Several important dates in the history of the porcelain factory in ∆mielów:
- On 19th.May ∆mielów was granted town status by King Alexander the Jagiellon after representations by Jakub Szyd≥owiecki the Great Crown Treasurer.
1709 – Aleksander Dominik, the Duke Lubomirski, inherits the ∆mielów estate.
1790 - Wojtas establishes the first faience and pottery workshops in ∆mielów. It is believed he is the first to manufacture faience in ∆mielów.
1804 - Earl Jacek Malachowski, The Great Crown Chancellor, buys the Wojtas workshops and establishes a factory of faience products.
1849 - The brothers Józef and Aleksander, the Dukes Drucki-Lubecki, become the owners.
1870 - The factory comes under the ownership of Kazimierz Cybulski.
1890 - The factory comes under the ownership of the son of Mary Alexander, Prince Drucki-Lubecki;
1920 - The Duke Aleksander Drucki-Lubecki sells the factory to the company Towarzystwo Akcyjne Polskiego Banku Przemys≥owego from Lvov.
1924 - The company buys from the German firm Keranos, the porcelain factory in ChodzieŅ and runs both factories under joint management and use a joint trademark.
1936 - The company ∆mielów is left by eight ambitious managers who form the Porcelain Manufactory ¶WIT only 1 kilometer away. This was the beginning of a new factory for porcelain whose independence was interrupted by the War and occupation. It lasted until 7th. March 1950.
1946 – 1951- From 23rd April the porcelain and ceramics factory at ∆mielów comes under state supervision on the basis of a decree law from 26th. October 1950.
1960 - The two factories, ∆mielów and ¶WIT, are amalgamated into two divisions.
1964 - On 2nd. May fire destroyed most of the production buildings of the ¶WIT factory.
1991 - Total cessation of production of porcelain in Porcelain Manufactory ¶WIT;
1996 - Porcelain Manufactory ¶WIT sold in a public tender.
The production in ∆mielów in the 50s represented a traditional style based on its own patterns from the period 1918-1939.
Their customers favorite items were the figure of Bogumi≥ Marcinek, called presently “Magdusia” and the lamp with the figure of a sitting girl by Józef Szewczyk. The modern vanguard production which brought such fame was begun in the 50s by the artists from the Institute of Industrial Designing.
This was great work on an international as well as a national scale. Many talented artists worked in the Ceramics – Glass Workshops, part of the Institute led by Maria Sobolewska. During this so called “Happy Period” for the Institute and ∆mielów, between 1956 and 1965, great artists such as Henryk JÍdrasiak, Mieczys≥aw Naruszewicz, Hanna Orthwien, Lubomir Tomaszewski and others created unique works which were manufactured at our factory (¶wit Division). The moulds for these unique works, which are in our possession, are the envy of the world.
Figures produced in the 60s marked the beginning of the successful period of Polish small sculpture. The figures were presented at the Leipzig Fair, New York, Chicago and the Second Polish Industrial Exhibition in Moscow and the Polish Exhibition of Glass and Ceramics in Berlin. The figures were a great success in galleries around the world, New York, Chicago, Paris, Berlin, Moscow and other European capitals were proud to acquire them. They belong undoubtedly to the most important artistic achievements of my factory and will remain lasting elements of the contemporary small sculpture phenomenon, as important as Meissen and Copenhagen figures for this period of modernism, and have had an influence on the artistic trends of other world artists in California, Germany, Czechoslovakia etc.
During the 70s the factory was required to produce mainly table china in large quantities, and not small porcelain figures. Although figures were still being designed by great artists such as Wincenty Potacki, Kazimierz Czuba, and there were excellent mould makers such as Czes≥aw Wosiek, the porcelain figures assumed less importance in the production of the factory at this period, and the fortunes of the factory gradually waned and it’s financial situation got worse until the ¶WIT factory stopped production in 1991.
In 1994 the factory was taken over part of on lease by the current owner, and two years later Adam Spa≥a became the owner of the factory, and most, important, he acquired with it, the original first forms and models along with the building, where he placed the trade mark AS (Adam Spa≥a) over the gate. In 1997 as a result of privatization the second factory was also sold. It took the name of Porcelain Manufactory ∆mielów Ltd with the trade mark ‘C’ in a triangle.
Status Porcelain Manufactory AS ∆mielów, as of today, the single economic activity carried out by the owner.
Porcelain Manufactory AS ∆mielów started its operation from the production and decoration of porcelain beer mugs. During the 90s Polish market was an excellent market, especially the production of porcelain mugs proved to be a niche market. Activity of factory was also decorating glass mugs with occasional decoration and sales. Mugs with the corresponding overprint have become fashionable gifts, merchandise increasingly popular especially in tourism.
Factory was slowly “becoming on legs”. However, production and decoration of mugs wasn’t target activity of company. Manufactory in their plans, in the strategy was to return to glorious achievements of ∆mielów in figural art and restoration of old porcelain artistic designs. It wasn’t, however, easy to achieve. It was a very painstaking work, requiring great effort and skill on the part of workers, firstly because of the nearly forty years in the production of a break, and secondly because of the substantial destruction of the first forms and models by fire, which took place in 1964. In addition, the start of the next activity required from the companies relevant, not small amounts of money.
Company choosing the strategy invested in top-class professionals from ∆mielów. People associated with Porcelain Manufactory for many years, have inside information about their craft.
Thanks to labor experts, managed to recreate about 150 projects so far. It is estimated that, to reconstruct a whole collection of existing as a form of “model” and form “models” are not always complete, it need for about 20 years.
So after the break of almost forty years and four years of reconstruction of the damaged moulds and originals production of them began in 2000. The sculptures are original products as they are all created from the original moulds, they are indeed miniature sculptures. They are made by hand from the highest quality English porcelain. Each figure has the certificate of the National Artistic Commission and Ethnographic Foundation – CEPELIA – Polish Art and Handicraft. Each figure has its number and year of production together with the trademark AS ∆mielów on it and comes complete with a certificate of authenticity.