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A Guide To Buying Ceramics

Whether youre starting a collection of ceramics or you simply want these for everyday use around the house, interest in beautiful ceramic pieces has never been stronger. Nowadays, we are constantly bombarded with online advertising, so its fair to say youve probably seen a few pictures of beautifully handcrafted pots, plates, mugs, etc., that have caught your eye.

Well, no matter what ceramic items youre looking for right now, there are some common practices you should keep in mind to ensure you get the best quality. To help you out with this, weve put together a few top tips when buying ceramics, and you can check these out below. 

Get to know what you’re buying

If youre serious about ceramics, then you need to know what to look out for so you can ensure youre buying the right items for yourself. This is particularly true if youre hoping to start collecting ceramic masterpieces that might be a little more on the expensive side of things.

But no matter whether you intend to spend £10 or £1,000 for a ceramic piece, you need to make sure you know what to look out for.  

The best way to do this is to familiarise yourself with ceramic pieces, the processes that go into making them and how they are decorated. For example, bone china and porcelain pieces differ in a number of ways, and there are lots of techniques that can be used to decorate these, such as hand painting or bisque stamping.

By getting to grips with the different materials, techniques and designs, you can build your knowledge of the subject. This can help you not only to choose the right ceramics for yourself but to also have a deeper appreciation for fine pieces of work, even if you dont buy them.

Buy the best you can  

When making the decision to buy ceramics, its a good idea to keep a budget in mind. Of course, you can get cheaper pieces, and these can be equally as beautiful, but it really depends on your reason for buying these ceramic items and your financial circumstances.

If you want to ensure longevity, beautiful designs and possibly even something totally unique created by a very well-known designer, then you might wish to spend a bit more on your items.

However, if you want something you can use every day that you wont be afraid to handle, its probably not a good idea to spend hundreds of pounds on something that could easily get broken.

Taking all of this into account, we suggest that you buy the best of what you can afford and take purpose into account when making a decision. If you do a bit of research and shopping around before settling on your piece, its likely that youll see varying levels of ceramics, and the prices can also vary quite drastically too.

So look around and get a feel for the average prices of what you want, then spring for the best of what you can afford. This will give you something to treasure without having to break the bank (unless you want to, that is).

Be sure to check the condition

There are lots of places you might buy your ceramics from. You can get them new from wonderful, independent creators, or you might be looking to buy something older online. There are lots of secondhand sites and social media pages where people enjoy selling antiques and items like ceramics.

As such, if youre not buying something new directly from a shop or artist, its a good idea to always check the condition of the ceramic before parting with your cash. Over time, some ceramic pieces might break or see small fractures appear. Of course, in some cases, this is to be expected, but its a good idea to always check the quality (or ask for pictures if youre buying secondhand online) to avoid disappointment.

Look for the right marks  

Finally, lots of ceramics are marked either by the creator or the manufacturer. These marks are a good indication of when, where and who made your ceramics and are typically found on the bottom of your item.

If youre looking for something special or specific, perhaps by a specific creator, then its important to look for the right marks. And dont just take the word of others if youre buying something more costly. You can examine the piece yourself or have someone else look at it for you to check the legitimacy of the piece or just to find out more information about it.