Boleslawiec, Poland – Pottery Shopping Trip

It seems that if you are an American women, then you’ve heard of Polish Pottery and chances are, you’ve either already been or are planning a trip to Poland to buy some. It has quite a reputation and by going to Poland, you can get beautiful pieces at a fraction of the stateside cost – bragging rights and great gifts for all the ladies back home. The guide below is jam packed with info for your next trip. (Men, guard your wallets… this could be dangerous!)

Information below courtesy of the American Spouses of Brunssum Travel Information Guide

Directions:

Take A 46 towards Dusseldorf to the A61 toward Koblenz. Stay on A61 till you get to the A4 and take the A4 towards Koln; stay on A4/E40 through Koln and then take A4 to OIPE/Gummersbach. A4 will turn into A45 going towards Frankfurt AM and Siegen. In Giessen you’ll see E40/A49 (Kassel, Giessen, Lahnau), follow it around-stay on do not exit. Follow Marburg, Kassel 485… Gruenberg Exit 49 will take you directly to gas station to the right. BX/Burger King is to the left (There is also a Subway). This part is about 3 hours from here.

About 2 miles form the US installation is Exit 480 (follow these signs) Efurt/Kase. This is the exit you will take. There is an ESSO about 10 minutes from this point (if you decide not stop at Giessen). Stay on this until you exit onto A2 towards the Erfurt/Dresden etc. This will take you all the way to Dresden. In Dresden, there is also an ESSO just off the autobahn behind the Hornbach and there is a McDonald’s.

Stay on A4 to Gorlitz/Bautzen to the border. The border is easy to get through. Once across the border, follow the signs to 4 Wroclaw and on to Boleslawiec.

If you are going into Poland via A-4 from Dresden, the last ESSO before Poland is in Bautzen. Take the first Bautzen exit (exit 88B) and follow the signs to Bautzen. Turn left when the road T’s. This 24-hour ESSO is about one mile from the turn.

Going into Boleslawiec: go straight through the traffic circle and at the light go left. Continue until you see the Supersam on your left. Go left at the light, then right at the next intersection and then left and you will see the Shang-hi Hotel. The Hotel is about 3 blocks down the road. If staying at Hotel Piast, stay on the Supersam road and follow this road to the Piast.

For money exchange, directly across the street from the Piast is a money exchange place.

Brands of Pottery:

WISA (Visa)- good stuff, produces grape pattern

Artistica- big factory, where buses stop, this brand recommended

Zkloty- in states this is sold at TJMaxx and Cracker Barrel

WR- this is a very flower pottery

Christoff- Sells in stores, very flowery


Shopping stops:

The ornament shop is before the first traffic circle on your left (heading into town) and a turquoise building on your right as well. You have to go up some stairs on the outside. There are good stores after you pass through the traffic circle, a little higher in price though.

Artistica factory: At the first traffic circle in Boleslawiec, take the second exit towards Zielona Gora. Go to the next traffic circle towards Zielona Gora (third exit). The shop is on the left (next to Cer-Far). Park inside the blue fence. This store has a large selection of Unikat hand painted pieces and 1st-5th quality traditional and contemporary painted pieces. Prices are very good. (The last time I went to this store, it seemed like they were changing … not as much product for the public … they SEEM to be catering more to dealers than individuals) They do not take $$ or € here. Must pay with credit card or Zloty.

Ceramica/Keramik/Cer-Far (“Painted Fence Shop”) this store is next to Artistica. It is a store that sells Artistica and WR. You can get some things here and prices are good, selection good, and great for baskets. Store has peacock pattern fence and US Flag on white building. Park behind the building. They do not take credit cards at this store. Across from the Artistica is a store that has great selection of baskets as well.

Street: ul. Kosciuszki 17
Phone: 48-607-090-625
Hours: Mon-Fri 0800-1800, Saturday 0700-1500

In town Centrum down road from Piast on the right is a store with good crystal and toys.

