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Pottery Avenue by Pangaea Trade, INC

Fun Facts

Recap on what makes Polish Stoneware special

  • Individually hand decorated using centuries old techniques
  • Dishwasher, microwave and oven-safe
  • Highest quality stoneware exported from Poland
  • Lead and Cadmium free paints and glazes
  • High density, highly durable stoneware. Resists chips and breakage
  • Completely none porous surface that is sanitary and does not stain over time
  • High-fired (2000º F) ceramic retains heat and cold for extended periods
  • Every piece is stamped “hand made in Poland” and some have the artist initials or signature depending upon the pattern.
  • No special care techniques.  Just do not allow extreme temperature changes.  If the pottery expands or contracts faster than the glaze you will see crazing, tiny spider like webs or the pottery will break completely.

Pottery Patterns unraveling the mystery

There are two common styles of decoration. The best known is the Peacock's Eye, usually produced in deep cobalt tones on a white background with bold primary colors for detailing. This is a style based on repetitions of small motifs, many between the size of a thumbnail and the size of a quarter. Even when the stamps are representational (stylized flowers, for example) the decorations are ranked together in abstract, geometric forms producing a busy, patterned surface.

The second common style includes floral and botanical patterns in a soft, loose folk style, more reminiscent of the well-loved Franciscan pattern Desert Rose than of a formal fine china style like Royal Dolton’s Old Country Roses. The two primary color sets are blues and pinks. However, among the floral patterns there is substantial diversity and a clear sign of experimentation on the part of the artists.

Other patterns exist, but are less common. There are a number of largely solid pieces where only a subtle color blend serves as decoration. Other styles include a number of simple geometrics, easily distinguished from the busy stamp work Peacock's Eye due to the lack of repeating stamps: instead of many stamps clustered in geometric patterns there are some pieces with simple chevrons, bars and curves marking a solid background color.

A basic colors of cobalt blue, peacock blue, rust red, sage and earth tones are common on traditional pottery dishes. Newer pieces expand the color palette to include yellows, corals, aqua and teal.

What do the markings on the underside represent?

Each piece of Polish stoneware from Z.C. will have some or all of this information:

  • Classic pattern will be marked with a stamp that states “hand made in Poland” encircled by an oval line and the code of arms of the village.
  • Traditional patterns are a little more colorful and more technically difficult.  These patterns have the same stamp as the classic patterns described above.
  • Modern patterns, also referred to as DU, will show a castle stamp with the words “hand made in Poland” and the artist will have initialed the piece.
  • Unikat patterns, also referred to as ART or signature series are designs created and painted by master artists. These artists have met specialized criteria after years of service and now have the title of “Master”. The master artist signs his or her name on the bottom of the piece as well as a serial number that describes the shape and the pattern.

We hope that each collector old and new alike continues to enjoy the collections brought to you by Pottery Avenue by Pangaea.  It has been our endeavor for the last 10+ years to bring to you only the finest Polish Stoneware in varieties and meaningful patterns and utilitarian shapes.  It is our pleasure to be a part of keeping this folk art alive and the tradition of this village expanding.  Bringing to you, with each piece, joy, beauty, and the fascination of function.

Why do some pieces end up in discount stores?

Some factories export directly to a big box discount store.  Z.C. Boleslawiec does supply items that years ago would have not been fit to export.  These pieces are painted by folks learning and therefore are inferior.  The skill level of these pieces is obvious when seen side by side.