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Couple of years ago, Ceramika Artystyczna didn’t take part in the Bolesławiec Pottery festival in August and it didn’t have a stall on the main square. This was a silent form of protest against the quality of products offered at the fair and also against counterfeit designs.
The artistic director in Ceramika Artystyczna’s was Bronislaw Wolanin, who had been working here for about 40 years. In this industry, this man was a famous icon and a guarantor of artistic quality.
His work was honored also at the 3-rd International Biennal Exhibition of the Contemporary Mosaic - Contemporary Ceramic Museum in Buenos Aires among 362 works from almost 40 countries around the world and Wolanin's work was then added into the collections of this Museum in Buenos Aires. Anyway, his art work can be admired in many other museums around the world, not only in Argentina or Poland.
The original designs of every company were, and still are, a cornerstone and an important investment.
Bronisław Wolanin was the one who made decisions about shapes and forms of products while a group of artists created designs of unique decorations that are manually applied onto products with stamps and brushes by experienced painters. Hand made - such magical words for today's market.
Painters can work up to half an hour over a single dish. They know how important it is to apply the coloring stamp to the dish precisely, rather than working in a rush and a fast pace of work. They know that the focus is on them and they need to be very careful about their job. The workers give their heart into what they’re doing and so they believe that the fashion for Bolesławiec ceramics and boom in this industry will not pass. Employers have the same oppinion and that’s why they invest in new energy-saving furnaces, new designs and new staff. On the other hand, from time to time they need to fight against the price of the dollar which has a huge impact on the whole industry.
Ceramika Artystyczna exports 90% of its production, mostly to the US. The price of the dollar exposes the company to a difficult test, but so it does to other large manufacturers - Zakłady Ceramiczne Bolesławiec or "Manufaktura" who also monitor prices of American currency with sadness and fear.
Despite a strong złoty and a weak dollar, however, bankruptcy does not threaten any of them, investments are ongoing, but workers' wages may surprise. Just a few people want to work in this business for as little as 1800 złoty a month, although it happens in some small businesses.
Pottery factories fight disadvantageous USD to PLN exchange rate by finding customers in various Non-American countries.
Zakłady Ceramiczne Bolesławiec found a way how to fight difficult times - they expand to other countries around the world, for example Far East and Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East. They established business relationships with Tokyo so Japanese customers have much easier access to their products. And so they did in Australia as more and more customers from this continent were demanding Polish pottery as well.