When people think of pottery, they often think of decorative vases, plates and jugs that add a pretty touch to a living room or bedroom. However, pottery has been around for millennia, and was actually originally used functionally by a wide range of cultures.
Functional pottery looks great and serves a purpose, making it a smart buy for anyone who wants a rustic decorative feel while keeping clutter to a minimum. Here is how to choose functional pottery pieces that will stand the test of time and make your kitchen or home far more organised in the process!
#1: Check the Type of Pottery
You can check the type of pottery you are looking at by taking a close look at a piece and doing a few key checks. Check the colour of the clay on unglazed areas of a pot, look at the qualities of the glaze used, tap the item with your fingers to see if it rings or clunks (indicating porcelain or earthenware, respectively), and hold it up to the light to check for translucency and porosity. You are looking for items that are finished well and are not porous enough to absorb odours, stains and the likes.
#2: Confirm Microwave Safety
If your pottery piece will be used in your kitchen, you will want to check whether or not it can be microwaved. As a general rule, any non-porous materials like bone china, stoneware and porcelain will not crack or explode in a microwave, but porous pottery could produce a different result. This is because when such pots absorb water and are then microwaved, the rapidly escaping steam may crack its way out of the items.
#3: Check for Food Safety
Much like placing your eSports bets right here, you should always keep your well being in mind when choosing kitchen pottery. The first thing to consider is whether or not there are any chemicals in your pots, bowls, or pottery mugs that could leach into your food and drink. Lead and barium are two substances to avoid. Ask your potter about the kinds of glazes they use on their functional wares and whether these materials have been lab tested for solubility.
#4: Confirm Dishwasher Safety
Any pot that you would microwave should also be dishwasher safe. We live in a modern world, and few people have the time to wash pottery pieces by hand. With this in mind, your pottery should be able to withstand high temperatures, dishwashing detergents and water jets. Any glazed, fired and non-porous pieces should be safe to add to your dishwasher loads.
#5: Check Oven Safety
Pottery pieces like the terracotta pots of Morocco have been used for cooking and baking for generations. If you plan on baking or cooking with your pots, ensure that they can withstand the kinds of temperatures you need them to.
Most stoneware pots are created with high thermal shock resistance, making them perfect for use in ovens. Other traditional earthenware cooking pots are also heat resistant, but need a slow and gradual heating process so that they do not crack.