This post from the series “Bolesławiec artistic community” was prepared within the framework of the project “Bolesławiec – 30 years of local government” carried out by the Museum of Ceramics and the Bolesławiec Cultural Centre – International Ceramics Centre.
Janina Bany-Kozłowska is one of the best-known designers of Bolesławiec ceramics. For 45 years, this outstanding artist has shaped the design characteristic of local stoneware, masterfully combining centuries-old tradition with contemporary trends in form and decoration. She is the author of around 1,600 forms of crockery, which found their way into the series production of the Bolesławiec Ceramics Factory, as well as the company logo.
The artist graduated from the High School of Fine Arts in Szczecin. In the years 1968-1973 she studied at the State Higher School of Visual Arts (presently the E. Geppert Academy of Fine Arts) in Wrocław in the atelier of docent Halina Olech, docent Irena Lipska-Zworska and docent Rufin Kominek. She obtained her diploma in 1973 at the Faculty of Ceramics and Glass Forms Design. In 1974, she was employed as a designer at Bolesławieckie Zakłady Ceramiczne Przemysłu Terenowego (currently Zakłady Ceramiczne “Bolesławiec”). From 1987 to 2019, she held the position of chief designer. In her professional work she was guided by the motto: “to design must be timeless, seeking optimal solutions that combine the beauty of the vessel with its function”. The crockery she has designed exemplifies the adaptation of traditional form to the requirements of modern design. The functionality of the vessel is the artist’s priority, and its purpose determines its form. Janina Bany-Kozłowska’s designs are distinguished by the combination of classic, pure form with harmonious proportions. Since 2019, the artist has been working at the Bolesławiec Cultural Centre – International Ceramics Centre, where she runs ceramic-sculpture classes for children, young people and adults.
Janina Bany-Kozłowska also creates ceramic sculptures. Her works are characterised by an excellent sense of proportion and perfect use of a wide range of glazes made according to her own recipes. She has participated in the Bolesławiec Ceramic and Sculpture Plein-airs many times (in 1975-77, 1986-88, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000). She has had 10 individual exhibitions held in Warsaw, Łódź, Koszalin, Jelenia Góra and Bolesławiec in the years 1977-2015. It is impossible to list all the collective exhibitions and fairs during which her work was presented. Among the most important to mention are: “Creative Presentations” (Museum of Architecture in Wrocław, 1975), Biennale of Polish Ceramics (Wałbrzych, 1983, 1985, 1987), “Bolesławiec stoneware” (BWA Poznań, 1984), “Polish contemporary ceramics” (IWP in Warsaw, 1990), “Made in Bolesławiec. Utility and art enchanted in stoneware” (Museum of the History of Katowice, 2004) and “Wiecznie młode – polski vintage” (IWP in Warsaw, Gallery “Design” Wrocław, Gallery “Arsenał Sztuki” in Kiev, 2007). She has also participated in many exhibitions abroad: in Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, Prague, Karlovy Vary, Budapest, Sofia, Vienna, Poitiers, New York, Miami Beach, Bornholm, Vietri sul Mare, Rome, Ancona and Faenza.The works of J. Bany-Kozłowska are currently in the collections of the National Museums in Warsaw, Krakow and Wrocław, the Museum of Ceramics in Bolesławiec, the Regional Museum in Sanok, the Art Centre – Zamek Książ, the Keramikmuseum Westerwald in Höhr-Grenzhausen (Germany) and in private collections at home and abroad.
Janina Bany-Kozłowska is the recipient of many awards and decorations. Among the most important are: “Pattern of the Year 1983” (award of the Foreign Trade Headquarters “Minex” at the Poznań International Fair, 1983), 1st prize of the Association of Ceramics Producers in Wałbrzych (1983, 1985), 2nd prize of the Minister of Culture and Art at the All-Polish Artistic Ceramics Biennale in Wałbrzych (1987), “Wzór Roku 1996” (“Design of the Year 1996”) (award of the Minister of Economy, selection was made from among the products decorated by the IWP with the “Dobry Wzór ’96” (“Good Design ’96”) mark), “Dobry Wzór” (“Good Design”) (Institute of Industrial Design in Warsaw, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005), Gold Medal of the Poznan International Fair “Domexpo” (1996, 1999), Lower Silesia Key of Success (for Ceramic Works “Boleslawiec”, 2002), “Hit Polish Product 2005” (award granted by the Polish American Chamber of Commerce in Chicago, 2005), “Best Product EuroGastro 2013” at the XVII International Gastronomic Fair (Warsaw, 2013), “Export Personality” in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship (Wrocław, 2016). For her professional work, contribution to the creation and promotion of domestic design, she was awarded the Silver Cross of Merit (1986) and the Silver Medal “Meritorious to Culture Gloria Artis” (2015). Her commitment to the promotion and development of local production has also been recognised in Bolesławiec itself. In 2014, she received the Honorary Award of the Mayor of Bolesławiec for the promotion of the city, and in 2015 she was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Bolesławiec. Her name, together with a handprint, was also placed in the Avenue of Great Ceramists of Bolesławiec located at the Bolesławiec Cultural Centre – International Ceramics Centre.
We invite you to watch Łużyce Television footage featuring Janina Bany-Kozłowska:
Relation from the ceremony for the awarding of the medal “Zasłużony Kulturze Gloria Artis”
An interview in the series “In the world of passion”