There is a store in the Centrum that I was told was called the Art Glass Studio. I finally found the store (and there are signs for Art Glass Studio pointing a different direction … don’t follow these for this store) with a Polish name that I cannot remember. This store is on the downtown square. Turn right at the corner bookstore (if you are in the square, looking at the church, the bookstore is on your left on a corner) and his shop is on the left side of the street. He’ll have Tiffany style lamps in the window. The owners name is Peter and the phone number of the store is 0048-75-732-6579. He speaks excellent English. This store has beautiful stained glass. Peter will custom-make Tiffany style lamps, panels for your home and small pieces. I took the pillow sham from our bed (hand made double wedding ring quilt in purple and ivory) and he made a Tiffany lamp with the double wedding ring pattern on it. I got to pick out the shades of glass that I wanted him to use. I received a beautiful lamp at a great price. The only downside is you have to go back in 2 months to pick it up (he’ll ship but it’s very expensive to ship it) but not everyone would consider that a downside.

There are MANY, MANY stores that sell pottery. They all seem to offer something a little different. I suggest stopping at every one of them (if you have time).

Shopping Tips

When you first see the pottery know you’ll be overwhelmed. Don’t stress. Don’t feel you have to get all your pottery at once. Shop around and keep a notebook of where you were and what you liked and prices, then you can take time to decide later what you want to get. Stores accept US, €, Zlotys and some accept credit cards (most do now). You get the best exchange rate from your VISA or ATM. Exchange rate is on average 4:1


Restaurants:

Big Bites: on corner as you go into Piast. They have pizza, pierogies, and good soup.

Elric: they have potato puffs, pierogies (across the street from the 4 sisters shops)

Shang-hi has a restaurant inside the hotel. You get free breakfast if you are staying there and you can order pierogies and pizza at the front desk if you want dinner there.


Driving tips:

If you’re driving in town and kids try to watch car or wash windows it is ok to tell them no. They might do it anyway and expect money. You can tip them with food or small amount of money but no more than 50 cents, as that is a lot of money to them.

Watch your van at the edge of town or consider using The Club to protect it. Wear a fanny pack. We’ve heard that people will pull you out of your car to take it as well so keep doors locked/windows up etc., but I have not seen anything like that. Just be cautious. Keep your ID safe.

Pottery Quality

Ask about the quality ratings of each “brand” of pottery as quality ratings vary from factory to factory. Gat. 1 is usually first quality (or export quality), Gat. 2 is a second, the quality goes down as the number goes up. A second is normally a flaw in the paint, but it varies with each factory. If you plan on baking or using a piece regularly, buy only Gat. 1 or 2. Inspect pieces very carefully. Do not buy Gat. 4s if you plan on using for oven, microwave or dishwasher. If you see a red sticker, beware, don’t purchase.

Miscellaneous:

Chess sets and boxes: at center across from Artistica. Great gifts and inexpensive

Borowski- glass factory very modern styles and very nice products, store/factory is outside of town.

Website in English for town: http://www.um.boleslawiec.pl/for/index.php?LANG=EN

Places to stay:

Elite 0048 075 734 7401

Piast 0048-795-4051

Shang-hi (can not find information)

Protea – I can’t find the phone number but their email is: office@protea.com.pl. This is a great place to stay. They charged about €15 per night per person. They have a small gift shop in the hotel and their food is VERY cheap! Includes free breakfast.


Tour/Shopping guides

Dorotea Jeal- very nice lady and will be your guide for about €5 per hour. She will take you to stores. She knows the really out of the way stores and can give you a bit of history about the area as you shop. She is definitely worth the money (especially your first time to Poland). She will recommend a pension as well if you’d like 0048 75 732 4328

One Response to “Boleslawiec, Poland – Pottery Shopping Trip”

  1. Polish Pottery July 5, 2010 6:27 pm #

    Great source of knowledge about Polish Pottery in Poland. We recommend it!

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