Safe, Lead Free Pottery Cookware
The beauty of a high fire ceramic cookware set is that it can withstand such high temperatures. This makes it ideal for oven baking. Make sure to always use safe, non-toxic, lead free glazes. Lead can pose a danger to your health.
To make a ceramic baking dish with a lid, start with a high fire clay, cone 5 or above. Regardless of the size of dish you want, use half the amount of clay for the lid as for the dish.
The technique for throwing a baking dish is a little bit different than for bowls or
pottery coffee mugs.
It's going to be lower and wider.
Center the clay as usual, but when you open the center continue pulling outward. As you pull outward, press down firmly on top of the wall with a sponge. This will cause the clay to spread outward along the surface of the wheel.
Tip: Be sure your wheel head is clean and dry before pulling out so you don't trap any water under the dish.
Stop when you've reached the desired width of your dish. Then, compress the clay across the whole floor with a sponge.
Start in the center and move slowly outward until you reach the wall. Repeat the process with a rib, smoothing, shaping, and compressing the clay. This gives the floor strength.
The walls can be straight up or flared out like a pie pan. Leave extra clay on the rim.
Use a rib to create a shelf on the inside of the rim where the lid will rest. Be sure to leave a short wall to the outside on the rim to keep the lid in place.
Measure the rim right away and cut the dish off the wheel to dry. When it is leather hard turn it over and trim the bottom.
Tip: Measure the rim right away. As it dries it will shrink and your measurements will be off.
Getting a tight fitting lid is the real challenge to making good ceramic cookware.
First, using half the amount of clay used in the dish, throw a shallow bowl. Later, you'll turn the bowl upside down to create your lid. You can leave a little extra clay on the bottom to be trimmed off later.
Measure the rim of your lid so it matches the measurements of your dish. Measure it so that it will nest just inside the outer lip of the rim.
Finally, dry your lid to leather hard, turn it over, and trim the excess clay off the top. Learn more about
trimming clay pot projects.
Add a handle. Score both surfaces and attach it using some slip. It can be a simple knob made from a ball of clay, or a hand-pulled strap.
Check the fit of your lid to ensure the measurements are correct.
Tip: If it doesn't fit, you can throw another lid for the same dish, adjusting the new one to fit the original measurements of the dish.
Fire it, glaze it, and do some baking in your new ceramic cookware.
Try my favorite dish:
Take any kind of cooked pasta (ravioli or penne works best), layer it 3-4 layers deep in your ceramic cookware with cooked Italian sausage, mozzarella, parmesean, marinara, and olives. Bake at 350 until the cheese is bubbly and melted and all the flavors are blended.
Serve on pottery dinnerware and ENJOY! Actually, I like to serve it in big ceramic soup bowls. Happy baking.
Health Dangers, Lead, and Food Safe Cookware
Always use food safe pottery glazes and clay on your cookware set. Never use a glaze containing lead. Lead can leach into your food and create a health danger.
Check with your pottery supplier for safe materials to use in dinnerware and cookware. They can also recommend materials that are good to use in ceramic cookware for microwave use.
Other Safety Information
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