Polish Pottery Pattern Levels Explained
Pattern Levels can be confusing. There are a lot of them and the reasoning behind how they are categorized is not always clear.
Ceramika Artystyczna uses 9 distinct pattern levels. Limited Edition pieces are not included because they really are their own level. They are also no longer produced so those are one off pieces that do not belong in any of these levels.
What are Traditional Polish Pottery Patterns?
Traditional Polish pottery patterns come in three levels and are simply referred to as traditional 1, traditional 2 and traditional 3. Factory pricing is different for all three but not all retailers will charge you different pricing. These patterns can be very simple to almost complex but the important thing is that almost any artist at the factory can reproduce these pieces. Because of their more simple nature they are produce more pieces per day, therefore the price is much less than the next 6 levels.
What is Unikat?
Simply put this translates from Polish to unique in the English language. It is a simple way to describe a level of pattern that is much more complex and time consuming to create. Unikat pieces are designed using any mixture of stamp and brush work. The higher the level the more time consuming and complex a pattern is and the price also rises with each level.
What are the Unikat Levels?
Unikat starts with u3. U being for unikat of course. Ceramika Artystyczna has three "normal" levels of unikat patterns. Those are u3, u4 and u5. Years ago u4 was the highest level and commanded the highest price. Things have definitely changed and many patterns you may be used to collecting have probably changed categories in recent times.
The next line of unikat categories are what we like to refer to Ultra High End. These include levels u6, u7 and u8. The highest of these levels, u8 will also be the highest price.
Why are Ultra High End Unikat pieces so expensive?
They are extremely time consuming to create and only artists that have achieved a particular level of excellence can copy these patterns. There is no mass production of Polish pottery. You are quite literally buying a work of art every time you invest in a piece of Polish pottery.
Can I order any pattern I want?
The easy answer is yes but in this last year many patterns have been removed from regular production so it may not be possible any longer to special order. If you have a pattern you are looking for, let us know. If it's in the current catalog then we can special order for you.
Are Kalich patterns categorized the same as Ceramika Artystyczna?
Kalich is a different factory that we carry in our store. They are different in how they categorize things however to keep things simple I have utilized the same "normal" unikat levels talked about above for Kalich pieces. They do not make traditional or non-unikat designs at this time. Their unikat are categorized using u3, u4 and only sometimes u5. This keeps things much more simple for our customers.
What are Polish pottery Limited Edition pieces?
As mentioned above, Ceramika Artystyczna no longer produces these pieces but you will see them floating around from time to time. They are few in number and each pieces is a unique work of art. They are hand signed. At this time Kalich does not produce Limited pieces in the same regard. There are many "factories" that produce Polish pottery and some have limited designs and others do not. As a general rule we do not carry them in our store but we may be able to help you find what you need.