When you buy artisan dishes such as those you can find in the Gaia Collection, you know that you’re making an investment in a way of life. Like any other investment, you need to make sure that you nurture it and preserve its value over time. That requires you to take care of each dish to ensure that the entire collection is treated as it deserves. Of course, to truly care for handcrafted dinnerware, you need to pay special attention to a few key areas of concern.
The first involves the dishwasher. Some people feel perfectly comfortable washing these dishes, and never hesitate to put them in the racks alongside any other dining instruments that need cleaning. On the surface, that is a perfectly reasonable approach to cleaning. The fact is that most pottery won’t be structurally damaged by the high heat of the water or the chemicals used during the process.
On the other hand, though, those chemicals can affect some glazes. They can end up causing the coloring of your pieces to fade or just lose their luster. More importantly, there haven’t really been any serious studies to determine the effects of multiple washings a week over the course of many years. We just don’t really know how dishwashers impact those beautiful dishes.
Because of that, it might make more sense to wash them by hand. There is an added benefit to that personal approach, of course: dishwasher detergents can be notoriously harsh. When you wash this dinnerware in your sink, you can better control the type of chemicals that each dish comes into contact with. You can even opt for organic dish soap that completely eliminates any worries about those abrasive toxins.
Beyond keeping them clean, there is also the matter of storage. The best option is to store them in cupboards or display cases away from direct sunlight. Remember, sunlight can cause almost anything to lose its color over time! Many people prefer to keep these dishes in special cases where they are prominently displayed for visitors to the home. They thus become part of the décor as well!
If you have small children in the home, it is important to teach them from an early age just how important it is that these dishes – or any dinnerware, for that matter – be treated with respect. Ancient cultures understood the importance of food, as well as the plates, bowls, and pots used to cook and serve that food. As we instill those values in our children, we impart to them an ancient wisdom that the world still needs even in these modern times.
Finally, use your handcrafted dinnerware. It is one thing to own beautiful pieces of artisan work, but to truly care for these items you need to allow them to fulfill their purpose. They all have a reason for existing, and deserve to be allowed to fill that intended role. So clean your dinnerware with care, display them properly, and teach the entire family how to appreciate them. But above all else, let that plate be a plate. Treat that bowl like the bowl that it is. And drink from those mugs and cups.
If they could talk, they’d agree.