Characteristics of Handcrafted Ceramics

/Characteristics of Handcrafted Ceramics
Characteristics of Handcrafted Ceramics2019-01-25T16:10:07+00:00

Each piece of pottery we carry is individually handmade. This means that there are never two pieces exactly the same; there will always be minor variations that show the hand of the artist. The minor differences from item to item are the reason we buy handmade ceramics – if we wanted everything to be identical, there’s a whole world of assembly-line products out there. The little idiosyncrasies you see – like fingerprints, small flecks of paint, slight smudges or loose-fitting lids – only add to the value and beauty of the piece.  Hand painted pottery will always show evidence of hand-craftsmanship, and that’s part of what makes it unique and special.

With repeated use, majolica has a tendency to “craze” (form tiny lines in the glaze). This has no effect on the durability of the item, but there are ways to help minimize crazing. Always avoid drastic temperature changes. Pottery has a tendency to absorb cold. If you place hot food on a cold platter it may craze or even break. Running warm water over the piece before filling it with food will protect it from breaking. You can also place a metal spoon in your mug or teapot when pouring in hot liquid. The metal will absorb the heat, thus protecting your ceramics.

Maiolica can go in the dishwasher, but we recommend hand washing. If you want to use your dishwasher, use the “fine china” setting or low energy. Be sure to load the items with enough space between them so that they won’t hit together.

Our ceramics are food safe. They have met with FDA standards and are approved for use with food.

Maiolica should not be used in the conventional or microwave oven (with the exception of our Campagna collections). The microwave tends to heat up the high-mineral content clay and glaze, but not the food or liquid, which can lead to more crazing or eventual breakage down the line.

If you’d like to learn more about the care of Italian ceramics, our blog is a great resource.

If you’ve broken a piece of your favorite pottery, don’t fret – read about how to repurpose, repair or otherwise learn to relove your chipped or broken bits just as much or more than the originals.