We love a chance to look behind the scenes, so today we wanted to share with you more about how our Stone Creek Trading crocks are made! These photos are from when we visited the ceramic studio that makes our Stone Creek Trading Crocks. This studio is located in the Boleslawiec region of Poland, an area that has been famous for it's ceramics for centuries!
The most important ingredient for making Polish ceramics from the Boleslawiec region is the light colored clay that is found locally. Here you see the clay in its raw form in the back, and after it has been mixed and is ready to be formed in the front.
This machine tumbles the raw clay in order the create a smooth clay that can be used to create high quality ceramics. The raw clay is inserted into the hole with water and then the machine mixes it together into an even, smooth clay!
In order to get a consistent shape, wooden forms are used to mold the clay into shape. Here you see molds for the crocks on the right, molds for the lids in the middle, and lids that have already been removed form the molds on the top!
When the clay is first removed from the molds, there are many rough edges and areas where extra clay is present. These areas are smoothed out and removed before the clay is glazed.
The studio that makes our Stone Creek Trading Crocks employs a staff of around 8-10 female artisans. The women on the left is working on forming the ceramics in molds. After the clay is formed into the mold, it will sit for several days to dry. The woman on the right is then removing items from the mold that have already dried. The ceramics will then sit for several more days before they are smoothed and glazed!
When we say these crocks are hand painted, we mean it! There are two artisans that hand paint the decorated crocks. Another woman glazes all the solid colored or dipped items. Want to know more about how these designs are made? Next week will show how they create these traditional designs!
On the wall here you can see many items that have already been decorated, and a few items waiting to be done! The colors of the glaze appear muted or pastel here. However, once the ceramics are fired, they transform into the deep blues, reds and yellows everyone recognizes as Polish pottery.
This studio uses two large electric kilns to fire their ceramics. as you can see on the right, racks are stacked into the kiln to maximize the space when firing. These items on the right have been fired and are cooling before they will be removed. You can see the glaze has turned dark after the firing.
And here are a few finished decorated crocks! We had so much fun visiting this studio and learning more about the process and people who make our products. Next week we will share with you how these traditional designs are made!
Looking to purchase products made in this studio? Check out our Stone Creek Trading Ceramics collection!