By Nancy Todd
Hot yellows, blues, rich reds and greens burst forth in Vic 5 Tienda Ceramica. Wood shelves are packed with bright plates, bowls large and small, house numbers, and cups – all made of clay. Kajetan Wojciechowski, the owner, has a passion for handmade Spanish pottery. From Poland, he moved to Barcelona for the Barcelona arts scene, strictly for the adventure (sounds like The Scoopettes). This pottery is the real stuff, not from China, and gets a Scoopometer 10.
Kajetan knows the difference between a water, sangria, beer, and wine pitcher which was new to me. His best seller is a small yellow olive dish with a holder for tooth picks and pits. A swag of olives is painted on the piece with a words that says, you guessed it, “olives,” at 3.50 euros. He sold contemporary crafts in Cracow and transferred his love of the hand made to this small store stuffed with pottery from all over Spain; Almeria, Seville, Granada, La Bisbal, and many small villages.
My favorite work is from Granada; rich cobalt blue and turquoise in boisterous strokes with lots of flowers. I have my eye on a large bowl, about 18″ wide, perfect for salads, soups, punch, or flowers.
How was Kajetan influenced? His Grandfather, Aleksander Wojciechowski was an art critic and art historian. Growing up, art was dinner table conversation. Where Kajetan differs, is that he has a love for functional art. I love looking at the bottom of the pieces to find the signature or location. Most are terra cotta, sturdy and some of the forms are hundreds of years old. With some pieces that are wheel thrown, you can feel the ridges left from the trail of the potter’s fingers.
Kajetan has visited most of the potteries and met the artists. He worries that in ten years or so, hand made pottery will die out like burros that once plodded along country roads. It is not a matter of not making enough money. It is the labor intensive work such as firing a kiln to 2200 degrees when it is already 114 outside. Young people rarely follow into the businesses.
Conveniently located near the Palau de la Musica on a skinny medieval lane, this store is worth a stop to look or to buy. It is akin to a tiny museum where you feel the soul of the potters. I love this store and keep returning usually just to linger and chat with Kajetan. Ah, for a complete collection of a matching dinner set. It is on the list.
Vic 5 Tienda Ceramica – Kejetan ships everywhere.
Where: c/Verdaguer i Callis, 5, Gotico Neighborhood
Metro: Yellow Line, Urquinonoa
Phone: 932 681 638