There’s nothing worse then that sinking feeling about 10 minutes after you invest in some exquisite handmade pottery, when you realise just how vulnerable to smashing it all is. Fortunately, there are care solutions for your pottery and ceramics out there- don’t despair!
What’s the most important thing?
There’s one cardinal rule to follow when dealing with handmade pottery or delicate china. That’s- handle it like fine lace, because in the ceramic world, that’s exactly what it is. Harsh rubbing will quickly remove the precious veneers and damage the patterning. Clinking and knocking them unnecessarily will cause micro cracks, remove paint and surfacing, and chip the surfacing. Rapid temperature changes will also make the vessels prone to cracks and risk shattering. Simply taking some gentle care, however, will ensure you have a handmade pottery legacy to be proud of.
What about hot food?
So what is the best thing to do about serving hot food on these delicate treasures? One thing to always bear in mind is that Italian handmade pottery and ceramics are not designed for high temperatures- despite the original baking processes used heating the kiln to a high temperature, you’re setting you precious investment up to chip or crack if you use it in the microwave or to reheat in the oven. It’s due to the fact that most post- kiln heating is uneven, and will cause heat pools and sinks on the surface- the number one recipe for disaster with ceramics. That’s actually a great tip in general for your pottery and ceramics. Uneven heating and sudden temperature changes will put them at risk. You want to slowly heat up your handmade pottery by running it under warm water before serving hot foods or beverages on it. This will warm the constituent molecules up slowly and gently instead of risking cracking. You can also rest a spoon on the edge as you pour to deflect the heat and expansion.
How do I clean it?
Surprisingly, handmade pottery can be dishwasher cleaned- though it’s not advised- but you have to be extra careful to use the correct, high quality detergent, the fine china cycle and the lowest heat possible. Make sure, too, that you space the plates out across the machine so no knocking or clinking will occur. Obviously, even if you hand wash your pottery and ceramics, you want to avoid scouring powders and other abrasive cleaning techniques. The best way to avoid stains and dry food is to clean the plate timeously, of course, but gentle soaking and a very gentle scrubber can assist. A gentle bleach solution will remove tea stains from the inside of tea cups.
One of the best parts of owning handmade pottery and ceramics is the legacy they can leave. These precious pieces can be passed down from you to your children, grandchildren and more. A little investment in time and effort now will help preserve your pottery and ceramics and keep them in tip top condition throughout their long lifetime. Follow these easy tips to help you get the longest life from your Italian ceramics.