Housekeeping Details

Oct 21, 2020 • Shannon Doyne

Stacking Brass Cutlery from East Fork

Here are some easy tips for caring for brass, clay, and glass pieces from East Fork.

Okay, maybe this isn’t the most glamorous Journal post we ever published. But we have some suggestions about caring for some of the things you buy from East Fork. Don’t worry: it’s easy!

Caring For Brass

We love brass. We’ve got some treasures from Japan’s Lue Brass in our Flatware & Utensils collection and we’re always on the hunt to add to our collections, scavenging the online antiques circuit and popping in the shops. We know there are some brass admirers out there who don’t buy pieces out of fear that they need expert levels of knowledge to take care of them. We’re here to say you don’t!


Here’s the most important thing: brass should never go into the dishwasher. Ever. Not even once. It'll start pitting, which means little holes will form all over the surface. We do not want this!


Some people think there will need to be regular ritual polishing sessions that if skipped will bring about the end to the loveliness of their brass pieces.


Not so. Your brass will patina. It’s natural. It's what brass is supposed to do. Once it goes through an awkward teenage phase of being splotchy in some places and shiny in others, it'll all even out to a muted, worn brown-gold that we think is just gorgeous.

Like Them Shiny?

If you want to buff it up now and again to bring back the shine, though, choose one of these options:

        • The Do-It-Yourself: Create a paste with baking soda and lemon juice. Use a soft cloth and run the paste in circles on your brass until it's shiny, shiny, shiny.
        • The Shopper’s Special: Same soft cloth, same circular motion, but with Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser or other brass polish found at your hardware store.


Caring for Pottery

While we’re here, let’s talk East Fork pots. The clay is durable. You’re talking to someone (so clumsy!) who has dropped mugs and bowls from considerable heights onto a multitude of floor surfaces: the only thing that got wounded was my pride.


But East Fork glaze is durable, too. We get questions about dishwashers and whether it’s best to wash our dishes by hand to preserve the vibrancy of the glaze. Nope! Our dishes are used in commercial dishwashers in restaurants and coffee shops and are plenty happy in your home dishwasher. The plates fit great in there, too.


What about the microwave, you ask? Yes, absolutely. Our Director of Ops, Zoe Dadian, tried to break a plate in a microwave by cooking a whole, frozen Honeybaked Ham and even after 45 minutes still couldn't do it. Then she microwaved something like 15 servings of frozen bacon to see if that would do the trick. Still no luck. That must have been a rough day for the microwave, but not for the plate.


The Caveat! If your pot already has a hairline fracture in it, moisture might get in there and pop it open. So don't microwave cracked pots.


Healthy Scratches

If you’ve been using your dishes for a while, you might notice some scratch marks, probably from using your knife, twirling your spaghetti, banging your spoon around while stirring your coffee or otherwise enjoying yourself at the table. We salute you! Here are some easy ways to deal with those scratches:


1. Choose your scouring powder—either something commercially available like Bon Ami or Bar Keepers Friend, or make your own by mixing lemon juice and baking soda.


2. Find a scrubber—we found that the harsher side of an ordinary sponge worked fine, but this scrubber was a little more abrasive, so we didn’t have to work as hard.


3. Spread the powder or paste or your plate, bowl or mug and scrub for about a minute or two.


4. Rinse well. Make sure you clean with soapy water, too.


Et voilà! It's that simple.


Caring for Glass

Since we’re talking about ease and beauty and things for your home that will last and last with just a little care, let’s also mention our collection of glassware from R+D Lab, an Italian company that uses borosilicate glass for the mouth-blown pieces we sell in our Tabletop Collection.


Unlike other glass, it does not crack under extreme temperature changes. Borosilicate glass is made up of about 15% boron trioxide, an ingredient that changes the behavior of glass and makes it thermal shock resistant. So these pieces can go straight from a freezer to an oven without cracking and withstand temperatures of up to 932 °F. Bring on the hot beverages, the cold beverages and even Zoe’s microwave.



For items in the Nini and Luisa collections, we recommend hand-washing with a non-abrasive sponge for greatest longevity of hue. Items from the clearer-than-clear Velasca collection can go straight into the dishwasher.



Questions about caring for your pot, cutlery, or other kitchen tools found on East Fork? Comment below!


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