Clay is a natural material, which gives it great strength and endurance. It is also very absorbent, which makes it an excellent material for making tableware. However, this natural clay has its downsides. As with all natural materials, clay has its fair share of problems that may affect its quality and durability.
Clay can be chalky and bland, or it may have a strong mineral taste. If the clay has been produced improperly or is less dense than the finished product, it will not set properly, and the resulting ware will have a lolly gaggy feel to them.
If you’re making homemade tableware from natural materials, you need to be aware of the potential drawbacks involved. Because the clay used will alter the final product, you need to choose the right weights and sizes for your handmade tableware.
To give you a better idea of what to look for, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of different clay weights and sizes, as well as some tips on how to pick the right ones for your ware. However, you can take pottery classes in Singapore from Terra & Ember!
Types of Clay
There are many different types of clays, each with its own properties and uses in the kitchen. There is discussion of five main types of clays: fine, medium, coarser, and hardest. The most commonly used types of clays in the U.S. are fine and medium.
How to Choose the Right Clay Weights and Sizes
When deciding on clays for your handmade tableware, you want to be mindful of both your budget and your needs. To begin with, you need to decide on the weight you want for your ware. There are many different types of handmade tableware, and you’ll want to choose a weight that works well with your recipes.
You can also choose the size of your pieces, as there are many different size clays available, and you’ll want to make sure that the size works with your recipes.
Pros of Using Clay
Using natural materials in your handmade tableware has its advantages. One of them is the fact that you control the ingredients used. If you’re willing to sacrifice some of the flavor that you love so much in favor of stronger, more durable ware, then that’s perfectly fine! You can always upgrade your finished products with a coating of polyurethane or polyclay when your budget allows it.
You’re also bound to make pieces that will get more use (and get damaged less) over time. If you’re one of those people who toss their tableware in the dishwasher after just one use, then a good quality clay is going to be even more durable.
Cons of Using Clay
Unfortunately, there are some disadvantages to using natural clays in your handmade tableware. The first one being that different clays absorb different types of liquids differently. If you’re making a casserole with a rich tomato sauce, then it may soak through the whole piece. On the other hand, if you’re using a light colored piece for a drink, then you should be fine.
Some clays also lose their translucency (the way the clay appears under the light) when exposed to air. This loss of transparency may affect the way your finished pieces look, so you’ll have to be careful when choosing your clays.
One last downside to natural clays is that they don’t always release their full potential in the kitchen. As they age, they may lose their elasticity and be less effective in the execution of your recipes. You’ll need to remain aware of this, and choose your clays accordingly.
Tips for Choosing the Right Clay Weights and Sizes
If you’re still unsure how to choose the right clays for your handmade tableware, or you just want some helpful advice, here are a few tips to get you started.
When buying clays, look for ones that are neither too soft nor too hard. Some people like their tableware hard, while others prefer softer materials. Both are correct!
If you want your pieces to be durable, choose a harder type of clay. If you want them to be flexible, go for a softer type of clay.
When buying natural clays, make sure that the type you choose is neither too soft nor too hard. Unfortunately, there are no hard and soft clays, as there are only natural clays.
The pros and cons of using natural clays in your handmade tableware are worth considering, but in the end you’ll need to make sure that it’s the right type for the job.
If you’re making a beverage bowl, go for a harder type of clay. If you’re making a dessert plate, go for a softer type. Remember that no two experiences with handmade tableware will be the same, and each type of clay has its own advantages and disadvantages.