There is no such thing as too much pottery. Especially if you are looking for an elegant gift inspiration, or you simply want to make your everyday life more colourful. Tea served in a cup “with a soul” will always taste batter. We can already imagine these long, winter evenings with a steaming cup of tea from the Arbata Ceramics Studio (Pracownia Ceramiczna Arbata).
The Arbata Ceramics Studio has been our partner for years. It is with great joy and pride that we are writing about this, since the Pomorskie Tourist Board eagerly promotes the best products and manufacturers in the region. It is worth mentioning that the Kashubian pottery from the Arbata Ceramics Studio won first place in the handicraft category in the 2020 Green Heart of Pomorskie (Zielone Serce Pomorza) contest.
Ceramic wonders and the “Kashubian palette”
All the Arbata containers are manufactured manually, with the use of natural resources. The base consists of a white stoneware mass, which is coloured with natural paint. The regional touch is not without significance.
“Our products are made using top-quality materials, a wide palette of colours and original design. Many ornaments are inspired by traditional designs from Pomorskie region. Kashubian ornaments traditionally use seven colours. Each colour symbolises a different aspect of the region. Cornflower blue represents the Kashubian lakes. Blue stands for the Kashubian skies, and navy blue — the deep, blue sea. Yellow is for the sun that shines on the fields of Kashubian cereal. Green represents Kashubian forests, red — blood that every Kashubian is willing to shed for their region. And black means the earth in the fields, ready to be sown,” said Marzena Werra, co-owner of the Arbata Ceramics Studio.
Arbata offers so many colour motives that it is difficult to make a choice. Apart from Kashubian patterns common to the regional ceramic products, you will find those referring to the architecture of Pomorskie. There are also numerous Christmas motives. The latter are a perfect idea for a Christmas gift.
The long history of folk art
Making and firing clay vessels is a folk art that the Kashubians have been cultivating for centuries. This is evidenced by the treasures of regional excavations. Arbata Ceramics Studio continues this tradition by creating their interpretation of Kashubian folk art. The creation process is quite complicated, requires time and an artistic approach.
“The creation of a teacup, for example, is a very complicated process, beginning with the spinning of a model on a wheel, and then a series of steps, so that the teacup and its “fellow teacups” can be created as part of the tableware. Ornaments are made in a similar fashion. It starts with the artist’s idea, followed by the design and the stamps. Then it is time to start painting. This is quite a challenge. Besides being able to use a brush, you also have to master the skill of stamping,” said Marzena Werra.
Before the vessel is decorated it must be dried, washed, sanded and pre-fired. The first patterns are then applied with a stamp and then completed with a brush. The next step is glazing, after which the decoration is covered with a layer of glass and becomes resistant to washing (also in a dishwasher) or scratching. The final step is the final firing, which takes about 24 hours.