Here are answers to some of the questions that customers frequently ask me about the use and care of pottery. If properly cared for stoneware pottery can be enjoyed for a long time.
1. Is the glaze food safe? Yes. I use commercial glazes or glazes that I mix myself from tested and vetted recipes. No lead is used in my studio.
2. Can I put it in the microwave? Yes. Please make sure that food is evenly distributed and touches all surfaces of the pot for even heating. Also remember, that as the soup is heated inside your bowl, it will transfer heat to the bowl itself so take care when handling it.
3. Can I put it in the dishwasher? Yes. It is safe to wash your stoneware pottery in the dishwasher. However, it would be best to hand wash some items that have a lot of piercing, such as berry bowls.
4. Can I put this dish in the oven? Yes, with a caveat. Only place handmade pottery dishes in a COLD oven, not a preheated one. Similarly, do not take a dish from the refrigerator or the freezer to the preheated oven or into a sink with hot water. Handmade stoneware pottery cannot withstand the “thermal shock” of going from cold or room temperature to a hot oven and it will crack if you do this. The pottery can withstand the heat of an oven only if it is heated slowly. So, place your casserole dish in a cold oven and let it heat up slowly as the oven heats up.
5. Can I put boiling water in this teapot? Yes, but make sure that you pour hot water into it and warm up the teapot before putting boiling water in it. The point is to avoid “thermal shock,” which will crack the piece.
6. Does it break easily? Do I have to take special care? Stoneware pottery is strong and durable, as well as resistant to chips. Firing stoneware clay in the kiln makes the clay and glaze fuse together. That is, the clay and the glaze undergo a chemical and physical transformation that makes them bind together. This process makes the surface of the item glassy and nonporous, and is called “vitrification.” Of course, if you accidentally knock your mug off the counter and it falls on your ceramic tile floors, chances are that it will break! These items are not unbreakable, but also they are not delicate. So use your piece with confidence.
7. I dropped my mug and it broke, can you fix it? No. The firing process changes the malleable clay and fuses the clay and glazes together. There is nothing I can do to put a broken mug back together. In addition, once a piece is broken or chipped it is likely that a crack has developed as well. It is advisable to no longer use the piece to store food. Moreover, it will become weak at the crack and further heating and cooling may exacerbate the problem. In particular, do not attempt to glue back a broken handle on a mug, pitcher or other stoneware piece because the glue may not hold once the mug is repeatedly heated. You may glue it back together to use as a decorative piece only.
8. Can you make this in another color? I can only make pottery in the glaze colors that I am already using and you see in my shop. Coming up with a different color means coming up with a different glaze, which requires extensive testing. Even using a commercial glaze in the desired color would require testing it in my kiln using my clays to ensure satisfactory results. This takes time and money. So, if you like the glazes I use and just want me to make something in another one of my glazes, then the answer is: YES! I can do it another color! But if you want a glaze color that you do not see in my shop, then the answer is: Sorry, no, I can’t do that.
9. Can you make a pot like this one (shows picture of mug or bowl from another potter)? No. I can make you a mug or a bowl or a French butter crock or any other piece you want, but I will not copy the style of another potter. You will get a Glynt Pottery yarn bowl or dish in my own style, with my own glazes.
10. Can you make another bowl to match one I bought from you last year? Yes. I can make you another pot similar to a previous one you bought from me. However, there will be small variations as each glaze batch and kiln firing is unique. New chemicals might result in slight variations in a glaze, as will a relatively thicker or thinner application on the pot. Similarly, placement in the kiln or how tightly or loosely packed the kiln is will also affect the final result. In addition, decorations will not be identical. I must admit to getting bored doing the same thing over and over again. So, if you bought a dish decorated with a bamboo pattern you will get another one that will be quite similar but the decoration may not be exactly the same. I think that this is what makes handmade work unique and beautiful.
Please drop me a line if you have any other questions. You can also reach me through Facebook ( www.facebook.com/glyntpottery ).