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maiolica Italian pottery made by Deruta craftsmen
Ceramica Direct
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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do my CERAMICA pieces sometimes vary a bit in color intensity or design?
Because every piece of our ceramics is completely painted by hand, it is impossible for each item to be identical... that's the wonderful nature of handcrafted work!
What are the best ways to prevent chipping or cracking?
Due to the fragile nature of earthenware ceramics, it is important to handle your pieces carefully to avoid chipping. Earthenware ceramics do not tolerate temperature extremes well, so it's best to temper your pieces when serving very hot foods.
What does "temper" your ceramics actually mean?
The best way to temper your ceramics is probably by warming it with hot tap water, although a warming shelf/drawer and warming pads are also effective. It's simply a means of gently warming your ceramics to avoid "thermal shock", which can result in cracking or in excessive glaze crackling (crazing).
Should I stay with all one pattern, or is it better to mix-and-match patterns?
A table set with all one pattern will certainly be beautiful, but the majority of customers do mix patterns to one degree or another. Our staff will be happy to assist you in determining the best look for your home!
Can my CERAMICA pieces go in the oven or microwave?
Your ceramics should not be used for baking or cooking in either the oven or microwave. Even warming food in the microwave can cause the piece to become very hot.
What about the automatic dishwasher?
Your ceramics are safest washed by hand, although with some extra care you may use your automatic dishwasher. We recommend using a fine china cycle, low heat and a good quality detergent... and always be careful to stack your pieces very carefully to avoid chipping!
I purchased several ceramic pieces on a recent trip to Italy...will my CERAMICA selections match those pieces exactly?
Because each piece is hand painted, it's always difficult for two pieces to match each other exactly...even two pieces painted by the same artisan! Some maiolica patterns are so traditional that they are created by artisans throughout Italy, and each will interpret the same pattern in slightly different ways... sometimes the form of the piece will also vary.
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