>Mike’s cookbook project is gathering steam and so he decided he needed some display pieces for the food. Because, you know, food looks tastier when displayed in nice, handpainted pottery. And not just any pottery, but Polish pottery.
Why? Because Mike’s family is Polish and he has an affinity for Polish food, cinema, and history, so I guess it was inevitable that I’d find myself in the truck hurtling towards Mt. Airy in search of Twins Polish Pottery.
Holly and Jenny have two stores- one in the basement of their home in Mt. Airy, which the twins and their families share like a duplex. The other is in Bowie, MD in a historic area.
Holly showed us around and I have to say it’s beautiful stuff. The UNIKAT (Polish for “unique”) designs are done in runs by Polish artists- once they sell out they are gone. To me they were certainly attractive, but somehow a little less special- bunches of grapes, flowers, etc. I found them a little cheesy. Holly says that it sells very well, especially among folks who like sets.
I like the more singular, colonial-looking pieces, which are largely patterned in blue, green, yellow and red.
Mike picked out a set that looked good together.
And I took pics of Holly and Jenny’s cats. Because that’s just the sort of helpful friend I am. (Well, I also vetoed some of his earlier color choices.)
This is Sarah, a clear contender for my favorite kitty site. She’s bitter because Holly trimmed her down for the season- otherwise Sarah would look like a lint catcher. But, see, cats con’t think like that. They think: “Darn it! She got me again. Next time I shall run faster. Possibly up the drapes.” Silly cats.
The other cat is a little more doggy, which is how I like them. He has had health issues, but the family fell in love with him at the animal shelter and decided he was worth the expense.
But we were looking at the pottery, not the cats.
Have you ever heard of a butter lady? I hadn’t. It’s a sort of butter dish. This one looks like something my grandmother, during her girlhood in Germany, might have put on the table at breakfast.
The pieces at Twins are gorgeous. They were orginally created in Boleslawiec, Skiep Makaba SC and the pieces are still handthrown, but now they use foam rubber stamps for the repeating designs. They are fully functional- dishwasher safe, and can be used in both regular and microwave ovens. Which in my mind makes them all “unikat” among dinnerware.
The hours are limited, but call Holly and Jenny and arrange an appointment if you can’t make it out there. Every kitchen should have a few pieces that fit with the general pattern, but are a little different, a little old school. This is the perfect place to go for that particular piece.