Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Fun Stuff : )

I see I'm a day late in posting about something "fun" I experienced while on our trip.  I beg your forgiveness & will post about it now before I get too busy procrastinating my day away   : )

When we left Iron Mountain we headed to Wisconsin ... south on 41 to Milwaukee & then west toward Beloit on I-43.  Somewhere on I-43 we stopped at a little shopping area where there was a Target & right next door a Michael's.  I was impressed with how friendly everyone was.  We then continued south into Illinois on I-39, continuing down 51 & stopping overnight in Bloomington.  The next day we continued south & then headed east on I-64 toward Evansville, Indiana which led us to Louisville, Kentucky which of course led us home.

Here's the fun part   : )   There was a Polish pottery store which we encountered on our way out of Illinois.  My mother's mother & father came to this country from Poland so I grew up hearing about Poland & Polish things quite a lot & I've always felt a connection to that country.  My dad's parents came from Russia & Czechoslovakia.  That doesn't pertain to this story but I thought I'd give dad equal time   : )  

I have a small collection of Polish pottery which I purchased when John & I were in Poland a few years ago.  I have always wanted to go back there to add to my collection but that is easier said than done so finding this store selling Polish pottery was very thrilling for me!  The store was located in a very small town away from any large areas of population & I wondered about this.  Was it a Polish community?  I never got to ask any questions because when I walked in the door I was speechless!  This store didn't sell your run of the mill Polish pottery ... they sold the "good stuff."  Stuff that had been partially stenciled/partially hand painted (UNIKAT pieces) as well as signature UNIKAT pieces (all hand painted) as well as "Limited Edition" pieces which I didn't even know existed!  It was like I was in Mrs. Sullivan's store again looking at all the penny candy!  I could've just stood there at the counter saying "I want 1 of those, 2 of those, 5 of those, etc."  Lol!  Here is a photo of the store.

The store itself is located on the first floor & is comprised of 3 rooms of Polish pottery pieces as well as the checkout area.  It was very difficult to choose one item over another & of course I spent quite a bit of time there with my little notepad taking inventory of all the things I wanted & then revisiting them, going over my list again & again, & adding things up to make sure I didn't spend more money than I had   : )   

Here is what came home with me   : )   As always, please forgive my photography.  There wasn't much space anywhere to put these items for picture taking purposes so I settled on clearing off the shelf on my diningroom hutch which had some strong sunlight coming in from the window on the left.  Sigh!  I sometimes wonder if I should take a couple photography classes.  

These first 2 photos show a salt & pepper set on a tray.  That little piece in the center is used to hold toothpicks. 

A cup & saucer (for when I can get a set of place settings one of these days), a tall mug (which I plan to use when drinking my tea or hot chocolate), & a small bubble mug (just because it was so pretty).
A small canister & a small bowl.  

My lack of photography skills is exceptionally depressing here because these 2 pieces are breathtaking.  The small basket on the left is a UNIKAT signature piece & includes a few colors I have never seen used in this type of pottery before.  That is a small pitcher on the right.  

This is what is called a "covered pastry dish."  One of the things that amazes me about this pottery is how there are designs painted where they oftentimes will not be seen & aren't really necessary. 

This next piece is a muffin baking tray.  I didn't take a picture of the bottom or sides of the tray but designs are painted in those areas as well.  Incidentally, if anyone can tell me why my photos sometimes make flat things look as though they are curving I would really appreciate it!  If you multiply the effect you see below by about 100 you will understand how I saw things through my no-line bifocals when I was prescribed them last year.  Back to the baking tray ... I have been told time & time again that Polish pottery is to be used, not just put on a shelf & admired.  I have never used any of mine & truthfully I would like to but doesn't it appear to be a shame to use something so beautiful?
I have saved the "best" for last ... the "Limited Edition" pieces.  This first one is a basket.  I would've never seen it because it wasn't on display.  While I was putting things on the counter the sales clerk remembered there had been a special basket that someone had purchased a day or two before & that there was another one just like it in the storage room upstairs.  Of course my sub-par photography does not show how beautiful & intricate this piece is but hopefully you will have a bit of an idea.

