Here are some frequently asked questions:
“Can I heat this pottery in the microwave?” you ask. Usually the answer is yes, if it’s my pottery. But, if it’s a raku piece, (fired and then taken out of the kiln and smoked in a barrel full of combustable things) then, no. Because it’s not meant for using as functional drink ware or for food service. Raku pottery is more for appreciation as an object d’art. Sure, some people might eat potato chips out of their raku bowl, but you wouldn’t want to store yogurt in it. There are tiny fissures that will catch bacteria. So, no. No, I say to the raku in the microwave. Those fissures will expand with the heat and liquid and that would be bad.
Now, for every other type of pottery I make, it’s a yes to the microwave. Just be careful when you take it out, as clay holds heat really well. Don’t put it on a cold metal surface when it’s nuclear hot. Like some people I know, it will have a hard time adjusting to change. You have to ease them into the situation; so use some kind of buffer between cold surfaces and hot pots. For example, a coaster or trivet.
Do you like your coffee or tea to stay hot? Here’s a tip. Fill your cup with water and pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds. Then pour the water out (save it for later; waste not, want not!) and fill your cup with your favorite hot beverage. It will keep your drink warmer longer.
Lee Daly Designs
Oh, and for using pottery in the conventional oven, consider that adjustment thingy here too. Convection ovens (the kind with the fan at the back) and conventional ovens (heating element or gas flame) take a while to reach high temperatures. This is good for pottery. If you are going to bake something at high temps (400F and up), consider heating it up gradually. I recommend putting your pottery into the oven while pre-heating. Then, when finished baking, rest your pottery on a trivet or pot holder to protect it from cool surfaces. Your food will stay nice and warm throughout your meal because pottery holds heat!