Caring for handmade ceramics

Stoneware (Dinnerware)

My pieces are all made out of stoneware or porcelain clays. I typically use stoneware clay for the mugs, bowls, plates and home decor items. This is because stoneware is cheaper than porcelain to buy so I can offer the pieces at a more reasonable price to wonderful customers like you.

The stoneware clay is fired to cone 6 or about 2167 degrees if you are curious so they are hard and typically absorb only 2-3% water and that is without glaze on them. Because of this they should be fine in the microwave, and they are of course completely food safe.

The Dishwasher

The dishwasher is another story. They will probably be fine in the dishwasher at least minimally but dishwashers are pretty caustic to ceramics and the detergent, jostling and hot water will cause extra wear and tear. That’s why typically it is recommended to hand wash handmade ceramics to increase their longevity. That said do I handwash all of my ceramics? Nope. But then I can always make myself a new plate!

If you do use a dishwasher like I do, use environmentally safe, gentle detergents and if your dishwasher has a low heat cleaning function (or china setting) I would recommend that.

If you get knife or spoon scratches on your pieces, you can buff them out using BarKeeper’s Friend.

I use mainly clear glaze so acidic food shouldn’t etch through my colors but probably don’t leave a lemon on a red section for a week!

Earthenware

Have you ever purchased a beautiful vase from Mexico that was red in color, put water into it and put it on your wood table just to watch it sweat or leak water everywhere? This clay body absorbs about 15-17% of water and is only fired to about 1915 degrees. So even through the glaze, water can seep into the clay and cause leaking or cracking of the clay body and the glaze. I don’t ever use earthenware clays for this reason and most potters only use earthenware for things like planters because you want them to be porous or they seal the clay body with a technique called terra sigillata.

Porcelain (Vases)

I always use porcelain clay when I make a vase as even with glaze on a piece of ceramics, the vase might not be tight enough or in ceramic terms vitrified enough to not absorb water. Remember how I told you above that stoneware still absorbs 2-3% of water into the clay body itself (without glaze). Porcelain clay absorbs less than .25% of water meaning it is almost as tight as something like glass. So, even if there is a tiny pinhole where the glaze didn’t cover part of the interior of the vase, the clay body will hold back that water.

That said, I test every vase before I sell it for water leakage. I put water in each vase and put it on a white paper towel for at least 24 hours to make sure everything is A-OK. I still don’t ever, ever recommend anyone putting a vase holding water of glass or clay on your baby grand piano without a trivet. That’s just asking for trouble.

Porcelain (Jewelry)

Unless otherwise noted, I make porcelain pendants with sterling silver chain. Because the chain is sterling silver, it will eventually tarnish. I found a cleaning rag for rubbing away tarnish that is miraculous! It is manufactured by Hagerty and is called a Jewelry Polish Cloth. The chains are very delicate so take care when rubbing off the tarnish.

The Love

Thanks for buying ezme and hopefully your pieces will give you many years of enjoyment! I loved making them for you!!! xo