Oh my, I feel like it’s confession time again!  Forgive me readers for I have sinned.  It’s been absolutely ages since my last post!  Life’s busy, too much going on, need to take time to stop and smell the flowers.

As those who visit my Facebook page and Etsy shop will know, I use water-slide decals to decorate my work and sell the spare decals to other artists – many of them then get access to designs they wouldn’t otherwise see and in turn others do the same and I get to see some I’d not otherwise see.  Some of the questions I often get asked is ‘will they wash off?’, ‘will they fade’?  Well, that depends if you use them correctly.

These decals are designed for use on ceramics and glass, the manufacturer sells them for use on dinner sets.  They are designed to be permanent when correctly fired and appropriately used.  I get a lot of people who ask if firing to 760 centigrade for a while is the same as firing to 200 centigrade 4 times longer in a kitchen oven.  It’s not.  It’s all down to the temperature.  I do give basic instructions when I sell these, a mix of my own experience and the manufacturers guidance, and many questions are answered by experience – I have been asked how to reprogramme ‘their’ kiln before now, I need a stiff drink and the manual to do my own, I’d struggle to do anyone else’s.

So, by way of illustration, they say a picture paints a thousand words, this is why I say fire your work correctly and care for your items appropriately.  I always recommend hand washing.

On the left you have two mugs. The first,is from the very talented Aileen Clarke and graced my work desk for many years. Sorry, I can;’t remember who made the first one, but I have 2, both suffered the same fate. Before meeting me, my husband didn’t have a dishwasher so, understandably, when he got a new toy that did the washing up, his excitement could not be contained. In fact 15 years on, his excitement can still not be contained and without the occasional ‘reminder’ everything would go in it! Both have been in the dishwasher on an almost daily basis. My highland croft mug has survived many years of this treatment, the bluebell wood, bought just before Christmas, started fading from the first dishwasher trip. I guess it is down to the process used when making them, different print processes. But this is what a dishwasher will do. Note to husband ‘please hand wash’.

In the second picture we have 2 pieces from a vintage tea set. Guess which bits we use the most? The plates! In this house, ‘ the best china is left on the shelf, only the mugs get used’ to quote one kind friend who was trying to explain why I wasn’t married by 21. The plates, originally the same design, have been in the dishwasher on a near daily basis. But I have a set from Habitat bought in the 90s that is still going strong – only we are down to 2 plates now, we need more plates than that.
I digress! Nought new there. So, there you have it.

Can you put it in the dishwasher? Yes, if you can get the door open and there is a little space, you can get all sorts of things in a dishwasher, as my husband will confirm.

Should you? Probably not if it is handmade or vintage, unless you don’t mind the pattern wearing off in the harsh abrasive environment of a dishwasher and love your partner as much as I love mine and can forgive them.