend a ton of money, and without having to commit to purchasing ceramics I wasn't sure I absolutely LOVED.  I was beginning to wonder if I might be the trip historian, rather than a shopper.

Does someone look like an expert here?  She is!

Um... Happy Easter?
Then it happened.  A plate caught my eye, and wouldn't let me go. I loved it.  I wanted it.  But I didn't need it. So I took a picture. Then I saw the matching salad bowl.  I needed a salad bowl.  It was on my "list." But it was over $40.  I didn't need a $40 salad bowl.  So I took a picture.

So then, the hunt began.  Was there other stuff that coordinated with this pattern?  Similar pieces that might be of second- or third-quality that I could buy for less?  The next store I went into, I left the camera in the van.  I didn't take one picture the next day.  I shopped.  I ooh-ed and ahh-ed.  I got excited.  I bit my lip.  I practiced restraint.  I failed at restraint.  I dug.  I compared. I did conversions from Złoty to Euro to US Dollar. I wrote my name in black Sharpie on a lot of packages.

This morning, I awoke with a lot of "unpurchsed" items still on my list, and enough money in my budget to let loose a little.  I knew what I liked, what I wanted, and what I wanted to pay.  So, here are some more pics from the day, and the haul all spread out on the table upon my return home:

My favorite pattern in a ramekin, a coordinating all-black and white serving bowl, and a clearance salad bowl.
All together 35 Euro.
Anything I bought had to coordinate with these three pieces.  Well, almost anything. 

These were not on my list, but too good to pass up.
These are some of the more traditional patterns, and also third-quality.  They're not suitable for baking due to some imperfections like cracks or bubbles, but they'll be sturdy and reliable for mixing many batches of pancakes or brownies.

This is most everything I brought home.
And, well... below is all that I could find in the one pattern I "liked" when I looked online before the trip. It would have been a much less-exciting weekend if I hadn't broadened my taste. And a little less spendy. I'm pretty impressed, though.  I only spent 14 Euro more than I budgeted.

Here are some of the beautiful faces with which I got to spend the weekend talking, laughing, eating, praying, and shopping:

It was a blast!

So, if you've read this far, I guess you might want to see 
...Behind closed doors... here is my cabinet makeover!

This is After, and I can't the Before to move, so if you want to see it,
scroll down to the bottom of this post!





1 comment:

  1. Oooooo! I love the pottery! I love the spooky bunny and those odd buildings! I hope you have fun making pancakes in that daisy bowl. Your cupboards are so pretty, now! Just like a blogger should have! Beautiful pics! :) *Cristi