History of Polish Pottery and Ceramika Artystyczna

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Bunzlauer stoneware started as local folk art hundreds of years ago in the German province of Silesia. The name Bunzlauer comes from the name of the then German town of Bunzlau which is now part of Poland and is now the Polish city of Boleslawiec.  The city is located on the Bobr River in southwestern Poland near the German and Czech border.  This region has a history of pottery making since the 7th century.  Early pieces from the 1700's & 1800's were storage pieces made by farmers that had a chocolate colored glaze similar to pieces produced in America's south during the same period.    The wares were sold in the local markets.  At the end of the 19th century with increasing urbanization, industrialization and competition from other forms of pottery the potters of Bunzlauer introduced new lines of pottery intended for use in the parlor and dining rooms of the city dwellers and began to experiment with colored glazes, sponging techniques and decorations.  The government founded the "Keramische Fachschule" (Ceramic Technical Training School) in 1898 to foster development of the art. 

Bunzlauer pottery experienced a renaissance in the early 1900's that introduced the "Jugendstil" movement which was the German equivalent of Art Nouveau.  The famous "Pfauenauge" or "Peacock's Eye" became the universally recognized trademark decoration of the spongeware now produced in the area.  During the 1920's Bunzlauer potters began  a trend towards more colors following the Art Deco movement.  After World War II the Silesia region was annexed to Poland and the majority of the German population was expelled.  The area was rebuilt after the war and the pottery factories reopened.

Today the center of this traditional ceramic art is still centered around the village of Boleslawiec (pronounced "Bowl-slaw-ick").  Where skilled Polish artists still individually handcraft and hand decorate each piece using small sponges and stamp each pattern and color individually.  Certified Master artists not only train apprentice artists but produce "Unikat" (Unique) or "Signature" (Artist signed) pieces.  These "Unikat" pieces have colors and/or designs that are individual to each artist and due to the time involved in making each piece the supply is very limited.  Since all pieces are hand crafted each vary in design, pattern and color.  Ceramika Artystyczna was founded in 1950 and has been making award winning stoneware for over 50 years.


Our goal is to offer only the finest quality pottery from Boleslawiec,  we have chosen to try to offer mostly Signature pieces, including the rare U4 level pieces that are the finest examples of Polish Stoneware made today. The pottery Our American Heritage offers from Ceramika Artystyczna is absolutely only FIRST- QUALITY pieces.  Your assurance of this is the white factory stickers on the bottom of each and every piece that we sell denotes that your selection is Factory Certified First Quality.   

While all the ceramic factories in the Boleslawiec area produce beautiful pieces, the master ceramic artists employed by Ceramika Artystyczna produce exquisite designs and extraordinarily high quality pottery especially the "Unikat" or "Signature" pieces. Ceramika Artystyczna has won numerous awards for artistic design and quality. There is a difference in pottery: this particular pottery is made of whiter, denser clay and incorporates more intricate designs and shapes. The quality of Ceramika Artystyczna's glazing is unsurpassed. All pieces have the artist's initials or are signed by the artists. The coffee pot with Castle mark on the bottom of each piece (or the former mark of the Castle with "B" on top) represents pottery from Ceramika Artystyczna. 

Interestingly, most of Ceramika Artystyczna's workers are women, including the president. Many are graduates of the Wroclaw Academy of Fine Arts.  The factory is a cooperative - all the profits are shared by the employees. Original pieces can be viewed in the Boleslawiec museum.

Master or Signature Designers

Click on the names below to see a picture of the artist & a quote about their work

as shown on Ceramika Artystyczna's website

 Teresa Andrukiewicz
Agnieszka BenasiewiczHalina Bis
Weronika BuldanczykWirginia Cebrowska
Maria CiszewskaJacek Chyla
Iwona Chrzastowska 
Agnieszka Damian Krystyna Dacyszyn
Barbara FidelusKrystyna Deptula
Maryla IwickaAnna Fryc
Barbara HakiezaEdward Janeczko
Ewa KarbownikGabriela Kasztelan
Danuta KnapikHonorata Kedzierska
Lucyna LenkiewiczMalgorzata Kur
 Teresa Liana
Irena MaczkaMalgorzata Listwan
Malgorzata MierzwaBarbara Makiela
Teresa NakoniecznaBarbara Nizialen
Jolanta OkraskaKinga Nizialek
Anna PasierbiewiczJanina Palka
 Anna Rycerz
Barbara SadeckaDanuta Skiba
Zofia SpychalskaKarolina Sliwinska
Zofia Supernak

Maria Starzyk

Aneta UberEwa Tubaj
Bronislaw Wolanin - Artistic ManagerMariusz Ochocki - Form Designer

Today's Market

There are four main workshops or collectives that make Boleslawiec Stoneware.  They are Wiza, WR Ceramika, Zaklady Ceramika and Ceramika Artystyczna.  Of these Ceramika Artystyczna or "CA" as it is commonly known is famous for making the best quality pieces and they have the greatest number of patterns and styles.

