My family uses my pottery every day, in our home and garden. For his morning coffee, my husband always uses his favourite mug, made by me in Lethbridge Alberta in 1990. It has been in the microwave and dishwasher thousands of times and still looks great.
My work is made to be used. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
I want you to enjoy your pottery forever! My ceramics are made with a porcelain clay body. For a few sculptural pieces I use a porcelain and white stoneware mix. These high-fired clays are durable and strong, and will last a very long time with some basic care.
Treat your ceramics kindly by avoiding three things that can be lethal:
1. impact, 2. water freezing inside a form, and 3. rapid or uneven change of temperature.
1. The most obvious is to protect your ceramics from any kind of impact such as knocking or dropping.
2. My Bird feeders have been tested in Canadian winters (in Winnipeg) and survive minus 30 degree temperatures. The crucial thing is to keep the drainage holes clear so that water does not collect. Even in cold weather the sun can melt snow that later freezes. All ceramic (and cement) will crack if a form fills with water and then freezes. In Victoria we leave our Bird feeders and baths outdoors all year, but with water in them they are vulnerable in freezing conditions and I recommend bringing them indoors during cold winter weather.
3. My work is not designed for use on the stove-top. Pottery certainly can be used for cooking, but all ceramic, with the exception of specialty “flameware”, is susceptible to damage from rapid and/or uneven changes in temperature. Do Not put pottery from fridge or freezer to a hot oven! When using in the oven it is best to let the ceramic warm up with the oven, but pottery at room temperature is OK to go into a hot oven as long as the food is fairly evenly distributed. When removing a hot ceramic item from the oven, take care not to set it down on a cold surface.
For best results with a porcelain teapot, pre-warming the pot with hot tap water before making your tea with water just off the boil will aid in keeping your tea hot, and also ensure that you enjoy your teapot for many years.
The pottery can be used in the microwave and dishwasher. The colour will not fade or wash away. Dishwasher detergents can have a cumulative abrasive effect so you may prefer to hand wash items that see a lot of use. Delicate fragile pieces that must be hand washed will have this noted in the product description.
A link to the Victoria and Albert Museum information on "Caring for your Ceramics" is available here. The article is referring to historical pieces but also has pertinent information for today's collector.