So you've visited the studio and created something you'd like to keep, display, use, maybe even gift? And we'd love you to know the best way to keep your pottery in top condition for as long as possible? Well here goes... Obviously, as with anything, over time there's going to be elements of wear and tear, but if you follow the instructions below, not only can you safely make use of your masterpiece, but it'll stay looking tip top for as long as possible!
Now you're going to see me mention 'crazing' quite a few times, so I'll do my best to explain what this is here. While all of your pots are professionally glazed and fired right here in our Billingham studio, ultimately glaze is still a thin barrier on your pot. Crazing is a natural effect that may happen, and isn't something that needs fixing. The nature of pottery: it's handmade, quirky and exciting. We like to say it keeps us on our toes!
Glaze can 'crack' or 'craze', which looks like little fine lines across the surface. It doesn't affect your pot itself, just the glaze, and this can happen sometimes, or maybe it won't; there's no saying for sure. It can happen even if you have or haven't done any of the below. It can happen after 3 days or 3 years. There's no predicting it, and it's not a defect. It doesn't mean your pot is broken, and you can still use and display your pottery. But if you'd like to do your best to avoid crazing, to keep your pottery looking best, and maintaining your pottery best for safe use, follow the steps below:
Do not microwave! The materials used to create the bisque body of your pot are extremely porous, which essentially means that while they may seem like they're doing just fine in the microwave, they can get extremely hot and you may end up accidentally burning yourself - and no one wants that! Please keep your precious keepsake pottery out of the microwave and use something you know is microwave safe, instead.
Dishwasher is also a no-no. Dishwashers can cause crazing, which can let moisture into the pot, weaken it and may cause it to break. So keep them out of the dishwasher and gently hand wash instead. All pots are food safe, but not dishwasher safe.
Outdoor items - bring them in if it's really hot, or really cold. Keeping them indoors during extreme temperatures will keep them looking best!
Storage - if you'd like to store your pottery away (we're thinking precious seasonal decorations), keep them out of areas that may be exposed to extreme temperatures as above. So try not to store in the attic, loft or an outdoor building. Keep them somewhere safe, but somewhere close to you where they won't get too cold, or too warm, throughout the year.
Wax burner or candle holder? Don't leave them unattended! We're always sent little labels from the suppliers saying they're recommended to be used with LED votives. You may think for a wax burner, this makes it pretty pointless. We'd tend to agree and I do use my own with wax & tealights, but I'm also very aware of the supplier's warnings and pass this on to you - don't leave them unattended if you choose to use real candles, please.
Handle with Care - handle all of your pieces as if they're made of glass - because they kind of are!
So there you have it! How best to look after your finished piece. And we hope they make you smile forever!