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Q: Is your stoneware pottery food safe?

Dove pottery uses all lead free, cadmium free, manganese free nontoxic glazes for all stoneware lines which are food safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe and oven safe.

Q: Do you take orders of personalized writings?

Dove Pottery is known for its more personalized pottery. I do wedding verses and songs, welcome baby poems and also add personal messages, specific names and dates on the bottom of the pottery. Favorite poems and songs as well as quotes from favorite movies is also often ordered. I hand-carve the writings in different languages besides English, such as French, Latin, Gaelic, German, Japanese as well as Sign language and Braille to name a few. I am also open to new ones as well.

Q: Do you take orders of personalized themes?

Dove Pottery produces a variety of lines covering a wide variety of themes including ocean life, mermaids, Newfoundland (example: cod, Newfoundland scenes, Newfoundland pony), words of wisdom, Zen, Celtic, mother and child, trees and even brain pottery with hand-carved brain anatomy. There is no limit so send me an email about the particular theme that interests you.

Q: What are the steps involved in making pottery and what are the different types of clay used?

Pottery is a decorative or useful ware made of baked clay. Pottery includes valuable works of art, dinnerware, vases, and other simple household items, all made by professional potters. Four steps are needed to make a pottery product: preparing the clay mixture, shaping the clay, decorating and glazing the item, and firing (baking). The firing temperature gives pottery its finished appearance and its strength.

There are three major pottery types: (1) earthenware, (2) stoneware, and (3) porcelain. Each type is distinguished by its clay mixture and the temperature at which it is baked or fired. Earthenware is a red or white pottery clay mixture that is fired at a lower temperature. The low baking temperature allows the use of colorful glazes, but also yields a pottery that cracks and chips more easily than other types. Stoneware pottery is made of a heavier clay mixture that gives it greater strength. Stoneware is fired at a much higher temperature to give a harder finish making it more durable and the preferred choice for functional dishware. Porcelain is the purest and the most delicate type of pottery. It is formed from kaolin, a fine white clay, that is mixed with controlled amounts of feldspar and flint and then fired at a low temperature.

Q: What is Raku pottery?

Raku pottery is pottery that is produced with special clay and glazes in a unique firing process at a lower temperature than regular kilns. The clay creations are bisque fired, glazed, and then are re-heated to about 1,700-1,850 degrees F in a propane heated kiln and transferred into a sealed container with combustible materials (paper, sawdust, or straw usually). During this step a chemical oxidation/reduction reaction occurs.

The glazes become "reduced" when the fire pulls the oxygen molecules out of the glazes to use for fuel, leaving a metallic finish and spontaneous colors depending on the glaze. Rapid cooling may cause lightning design fracturing of the glazes on the surface of the pottery called "crackle". Then the pieces are covered in water for even more rapid cooling and to set the glazes. Raku glazes are often very unpredictable and difficult to control, but the end results are quite stunning! All Raku vases and bowls are not for food and not safe in the microwave because of the metallic glazes.

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