In the multi-screen era and times of ubiquitous plastic, it’s worth getting back to basics and exploring the rich offer of handicraft workshops.
There is no greater satisfaction than the very first bite of home-made bread or no more beautiful gifts than a hand-embroidered napkin. What used to be a bit dated is now back in the game. Gifts in the spirit of slow will please everyone who has respect for the unique work of human hands.
Dive into the history
The non-industrial approach to objects and products is the hottest trend right now. Handmade wicker baskets, traditional ceramics, intricate embroidery, and meticulously made carved wood – these one of a kind products are not only loved but also chosen more and more often. During Pomeranian tours, it is worth paying attention to the offers of local manufacturers, from whom one can not only buy an unusual, handmade artifact, but also learn their craft. An inspiration waits for those willing to travel deeper into the stunning Pomeranian region to discover its beauty. In the village of Szymbark, there are plenty of interesting and totally unique facilities such as the Upside-Down House or the Siberian House. Learning about the Kashubian culture is an entertainment for the whole family! One can observe how generational traditions are still being cultivated including creating embroidery or baking bread together. Children will undoubtedly appreciate horse shoeing workshops while braver adults can try snuff.
It is worth visiting the Kashubian Ethnographic Park in Wdzydze Kiszewskie – the oldest open-air museum in Poland, attractive to visitors of any age. One can admire over 50 facilities of folk architecture from Kashubia and Kociewie but also folk objects of the Kashubian village from the 17th to the 19th century such as the beautiful results of local plaiting – the inhabitants’ wicker baskets, jugs, and even water buckets.
The Kashubians are also known for their remarkable local embroidery. Initially, it was founded in the monasteries – Norbertine in Żukowo and Benedictine in Żarnowiec. In the 17th century, decorative elements of Kashubian embroidery were applied mainly to fabrics. Today, their elements can be found even on sports shoes.
The brand Farwa Kościerzyna was created by a Kashubian woman whose ancestors have lived here for centuries and she herself grew up on a farm, strongly connected to regional art. In her art studio and gallery one can buy pieces of craft work such as clothes, scarves with regional embroidery, modern jewelry, accessories, paintings, and even furniture with traditional Kashubian themes. The owner also organizes some artistic Kashubian workshops for children and adults and every class is adjusted to the participants’ age.
Delightful items from Farwa will undoubtedly bring back good memories of Pomerania.
More than baked clay
Pomorskie is famous for its non-obvious ceramic studios offering, among others, unique tableware and beautiful custom designed interior tiles. Not only the products are impressive but so is the history of ceramic workshop and powerful families of manufacturers.
The history of the Necel family from Chmielno goes back over 120 years and nowadays one can admire their works in the Necel Museum of Kashubian Ceramics – surrounded by picturesque lakes, forests, and meadows.
The descendants passionately talk about their family history of ceramics. They have been using seven characteristic pottery ornaments (not to be confused with embroidery patterns), which today are protected and recognized as characteristic for Kashubian tradition. These are motifs of small and big tulip, fish scales, the Kashubian star, a lily, a lilac twig, and a wreath.
In the local studio all kinds of decorative dishes are being produced.
When visiting the museum, one has an opportunity to observe the work of potters or painters, specialists in Necelian ornaments, but also to make a clay pot. The creation of a ceramic work requires patience – making the desired shape takes a few minutes but then it needs to dry out, be baked in a special oven, and after three weeks it is ready for pickup or shipping – the Necels can send it by post.
Ceramic with Necelian ornaments is a great idea for a unique souvenir from Kashubia. These are amazing dishes that will not only decorate a kitchen, but also will be of great help during everyday culinary struggles.
The Lubiana dinnerware porcelain factory is a recognizable brand in the European market that offers an extensive range of ceramic tableware inspired by the Kashubian culture. Local motifs include fish scales, the Kashubian stars, daisies, and tulips.
In a much smaller craft workshop called Ceramika MK Magdalena Kamińska in Pęplino one won’t find two identical cockerels, angels, or plates. Everything is handmade by the artist and her studio is full of joyful colors and high-quality enamel.
Those who love wood and light will surely fall in love with Pelplin thanks to the artist Zofia Nowakowska that inspired in her passion to woods created the Light of Forest brand. She calls herself a child of the forest – she creates truly unique compositions as the structure of the wood, similarly to amber, is one of a kind and unrepeatable. Hence, there are no identical objects in her workshop. The trees that were cut or felled are not being burned as fuel; instead she creates candlesticks, lamps, and original decorations, which thanks to the warmth of wood will add natural charm to any interior.
Pomeranian craft constantly delights – one can purchase enchanting, handmade small works of art that please the eyes all year round.