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Sometimes I don’t know how to answer people when they ask me if my ceramics are microwave safe. Do you mean are toxic chemicals going to leach into your food or drink? No, because I use non-toxic, food-safe glazes. Do you mean is the ceramic piece going to be hot to the touch? Well, probably, yes, because you are putting it in a machine designed to heat things up. Do you mean is it going to explode? Good lord, hopefully not. Do you mean is the piece eventually going to get those little hairline cracks in the glaze? Probably, yes, because glaze cools faster than ceramic does and when the outside of something cools faster than the inside of something, it will crack. So I try to tell people at shows “they are safe, but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” and they just ask me again, “but is it safe?”. I need to work on, like, an elevator pitch for ceramics and microwave safety. Preferably all in one-syllable words.

I got a lot of work done yesterday. Got the six mugs I’d thrown the day before trimmed and handled, and I would have thrown another six but the humidity had gone down enough that my soap had finally dried out, so I wanted to get started on wrapping that before it gets damp around here again. I also emailed back and forth with a lot of customers, got some things that were laying about in the way, put away… got out some bisque pieces to glaze in prep for a Cone 06 glaze firing… thought about how to start explaining to people that I’m switching clay bodies in some pieces, but not all, so not all glaze colors that I’ll be bringing in will be able to be put on all pieces… got the rest of my social media photos uploaded to Hootsuite for the week… started planning out next week’s social media… did some laundry… cleaned the cat boxes… and thought a lot about yarn bowls and how to combat that problem.

My research on yarn bowls shows me that a lot of other potters have the same problem, and almost every potter who has “successfully” combated that problem has done so with (a) limited good results and (b) differently than every other potter who is out there. So, pretty much not helpful. Some people do this one thing, other people have tried that thing and it didn’t work for them, but they did this other thing that works most of the time but then other people have done that and never gotten it to work. The one tidbit I did glean, not from reading forum threads on pottery boards but from watching YouTube videos, is that the potters who are the most consistent seem to be waiting until the piece is juuuuuuuuuust on the other side of leather hard to cut the yarn guides. I usually cut them right after I trim, and the piece is between soft and leather hard. So maybe I will try letting them dry a little bit more before cutting the guides, and see how that works. Cross your fingers…

That’s about it for me today. Just a bunch of random work thoughts. When you’re self-employed and work at home and do it all, work is never far from your mind anyway, but if what you do is retail-based, the holiday season really ramps that up. You have to always be ON. I think I forget throughout the year how tired that makes me… it always seems like a surprise when I get to December and want to crawl back into bed for more sleep after my morning coffee. Last night I was asleep by 9:30, and other than the dogs waking me up a few times, scratching (they’re both itching like mad these days, I don’t know what’s going on), I slept straight through for almost nine hours. But it feels like I only took a small nap.

3 comments

  1. You need to say..hand made pottery is not always safe in the micro wave..check with the manufacturer! ( hint..YOU!) I think…they really do not know a lot about hand made clay stuff….I have some old pottery dinner plates that never go in the microwave..and some mugs too. You have to think BACK a few generations behind you…all they know is microwave stuff….I do not mind boiling a little water on the stove for tea….or hand washing the things I love the most….but…I am old!! LOL!! The 20, 30, 40 yr olds…are in a different world than mine…

    • Hahahah! Yeah. Unfortunately, they ARE checking with the manufacturer, and I guess I’m giving them mixed signals because I tell them it’s totally safe but not to do it! I also say that it’s totally safe, I do it all the time, but I don’t recommend it. I need to figure out a better way to say that, I guess, because everyone looks at me like, “wait, what?”. I try to explain about glaze cooling faster, and get looked at like “shut up and just tell me yes or no”… but I really want to *educate* people. I want them to know why, if they do it, they’re going to eventually maybe get small cracks in their glaze, so they’re prepared for it. Sigh….

      • Then here is what you do….know your customer…if it is someone like me, or any of the others you know really well..then YOU know, THEY know…what you are speaking…..The average guy off the street..cover your tush..and say no. And tell them..if they DO try it…..it may form little cracks..just BECAUSE it is hand made……and hand made is SO different…from factory made which has higher heat..different materials..then what you use…
        OR……print out little cards that says all you try to tell…and stick them in everything you sell…that MAY be used by strangers in a microwave…
        You have to find that “spot”…that eases your pain over this!!

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