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We are blogging today about care of dinnerware. It is winter and cold winds chilling the walls of our homes and we are finding comfort in warm food and drink. This month of February we have been busy answering customers' queries about the fragility of their dinnerware.
Last week a client called to replace her Bone China Tea Pot. At the start of the conversation, she commented that she thought Bone China dinnerware was considerd to be "very strong". I remember my mother, Lina Shanfield, throwing Bone China dinnerplates onto the carpeted store floor and standing on the plate! Yes dinnerware can be strong, however it is also prone to fracture. We are sure that you think a Diamond is very stong, correct? Yes, it is the hardest mineral known to man. However, the diamond is also able to be split with the gentle tap of a hammer at the point where it will fracture. The same goes for dinnerware.
We have "winter rules" for dinnerware and here they are. Never store dinnerware in an uninsulated or poorly insulated cupblard that backs onto the oustide wall of your home. Especially if that wall is hit with winter winds and lashing cold snow. If the dinnerware is at all cold and you put hot food or hot soup into a chilled bowl don't be suprised if the plate or bowl develops a fracture. You may not see the harline split but with time, the piece of china will break having been compromized by sudden fluctuation in temperature.
The same precautions as one would take with hot have to be used with cold.
Yesterday a customer had to replace 3 of her 12 dinnerplates. They had cracked! She had her set for 40 years and it was well used. What was the issue? There are other reasons dinnerware cracks besides temperature fluctuations. If you use serrated knives on your fine china, you are scratcing the suface. Over time, moisture from food and dishwashing will seep into the scratches and be absorbed by the dinnerware. The absorption will cause the dinnerware to swell and damage the glaze and the item may crack.
Stacking dinnerware more than 8 plates high is also dangerous. The weight of the plates could crack those on the bottom of the pile. Rotate your dinnerware. Not only will this keep the colours on the dinnerware looking the same; over time the usage will be evenly distributed. Do not stack Tea Cups into each other. Rather, hang from hooks screwed into the underside of the shelf. The handles and lips will not be damaged this way. Storing dinnerware so it will be less prone to scratching is easily accomplished. Just put a paper napkin between each plate. The underside of dinnerware is rough where it rested on the shelf while being glazed this is the reason dinnerware in storage scratches.
We'd like to offer some general recommendations about the use of your fine china, cutlery and stemware that will help prolong its beauty and functionality.
We hope you appreciate our exposé today. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call us.