Most workshops have class levels for the pieces - "CA" has the following

1. Standard or Traditional

2. "I" or Enhanced Traditional (more colors & detail)

3. Unikat (Unique) U2 or Signature Level 2

     (Similar to an Enhanced piece but produced by a Master Artist and Signed)

4. Unikat U3 or Signature Level 3 - More Detailed Colors & Craftsmanship than U2

5. Unikat U4 - Museum Quality Signature Pieces - Rare - "The Best there is"

Note: "Our American Heritage" sells only Certified 1st Quality pieces - NO Seconds imported from Europe by individuals


 If it doesn't have the "CA" factory 1st quality sticker it's a second, commonly sold at the factory stores. We Sell the Standard, Enhanced and Signature Levels 3 & 4 pottery but concentrate on Signature Pieces

Pottery Care

If you are new to the joys of using beautiful handmade high-fired stoneware, allow us to provide a little helpful information.

One of the first things you'll discover using Ceramika Artystyczna Boleslawiec stoneware is the way the clays hold and distribute the heat for evenly browned crusts and casseroles that cook uniformly. If you're accustomed to Bakeware that has hotspots, you'll be delighted with Ceramika Artystyczna stoneware.

Ceramika Artystyczna glazes have been all state certified to be 100% lead free, so you don't need to give health issues a second thought. Also, the glaze quality and the high temperatures at which the pottery is fired result in surfaces with very low porosity, so foods can't stick and clean up is a snap. No need to soak baked-on cheeses and sauces. All pieces, even the most beautiful Signature pieces clean up in your dishwasher.

Ceramika Artystyczna stoneware may be used with confidence in your oven, microwave, freezer and dishwasher.

Very hot and very cold temperatures are handled nicely by this stoneware, but sharp temperature swings are not.  As with any high quality clay-based stoneware pieces, rapid changes in temperature will deliver "shocks" and will not allow for the natural expansion and contraction required by the clay. Do not, for example, pour cold liquids into hot bowls or take a casserole dish out of the freezer and put it directly into a hot oven. Likewise, use over direct heat, i.e. range burners and open flames, is not recommended. We recommend starting your baking in a cold or warm (300o) oven, wait a couple of minutes to allow the stoneware to heat and then cook as normal at whatever temp your recipe calls for.  Since the stoneware retains even heat it will continue cooking the food after removal from your oven.  "Our American Heritage" recommends using the same cooking times as in your recipes and check for doneness at the times indicated.


Likewise with any fine stoneware or glassware do not allow them to bang together in a dishwasher or sink.   Please use a rinse agent when cleaning in your dishwasher such as "Jet Dry", your dishes and glassware will sparkle.  We also recommend Cascade Liquid Dishwasher detergent.

We do not recommend extended microwave cooking with any stoneware.  Cooking times over 6 to 10 minutes at high power in today's high powered ovens (1000 watts & more) should be handled by Pyrex glass cooking vessels.  Microwave ovens by their nature create hotspots and continued long periods of high power microwave cooking may lead to grazing under the glaze where the oven heats unevenly .  We have seen this occur very infrequently in pieces used for several years in microwave ovens on a continual basis.

While all clay based products are breakable, Ceramika Artystyczna stoneware is incredibly tough because of the way it is made. First, the clay that is mixed to their own carefully developed specifications, then a thick  durable clear glaze is used to seal the pieces, and finally the stoneware is fired at very high temperatures so the clay particles fuse together into strong, highly chip-resistant pieces.  Enjoy a lifetime of use and beauty.

Polish Heritage Information

View Pottery for Sale

Click on Above image to go to Polish Heritage Website

in Philadelphia, PA

Our Lady of Czestochowa - Black MadonnaThe National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa

Click on Picture above to Visit website of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Available in English & Polish

2018 Events at Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa - Tel (215) 345-0600

  • You are invited to the American Czestochowa Shrine for these upcoming events!
    Dear Friends of the American Czestochowa, We assure you of our daily prayers before the Image of

    Our Lady of Czestochowa where we ask God to bless you and to grant you many graces. Each Saturday,

    Mass is said in the Chapel of Our Lady of Czestochowa for the intention of all benefactors & supporters of Her Shrine
    Mass Schedule:

    Rosary Devotions daily after 11:30 AM Mass & on Sundays after 12:30 PM Mass.

