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 Frequently Asked Questions

As we travel the nation's highways and byways, peddling our pottery from town to town,
there are various questions we are
frequently asked. We hope that you
will be able to find your answers here!


1. Did you make this yourself?
2. Is this safe to eat off of?
2a. Is there any lead in this?
3. Can this go in the dishwasher,
oven, or microwave?

4. Can this be used on the stove?
5. Is this a salt glaze?
6. What kind of wood ashes do you use?
7. Is the the best you can do on the price?


 Did you make this yourself?
You betcha! All of our pottery is made solely and completely by the two of us to our own original designs in our studio in Chesapeake, Virginia. We have found that, to maintain our quality at the level we desire, it is just not possible for anyone else to do any phase of the work for us, so we have no employees. So you can be sure that all of our pottery
is made entirely by our four hands.


  Is this safe to eat off of? Is these any lead in this?
Our pottery is perfectly safe to eat off of, since none of our glazes contain any lead or other toxic chemicals. The use of lead or other toxic chemicals in our glazes would be even more dangerous for us than it would be for our customers, since we would have to regularly contact the chemicals in their most dangerous raw form. Although if properly fired, even lead-glazed pottery can be perfectly safe to use, you can rest assured that, for the sake of our own health
as well as yours, we do not use lead in our ware.


 Can this go in the dishwasher, oven, or microwave?
Our pottery will not be damaged by regular use in the dishwasher or microwave oven, but we recommend that precautions be taken if it is to be used in the conventional oven. Even though we add special ingredients to our clay to make it resistant to thermal shocking, the sudden temperature changes that pottery can encounter in a conventional oven can cause problems. For that reason, we recommend, first, that the piece be at room temperature before being placed in the oven. Please do not attempt to go directly from the refrigerator to a preheated oven, or to place a hot piece that has not returned to room temperature back into the refrigerator. Second, we recommend that the oven not be preheated, but that the temperature of the piece be allowed to rise gradually as the oven warms up. Finally, we recommend that the entire piece be evenly covered with food. Experience has shown that casserole recipes will work well, since they are evenly distributed throughout the piece, but attempting to roast a chicken or turkey in a lasagna dish, for example, can cause problems, since it is the uneven heat distribution that can cause thermal shocking leading to cracking. Please keep in mind that ours is hand-crafted pottery and needs to be treated with a little bit of respect. And, needless to say, pieces with cane or bamboo handles should not be used in the conventional oven, and will last longer if washed by hand rather than in the dishwasher.


 Can this be used on the stove?
In a word, NO! Flameware pottery is a very special discipline, one which we do not practice. Our pottery is intended for normal, everyday use, but should not be confused with the thermal properties of
Pyrex or Corning ware, for example.


 Is this a salt glaze?
No, our work is fired in a conventional gas kiln. Because of the similar textures, our wood-ash glazed pieces
are often mistaken for salt-glazed ware.


 What kind of wood ashes do you use?
Although any hardwood ashes will make a good ash glaze, we use primarily black walnut ashes, for two reasons: first, they are the most beautiful and reliable material we have found, and second, a good friend of ours makes wonderful hand-crafted black walnut furniture, and he is our primary source of supply for our ashes. We prefer black walnut or sweetgum ashes for their properties as glazes, but will occasionally mix them with oak and maple,
which also make good glazes, when available.


 Is this the best you can do on the price?
No, people would willingly pay more for our wonderful work, but why be greedy? We make every attempt to keep our work affordable so that people will feel free
to use and enjoy it regularly.


 


More detailed information on our technical processes can be found by taking our studio tour


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