A Krunchy Obsession
Polish Pottery. I had never heard of it before we left Australia. In fact, I didn't care much for pottery. It looked fun to make, but as for the plates, bowls and cups in my life, I can't really say that I'd ever given them much thought. I am definitely crafty, I have an excessive fabric collection that I use for all sorts of crafts and I am always doing something with my hands; painting, sewing, cross-stitch, crochet...but I'd never had the chance to learn pottery. As far as anything ceramic for a souvenir, that's just a dumb idea. It might break! And I have never been drawn to buying it anyway, I'd rather get some jewellery, or fabric, or a completely impractical cuckoo clock as a memento.
BUT...one day early in our trip we had been invited to eat dinner with a lovely family in Munich. As soon as we sat down to eat and the lady was serving up, I was captivated by my plate. I remember staring at my dish and exclaiming;
"What am I eating off?!!!"
They were the most beautiful dishes I had ever seen. They were painted in a variety of colours, mostly blues with a dominant gorgeous peacock blue. Our host had an entire collection, everything on the table was a similar theme. They didn't exactly match, but each unique piece suited the whole. It was then that I first learned about Polish Pottery. She told me tales of how she had organised a whole trip to Poland with friends so that she could add to her collection. They loved the stuff, and so did I!
Again when we were in The Netherlands staying with friends in Rotterdam, my good friend Annie had some of the same dishes!
"I know what these are!" I'd cried excitedly.
We then went off on long tangents about how beautiful the pottery was and how much it cost etc. She also had stories, fun exciting shopping stories of how she had hired a big van and her and a couple of friends had driven all the way to Poland and back with a van full of pottery goodies. I was enthralled. Maybe one day that would be me! Of course I couldn't drive any pottery home to Australia, but my general motto in life is; 'where there's a will, there's a way', and so I started scheming...If we ever made it to Poland...maybe I could post some home...
As it turned out, I did in fact make it to Poland. And even better, we were living only about an hour and a half from Boleslawice, the home of the fabled Polish Pottery. The motherland of my new obsession. It was a sign.
It was my birthday during the month of our stay there, and Annie and I organised for her to come and visit! We planned our own pottery extravaganza!!! She flew from Rotterdam to Prague, hired a car and drove her way up to our little blue house near the village of Borowice. I dressed in my cutest dress, donned my adorable but impractical foxy shoes and grabbed my overnight bag. I jumped in the car, kissed the hubby and kids goodbye, and set off excitedly for a whole three days of much needed girl time and lots of less needed Polish Pottery.
I went in prepared. I had composed a list. Not just any list, but a list of every piece of Polish Pottery that I would need for my whole life - baking for the family, important visitors, retirement...you get the idea. This might sound ridiculous to you, but I'm telling you, it is a thing. The Polish pottery obsession was going strong amongst the American expats in Germany and surrounding countries. Like I said, whole international girl trips in large vans full to the brim with Polish Pottery. Since I had no idea when I was coming back, if ever, I figured I'd better do the sensible thing and get a life-time's supply.
Annie and I had two glorious nights away. Our first night was at the famous Blue Beetroot in Boleslawiec. I say famous because it is the place for pottery obsessed foreigners to stay. They provide a detailed map and layout of the town, highlighting all the different shops. They also spoke great English and had a restaurant. The most delicious borscht in the world is served there. OK, so if I ever get to Russia I might have to amend that statement, but as far as I have experienced, it was amazing!! The best! I still think about it sometimes and wish I was back...eating perfect borscht...buying Polish Pottery...