    Picture "Poland Always Faithful", Saved, restored and moved to Saint Anne's Chapel

    Dear Friends of the American Czestochowa, all to whom the idea of promoting Polish culture in America is very important.

    The Picture of John Henry de Rosen "Poland Always Faithful" (shown above) a few months ago was in danger of destruction due to the closing of the church, "Holy Family" in Pittsburgh for which it was painted.  Thinking of the value that this picture shows, cultural and historical, the American Czestochowa undertook to transfer, restored and installed in the chapel of St. Anne. We did this through the generosity of all of you, dear pilgrims, fellow countrymen, who are dear to our Nation's heritage.

    Thank you all for all the gifts of the heart made for this purpose.

    God bless you and may the Lady of Jasna Gora surround you and your family mantle of your protection.

    Once again we want to invite you dear friends of the American Czestochowa, to visit this holy place where Mary, Mother of God and Our Mother listens to her children, who are coming with everything what their life brought.


    Pauline Fathers and Brothers of the American Czestochowa

    The National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa

    654 Ferry Road, PO Box 2049, Doylestown, PA 18901
    Tel (215) 345-0600  |  Fax (215) 348-2148  |  www.czestochowa.us   |  info@czestochowa.us  

Click on picture above to visit website of the Cathedral of St Anne

Saint Anne de Beaupre Cathedral - Quebec Canada

2016 is the 358th year Anniversary

The Statue of St AnneThe Statue of Miracles.

The Statue of St Anne,  also known as The Statue of Miracles.

Our Lady of Częstochowa and Jasna Góra Monastery - Poland

Basilica of Czestochowa, Poland


According to tradition, the icon of Jasna Góra was painted by Luke the Evangelist on a tabletop built by Jesus himself, and the icon was discovered by St. Helen, mother of Emperor Constantine and collector of Christian relics in the Holy Land. The icon was then enshrined in the imperial city of Constantinople, according to the legend, where it remained for the next 500 years.

Black Madonna of Czestochowa, PolandIcon of Our Lady of Częstochowa

In 803, the painting is said to have been given as a wedding gift from the Byzantine emperor to a Greek princess, who married a Ruthenian nobleman. The image was then placed in the royal palace at Belz, where it remained for nearly 600 years.

History first combines with tradition upon the icon's arrival in Poland in 1382 with a Polish army fleeing the Tartars, who had struck it with an arrow.

Legend has it that during the looting of Belz, a mysterious cloud enveloped the chapel containing the image. A monastery was founded in Częstochowa to enshrine the icon in 1386, and soon King Jagiello built a cathedral around the chapel containing the icon.

However, the image soon came under attack once again. In 1430, Hussites (pre-Reformation reformers) attacked the monastery, slashed the Virgin's face with a sword, and left it desecrated in a puddle of blood and mud.

It is said that when the monks pulled the icon from the mud, a miraculous fountain appeared, which they used to clean the painting. The icon was repainted in Krakow, but both the arrow mark and the gashes from the sword were left and remain clearly visible today.

The miracle for which the Black Madonna of Częstochowa is most famous occurred in 1655, when Swedish troops were about to invade Częstochowa. A group of Polish soldiers prayed fervently before the icon for deliverance, and the enemy retreated. In 1656, King John Casimir declared Our Lady of Częstochowa "Queen of Poland" and made the city the spiritual capital of the nation.

The Virgin again came to the aid of her people in 1920, when the Soviet Russian Red Army gathered on the banks of the Vistula River, preparing to attack Warsaw. The citizens and soldiers fervently prayed to Our Lady of Częstochowa, and on September 15, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, she appeared in the clouds above Warsaw. The Russians were defeated in a series of battles later dubbed the "Miracle at the Vistula."

During Nazi occupation, Hitler prohibited pilgrimages to Jasna Góra, but many still secretly made the journey. In 1945, after Poland was liberated, half a million pilgrims journeyed to Częstochowa to express their gratitude. On September 8, 1946, 1.5 million people gathered at the shrine to rededicate the entire nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. During the Cold War, Jasna Góra was a center of anti-Communist resistance.

Pope John Paul II, a native of Poland, was a fervent devotee of the Virgin Mary and of her icon at Częstochowa. As pope, he made pilgrimages to pray before the Black Madonna in 1979, 1983, 1991, and 1997. In 1991, he held his Sixth World Youth Day at Czetochowa, which was attended by 350,000 young people from across Europe.

Other popes have honored the "Queen of Poland" as well. Pope Clement XI officially recognized the miraculous nature of the image in 1717 and in 1925 Pope Pius XI designated May 3 a feast day in her honor. Pope Benedict XVI visited the shrine on May 26, 2006.

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