Product Use Information

My pottery is made of stoneware clay. This is one of the stronger clays (only porcelain is stronger) but, like all ceramics, it is breakable if handled too roughly. However, stoneware can take a lot of use without deteriorating. A great deal of archeology involves digging up old pots that have survived a long time.


My pottery can be used in your oven or microwave. This is true for almost all stoneware pottery. I caution you not to take it directly from the refrigerator and put it into a pre-heated oven. It will probably handle this abrupt temperature change, but it is very hard on the pottery and may crack it. Always avoid putting pottery on top of a burner, gas or electric, unless you know for certain that the pottery is specifically made for this use (a few pots are).

Pottery is fired at temperatures well above those your oven can reach, but it is completely surrounded by the heat (as in an oven), not localized as is the case with a burner. The uneven heat distribution of a burner can crack pottery.

My pottery can be used in a microwave. The contents of the pot should heat up, not the pot. On rare occasions the pottery will also heat up. It may be heat transfer for the contents; try shortening the microwave time. It could be caused by the pot absorbing liquid that has been left standing in the pot for a long time. Sometimes it happens for no apparent (to me) reason.


My pottery can be washed in your dishwasher. Make sure, of course, that it does not bang against other dishes. Hand washing is good too. It lets you fondle something that is handmade.

Avoid dishwashing pottery that has felt or rubber pads on the bottom. A quick rinse will not dislodge the rubber pad. Try to avoid getting the felt wet, or at least dry it as quickly and thoroughly as you can.



I mix my own glaze so I can assure you that it does not contain any lead - it is safe for all food uses.

California law requires that all food vessels be lead free, and all the potters that I know do not put lead in the glazes they use for food-use pottery. Characteristically, lead glazes are bright and shiny, but this is not always true; many bright, shiny glazes (like my own) do not have lead in them.

If you do have lead glazed pottery you may still be able to use it for some food uses. Simply avoid using it for any acidic foods. Foods like orange juice, tomato sauces can leach the lead out of the glaze. Actually it's the leaching that is a problem. It is possible to formulate a lead glaze that does not leach. Some commercial glazes are like this.

Dry foods, and non-reactive foods like water, will not leach the lead out of lead glazed pottery.

Lead is cumulative poison that harms people by weakening them and allows other illnesses to gain the upper hand. It is particularly harmful to growing children. It's probably best to avoid using any pottery for food if you know, or suspect, that it is lead glazed.

Home Page
2005 Show Schedule
Join the Show Notification List
Butter Dish Instructions
The Mouse Story
John's Poetry
Dip Cooler Instructions
John, the Potter
Fair Schedule
Show Notification List
Butter Dish
Mouse Story
Dip Cooler