Sunday, November 6, 2016 17:40 Krakow Time, 11:40 AM NY Time
We are so lucky! On Friday we headed into the countryside with our local guide Krzysztof Ciacma of Taisa Travel. He drove us to the village of Zalipie, center of Poland’s “Region of the Painted Cottage.” Here, the residents decorate the interiors and exteriors of their homes and other buildings in brightly colored and fanciful flower designs. We learned the custom began as a means to brighten up soot-stained walls in the centuries before the kitchen heater was chimneyed and over the years the practice was developed into a true folk art.
In the early 20th century a prominent artist in the field, Felicia Curylo, took the custom to new levels and became famous in wider art circles.
Today there is a regional center, Dom Malarek, that includes a workshop where several artists decorate pottery, household items, and other objects for sale in Poland and abroad. We were lucky enough during our visit to meet some of the artists and watch them work.
As we’ve found is usual here, we were treated with the greatest of hospitality and kindness. At the Felicia Curylo home/museum I looked at some Zalipie paper flowers and chose two for purchase. How much, I asked? And through our guide/interpreter was told, “No charge, these are a gift.” Poland truly has the nicest people in the world.