During the years 1900–1910 in Dębniki — at that time still located outside the administrative borders of Kraków — there was a faience factory operating as J. Niedźwiecki and S-ka. The relatively short-lived period of production of this small factory might be considered a phenomenon from an artistic point of view rather than from an industrial one. The uniform production was characterized primarily by inventiveness in the field of forms and decor and a high level of performance of these modern products, especially conspicuous in the background of the local production, but also compared to foreign manufacturers.
Dishes, in addition to their main function, began to play a decorative role over time, testifying to the status of their owner. Initially, they had a universal character, but as the ceremony associated with food and its setting was extended, they underwent a peculiar metamorphosis. First of all, the number of dishes increased significantly, as utensils of a specific form were already intended for particular dishes. An appropriate selection of dishes for specific meals and beverages constituted a table service (for breakfast, dinner, tea, coffee, chocolate etc.), that is a set characterised by uniform decoration. Individual sets of tableware might belong to one whole set along with a dinner service, but most often, they were separate sets. Special development of richly decorated and elaborated table services was characteristic of the 18th century, when faience and porcelain products came into use, slowly replacing dishes made of clay and metal.
A Hanaire [花入], which is a flower vase used during the tea ceremony, can have many forms — standing, hanging, with a broad spout, or imitating a thin bamboo stem. Hanaire creators are not limited in terms of materials they can use, either. In tea rooms, one can encounter vases made of wicker, hollow calabash, and every kind of ceramic. Those lighter materials are used during summer gatherings; while heavier ones are chosen in winter.
This is a ceramic work – a technique that is inseparable from Chinese culture. The porcelain objects were fired in Jingdezhen, a city famous for its ceramics. The six elements in the MOCAK Collection, which simulate crude oil stains, are part of a 25-part installation. The work is a commentary on contemporary economic conditioning. Oil – a resource that impacts on international politics – symbolically “stains“ the world.
The interwar period wast the heyday for many fields of art and the economy, including Polish industrial design. The trends in contemporary design were initiated by the cooperative “Ład”, founded in 1926 by the lecturers of the School of Fine Arts in Warsaw as a continuation of the concept of Kraków Workshops.
Pottery products, which have accompanied people from the dawn of history, are associated mainly with folk mementos these days, while the function of pottery was successfully taken over by industrial products, not limited by fragile material.
What do a cobalt vase and a Japanese emperor have in common? This vase is a gift from the Japanese court donated to the Manggha Museum during the visit of the Japanese emperor, Akihito, and his wife, Michiko, on 11 July 2002. This porcelain vase with a wooden base is ornamented with the imperial chrysanthemum – an emblem representing the imperial title in Japan.
The process of producing vessels of white porcelain is regarded as being exceptionally difficult, since, as it is baked in a furnace, small particles can easily permeate inside, and they can dye the porcelain forms, thus disrupting the whole process. One of the most outstanding contemporary hakuji artist is Manji Inoue (born 1929), the Japanese creator who was awarded, in 1995, with the honourable title of “The Living National Treasure” (Ningen Kokuhō).
During the mid-18th century it was popular to set the table on the occasion of the most important ceremonies with porcelain statuettes forming rich iconographic stories. Along the entire length of the table, next to the silverware and the china, sat an arrangement of many statuettes in the form of garden paths, streets or castle arcades, placed on a mirror sheet or coloured sand.
This early form of the teapot, the design of which is ascribed to Johann Jakob Irminger, was amended by a painted decoration outside the factory more than twenty years after the vessel had been finished. The linear, graphical method of painting was ascribed to Christian Daniel Buschow, who operated in Bayreuth.
The terra sigillata vessel in the form of a bowl on a foot comes from the cremation tomb accidentally discovered in Lisów (Opatów district). The vessel was imported from a province of the Roman Empire. The form of the vessel is typical of the pottery workshop in Rheinzabern (south-western Germany), the largest centre producing vessels of this type in the northern provinces of the Roman Empire (Germania Superior), operating in 190–220. The vessel was made of clay, sealed in the matrix with a negative decoration, and subsequently baked in a furnace in the pottery workshop of Primitivus I.
An ostracon from the collection of the Field Museum No. 2 which was established thanks to the Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade that fought in the Middle East during the World War II and reached Egypt where they managed to obtain museum exhibits.
Ostraka, pieces of broken pottery vessels, were used for writing a variety of different texts, most often tax receipts. They were used instead of the more expensive papyrus. Most ostraka come from Upper Egypt and the oases, where, unlike in Fayum and the localities of Middle Egypt, papyrus was not cultivated on a broad scale.
Commentary: The divergence in the dating of this document results from the fact that the eleventh year may equally well refer to the emperors Vespasian or Domitian. Abraimos is well evidenced as a variant of the name Abraham.
A fragment of a clay leg preserved in the form of a bare, right foot. Visible toes marked with short cuts. On the inner side, under the heel, below engraved lines, six short, diagonal lines are visible. The foot is slightly bent inwards; it is narrower at the heel and it widens towards curving arranged fingers.
In the Korzec collection in Tarnów, which numbers 450 inventory items, a small vase of the kantharos type deserves special attention. Vases of this type served as decorations and were produced on the occasion of anniversaries or other events. The excellent quality of the product and the elegance of its form and decorations prove the high level of manufacturing quality in the 1st two decades of the 19th century. In Polish museum collections, a similar small vase can be found in the collection of the National Museum in Warsaw.
This three-coloured bowl on an annular foot, decorated with so-called negative painting, using wax as a reserve material, belongs to the pre-Columbian Carchi-Nariño highland culture from the border of today's Ecuador and Colombia, dating back to around 700 or 800 AD and 1500 AD.