We get so many questions in the studio about how durable completed pieces are and if they are meant for practical daily use. The answer to these questions is simple but needs an explanation. Yes, the dishware you create with us is food safe and can be used for eating and drinking purposes! The catch is that there are some tips and tricks to caring for your pieces to ensure that they can endure a long life of use!
A good rule of thumb is:
Let’s start with mug care. Drinking that first cup of coffee in the morning is a truly wonderful thing, maybe it’s tea or hot chocolate for you. I know when I take that first sip of my favorite drink it’s hard to beat. Drinking out of your favorite mug, now that makes it even better. The way the mug fits perfectly in your hand, glides across your lips, and has the best motivational quote painted on the side of it to really get your day going, it’s just so satisfying! We all get nervous that we’ll break our favorite mug or use it until it’s so stained, we’re not sure what that brown splotch on the bottom even is but there is a way to prolong the life of your hand-painted ceramic mugs:
1. Handwash your mugs if you can. Ceramic pieces made in the studio are dishwasher safe, preferably on the top rack, but if you can handle handwashing them the majority of the time, your mug will thank you.
2. Avoid long trips in the microwave. You walk away from your drink for too long and it’s just not warm enough anymore, the worse. Zapping your mug in the microwave isn’t the end of the world if you do it for short amounts of time. Try not to put your mug in the microwave for more than one minute, as this can shorten the life of your mug. Microwaves heat from the inside out so by microwaving your beverage in the mug, it causes the ceramic walls to potentially expand, causing damage to the pottery over time.
Taking care of your other dishwares like plates and bowls is pretty much the same as caring for your mugs. Sadly it isn't as simple to just rinse and go your other dishwares as it is your mugs. Again, if you can handwash your plates and bowls that is ideal! But if you feel the need to send it through the dishwasher, the top rack is definitely your best bet. Also, keep in mind that microwaving for only short periods (under one minute) is favorable but avoiding the microwave all together is best for a long life!
For serving platters and hot plates, the same cleaning recommendations apply. You can put hot items like pots or whatever you are cooking in on the hot plates to protect your table and counter. Just be aware of running those pieces under cold water while they are still hot because this could cause cracking due to the drastic temperature changes also known as thermal shock, as with any ceramic or glass dishware item.
Thermal shock is the reason that none of our pieces are suitable or recommended in the oven. Pieces painted in Paint and Bake Ceramics are earthenware, also known as low-fire ceramics. These pieces are not made to withstand high-temperature changes and will crack. Imagine you cook lasagna and take it out of the oven only to have the dish crack as you remove it due to the temperature shock. Not a pretty picture. Leave the oven cooking to your crock pots, Pampered Chef, and other specialty cooking dishes.
Since platters are so much larger, getting them on the top rack of the dishwasher can be a challenge, so if you can handwash them to preserve their beauty for all your serving opportunities! Having hand-painted dishware and serving dishes are such a unique way to make your meals feel a little cozier and your entertaining to be so much more personal. Make these precious pieces last, care for your dishware!
Questions about how to best care for your pieces? Give the studio a call at 859-415-1909 and we are happy to help you! :)