And finally here is my "if I could've bought only one item, this is what I would've bought" piece ... a Limited Edition cookie sheet/cutting board.  (It is sold for either purpose.)  The sales clerk told me that she bakes her cookies on these sheets all the time & the cookies turn out perfectly browned & easily slide right off the tray.  
Needless to say I had a LOT of fun in this store   : )   It was sort of one of those "once in lifetime" experiences although I hope to repeat it one of these days   : )   I've really got to get my Etsy store set up so I can make some spending money ... lol!  I know I'm a primitive sort of gal & these pieces don't look like they would mix well but surprisingly they do!  Even if they didn't, a wise blogger once posted that your decor should be "whatever makes you happy."  Polish pottery makes me happy   : )   

Posiada wspanialy sobota!  Polish for "Have a wonderful Saturday!"


Mrs. GraceWorks said...

What a fun stop! I think my favorites are the tall mug and the muffin tray. I love the patterns on those! Hmmm... I might have to go make a cup of coffee and some muffins now! Great idea!

blue star stitcher said...

Those pottery pieces are so unique and detailed. It's nice to find unique items that aren't sold in every other store.

Sandi @ The Primitive Skate said...

Oh My, What Beautiful pieces of pottery. Love the muffin trya. Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful weekend!

marly said...

Most people start a collection and add to it. You don't mess around! Just buy the collection all at one time!! LOL!!! They are gorgeous aren't they? So many lovely online shops but I've never purchased any.

Vickie said...

Wowie zowie Shirlee! Beautiful. The baskets are my favorite for sure. We own two Polish pottery mugs and that is it. Not only are we two tall stitchers, we are both 50% Polish. How do you like that?! :) Both sets of great-grandparents on my dad's side came over from Poland. I called my great-grandma, Grandma Bushia when I was little. Why no one told me I was saying grandma grandma, I don't know!!

Anne said...

WOW! I love all the Polish pottery! I really love the salt and pepper shakers and the mugs! I would use the mug daily for my coffee!!!

TheCrankyCrow said...

I disappear for a few days and come back to find that you went to Iron Mt., didn't stop in Nod, and doubled your Polish pottery collection. Yikes! You know I love that Polish pottery - I spotted it right off in one of the photos you shared on your blog way back when. Don't have an ounce of Polish in me, and don't own a piece myself, but I still think it's gorgeous - and you really chose well. Each piece is as beautiful as the next.....Hope all is well my friend....Gonna scoot down and see what all I've missed. Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

Jan said...

Beautiful pieces. I have just started my collection of Polish pottery too. What a great shop to find

~*Shar*~ said...

You hit the jackpot hun!! Love the pastry should have kept on driving west; you'd be here!!!

Hugs, Shar

Ranae said...

Wowza! that pottary is amazing, it's so goreous
I love finding little shops like that.
BTW! you passed right by me, I'm 4 miles from 39 just south of Rockford

Melody said...

What beautiful pieces of pottery! I'm so glad you found it.

What town did you find it in?

Michelle said...

Wow what stunning pieces they are so pretty. I love the one designed to look like a basket. x

Anonymous said...

Oh they are lovely!

What a great shop to have found.

Carol said...

Wow! What a gorgeous assortment of pieces you came home with, Shirlee. I've always love Polish pottery, too, but have never seen some of those unique designs... Had no idea they made muffin dishes for instance! I bet you'll be heading back that way again :)

Chris said...

FUN!!! What a wonderful place and lovely new things for your collection.

Maggee said...

I really love all the pottery pieces Shirlee! Have always love small flowered patterns, so this just falls right in with that. I will have to investigate this type of pottery further! Thanks for sharing! Hugs!

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

Oh my Shirlee ~ Love all the pottery pieces you picked up ~ such a wonderful find!!!
The colors are amazing ~ Thanks so much for sharing!
Prim Blessings

Linda ★ Parker's Paradise said...

Stunning pottery!
I love the vivid colors!
We actually have a town near here called Polishville. I imagine most states have one!
Cedar Rapids have a Polish street fair every summer.
We love the fair!
Word verification? Is it a necessity?

Pam in IL said...

WOW! It looks like you bought the whole store! Love all the pieces you got. Your travels through Illinois brought you right past me in the LaSalle-Peru area.

Although I've traveled the route you took from Illinois to Indiana, I'm not familiar with the Polish pottery store you found.

Thanks for sharing.

Edit said...

Your Polish treasures are really beautiful! I can imagine it was a wonderful thing entering that shop and trying to decide what to take with you.

I have been to Poland a couple of time with my parents on summer holidays and we really liked the country. Also bought a few pottery, but not as much as you :)

Have a great week,

butterfly said...

Love all your Polish pottery so pretty, and your photo's are looking great. Hugs