By Carrie Stevenson
MELBOURNE’S POLISH POTTERY MIXES PATTERNS, CELEBRATES COLORS AND OFFERS AN ADVENTUROUS SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
For Polish Pottery owner Teresa Beach, the traditional stoneware was a passion before it became a business. While living in Europe for many years, Beach visited Poland in 1993 and became a collector of the brightly colored and patterned pieces. She began sending gifts home to her mother and sister-in-law, and after they fell in love as well, she began to wonder if there might be a market for Polish pottery. When she returned home to Florida in 1999, the Polish Pottery business was born.
100 DIFFERENT PATTERNS AND MORE THAN 200 UNIQUE SHAPES.
The warehouse itself is a hidden gem, located in an industrial area along Wickham Road at 3185 New York Avenue #13, in Melbourne. But walking through the doors into the 4,000 square feet of retail space filled with color and pattern is an amazing experience. “I’ve heard it’s an adventure coming into the store. It can be a little overwhelming the first time you come in, with so many choices. I suggest taking a stroll through the entire store to get a better idea of what’s available.”
Beach is happy to walk customers through the offerings and is a wealth of information about the history, artistry and utilitarianism of Polish pottery. “One great feature of Polish pottery is you can create your own unique collection by mixing and matching patterns, and the more you get, the easier it is to add another.”Each piece is hand painted in Poland, and the high firing temperatures create durable, utilitarian stoneware covered in intricate, beautiful decorations. All Polish pottery is oven, microwave and dishwasher safe, making it perfectly suited for everyday use. “It’s essentially functional art,” Beach said. “Some pieces are labeled UNIKAT, meaning ‘unique’ in Polish. Collectors are sure to find some unique pieces to add to their collection.”But for Beach, the things that make certain pieces special are the holiday and family memories wrapped up in her collection. “I have so many traditional pieces I’ve had in my house forever — casseroles and plates I served Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners on year after year. Those are my favorites because they hold such wonderful memories.”