Pottery quality

Jan 30th, 2002, 03:49 AM
  #1  
amy
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Pottery quality

I have bought a few pieces of pottery in France and Italy and have found some of them are chipping quite easily. Wondering if there are any pottery experts out there who can shed some light. One piece was from Printemps dept. store, the others were from markets. Are they cheap in quality or is pottery more delicate than I thought? They are glazed except for the bottoms. The reason I ask is that we will be travelling a lot in these areas and I don't want to keep making the same mistake if it's what I'm buying.

Thanks.
 
Jan 30th, 2002, 04:18 AM
  #2  
newt
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Pottery can chip for a number of reasons, poor glaze fit, underfired clay body, the list can go on and on.
Most of the pottery I have seen in Italy is low fired earthenware which is more prone to chipping than the high fired stonewares that you may be used to. If you treat it as you would fine china ( hand wash or load the dishwasher
with extreme care ) it should last for years.

 
Jan 30th, 2002, 06:43 AM
  #3  
Laura
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Speaking of pottery, I haven't seen anyone raving about the pottery in Vietri (Amalfi Coast). It's good stuff and world renound.
Sorry, don't have any answers about the chips, I hope someone does though, I have pieces that need to be repaired as well.
 
Jan 30th, 2002, 07:07 AM
  #4  
Sue
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Not an expert at all, but my experience has been that the "softer", more porous, and generally less expensive pottery chips more easily. For example, my Brittany faience, Quimperware, holds up very well, as do my pieces from Moustiers. I have some faience from other parts of France which are chipping, just as you mention. I have learned never to put the latter in the dishwasher and to handle with care.
 
Jan 30th, 2002, 07:26 AM
  #5  
c
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I have gotten pieces from Provence in a shop on rue Jacob in Paris every year and they are all in perfect condition - perhaps it is the quality,mine are also glazed all but the bottoms.I always wash these by hand, and one thing I wonder, if the bottom is unglazed,it can absorb water,making it swell,which could be the cause of cracking/chipping.Just a thought.
 
Jan 30th, 2002, 09:14 AM
  #6  
amy
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Interesting points, all of them. Perhaps I will need to spend more on pottery in future. I started using the dishwasher, then switched to hand washing, but will heed the advice to treat it more gently still. Feels strange to take a piece that can go in the oven and cook hearty food and then treat it so carefully, but I will do that from now on.

About Vietri, I actually have a water pitcher from there that I love! It's the only thing un-chipped, perhaps because I use it less frequently and it doesn't take the same abuse that pieces for cooking and serving do.

Thanks again for the input.
 
Jan 30th, 2002, 09:48 AM
  #7  
Elsa
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Amy: In Italy I was told NOT to put the pottery in the microwave, b/c of the lead content. Maybe IF you have been doing so, that has contributed to the chipping. The water pitcher has probably not gone into the microwave. Just a thought. Did you notice if the pottery you bought in Printemps (was it Quimpier?) was cheaper than in the US? Sometimes the same thing is less expensive here than in France. Go figure???
 
Jan 30th, 2002, 12:20 PM
  #8  
amy
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Elsa,

The Printemps piece was not Quimper, I don't remember the brand, but it came with a little brochure that touted it's sturdiness to oven, dishwasher, etc. I actually don't own a microwave, so while it would have made sense, unfortunately it's not the case. I do use some of them in the oven to bake lasagnes, etc.
 
Jan 30th, 2002, 02:54 PM
  #9  
r
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Amy, my experience with the provencal pottery is that it chips quite easily when placed in the dishwasher--same with the Italian stuff. When I noticed the chips, I stopped putting them in the D/W and no more chips after that.
 
Jan 30th, 2002, 03:18 PM
  #10  
l
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How about Limoges (plates)? Do they chip easily also?
 
Jan 30th, 2002, 03:21 PM
  #11  
c
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Limoge is so fine a china that I would never put them in a dish washer.I have a tea set and it is always hand washed..guess they never thought about washing dishes when they made them
 
Jan 30th, 2002, 03:45 PM
  #12  
newt
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Just because you can use pottery in the oven does not mean it can be used in the microwave. An oven will heat the entire pot evenly, while the microwave
will only heat the area of the pot that
has direct contact with the food. The pot will them have an uneven rate of expansion/contraction and eventually crack. Most low fire pots (earthenware,
terracotta,)cannot withstand this treatment for very long. It's best not to put your hand made pots in the microwave.
Newt
 
Jan 30th, 2002, 03:52 PM
  #13  
mimi taylor
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amy, most of my dishes are provencal but I never use my dishwasher...now don't laugh,....never have, use it for storage , a few chips on the circumference, no problem. You will notice in flea markets and antique shops how much you pay for those chips.
And it is true, most of my plates from moustiers do not chip readily. It's all about composition and heat.
 

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