Ceramic aware

I have an assortment of ceramic ware. Some I rarely or almost never use. They are a sort of collection, I guess, memory of travels, or just old times. Some of these are just not of much use to me in daily life, such as hashioki. Some I use more or less daily: dishes, tea and coffee cups and serving plates, of both high and simple qualities.

I am now living in a dishwasher-free household. I like that. It would cost money, it would take up space, and I do not need it. I like doing dishes by hand. It is nice and warm for my pained hands. Machine wash is probably worse for the environment than hand dish detergent. Doing dishes isn't hard or heavy work, unless it involves scrubbing some burnt pot or similar.

I have noticed something lately. Those that are of good quality, such as porcelain and stoneware, keep their shine and do not age. I do not scrub like a maniac, use a soft brush and I am careful and it is still not hard to make it clean. I have some tea/coffee mugs that are quite cheap. When I had a dishwasher I noticed they got a bit matte, but they stayed white. Now they do not. I suppose I could scrub them with some stronger detergent, but the kinder I am to my hands, the better.

So, what is the point of this post? Well, I guess if you are a duffer, luddite, environmentalist or just do not care for a dishwasher, it is better to go for good quality, i.e. old fashioned (a.k.a. eternal) products, such as porcelain and earthenware. Old techniques made for a time without dishwashing machines. They might be more expensive, but they last a life time unless they are knacked and cracked. Good ceramics can also be found in second hand shops.

When I lived in a bigger household, the dishwasher was of course very convenient. Good quality ceramics usually lasts better even in a machine, if it is machine safe. If your (future) machine has a bug, or becomes self-concious, it might destroy your ceramic wares anyways 😉

Stay a-ware!


  1. I confess to having 2 dishwashers. Both are almost 20 years old and one no longer works. In a busy household they are a great time saver, but I suspect you’re right that they have a greater environmental impact than handwashing. Good for you. I’m slightly jealous.

    • I think a modern machine might even save water compared to usual handwashing, counting the same amount of dishes. I think with time these machines have become a lot more efficient. The detergent is stronger, though.

      20 years is a long time! The ones I owned broke down after about ten years, probably due to our own well with limestone in water.

      I do not miss the frustration of having a lot of dirty dishes and discovering the machine full of clean dishes… 😉

  2. Admittedly, we have a dishwasher now – and it is pretty handy when washing for a family of five. That said, when I was living on my own, I never bothered with a dishwasher – it always struck me as being a lot of cost for very little benefit.

    I do agree with you about the staying power of older (or more traditionally made) crockery – and the same principle applies to everything really. Buying cheap stuff that quickly breaks and/or wears out is a false economy.

    That said, some of our plates have been re-glued so many times we probably should start thinking about replacing them one of these days 😉

    • Aah the confessions of enjoying the modern world …. 😉

      Crockery – that is a word I did not know. 🙂

      Glueing together stuff is really old school! You have the duffer stamp of approval! Maybe that should go to our list? “To repair is to think twice”, or something …

      Jokes aside, of course having dishwasher, if one can afford it, is convenient. 🙂

      • Or maybe a slogan for duffer environmentalists: Reduce, reuse, repair 😉

        A dishwasher is certainly convenient for a family – we generate enough dirty dishes over the course of a day to justify turning it on daily. But when I was single, I was using the same couple of pans and a single plate pretty much every day, so I would have probably ended up washing them by hand regardless of the available kitchen hardware.

        • Excellent slogan for excellent philosophy. Maybe we can shorten the slogan to: Reduff your stuff! 😉

          Or maybe reduffing means making something older and ludditer? Marketing was never my best ability…

          You could also have tinkered with the machine, spending hours upon hours to modify it to do something funny, while actually not saving time on the dishes 😉

          • Reduff your stuff! is an excellent slogan. I shal adopt it forthwith!

            I quite like the idea of a singing diswasher as well 😉

            • If the dishwasher is a modern low noise one, the distant squalls of water could fit with Hawai’ian music. No irony intended, I like such music, even if I do not listen to it often. 🙂

              There is already the spamming refrigerator! :O

              • I’d heard about the spamming refridgerator. It’s quite amusing, but a worrying look at the future.

                Apparently much of the problem with these internet-enabled gadgets is that they’re locked down so that once they are compromised, there simply isn’t any way of fixing the problem.

                Yet another win for proprietary technologies 😉

                  • I’d never really thought of buying proprietary tech as being a Pyrrhic victory, but now you mention it I think you’re spot on.

                    So many times I hear people claiming that proprietary solutions are simpler or easier than their free/open source equivalents. Initially, this is true – you buy your shiny new devices, plug them in and everything works. But as soon as you try to change any part of a proprietary set-up, you are opening yourself to a world of pain.

                    Maybe Pyrrhic Convenience would be the best way of describing proprietary systems 😉

                    • “Pyrrhic Convenience” haha I like that! 😀

                      Maybe we have a knack for anti-marketing? Sort of adbusting, I think 🙂

                      (This comment is very thin)

                    • (This is always the problem when you allow threaded comments… skinny text.

                      I know some people prefer to have everything threaded but I tend to take the view that if I have a wide screen monitor, I want to use all of it 😉

                      I also think that those pesky kids should get off my lawn)

                    • Well, I didn’t expect that many comments on a post, so I never thought about the threading effect. Then, the more comments, the bigger need for threading! Not that I am near that… I prefer a totally width-flexible theme really, but haven’t found anyone I like. That would help the problem on at least bigger screens.

  3. It’s always a problem when your blog turns out to be more popular than you expected 😉 Or so I’m told 😉

    I have seen threading become unwieldy elsewhere, which is why I don’t tend to bother with it. And if threading isn’t available, most people manage to work around it.

    I seem to have gone completely off topic here. I hope you don’t mind too much.

    • Popularity is not something I have much experience of 😉

      Yesterday I removed the threading. I also tried some other themes. Some actually colored the comments so no-threading looked a bit better. But I really like Emphaino, though it would be nice with a no-max–width theme (which seems to be not that common anymore). I am not up to messing with php, that’s for sure.

      Digressing is The Way of The Duffer™ !!!

  4. The Way of the Duffer – that is a superb phrase, and one that I fully intend to drop into random conversaion 😉

    I’ve noticed that full screen themes seem to have become less popular, which is a shame. If I maximise my browser, I don’t really want to end up just looking at lots of white space – regardless of how prety that white space happens to be.

    On the other hand, responsive designs like Emphaino do handle the smaller screens of mobile phones (and probably tablets, too) really well.

    • Maybe we can get it registered as a religion, and get some government support?? 🙂

      I really like this theme. One thing that I notice (maybe a consequence of css?) is that if I increase/decrease text size with browser, the whole centered div changes too. I would like a slightly smaller font size. I guess it is somewhere in the code. WP is very convenient, but there are many places to look for where to change stuff in the code. I suppose it is easy if one knows where to look.

      As for the redundant white space, I tried putting some color that is non-distracting and easy on the eyes.

  5. Pingback: Pyrrhic Convenience | Lightly Seared On The Reality Grill

  6. The Church of the Duffer. No priests, but it does have some damn fine chaps 😉

    The theme is pretty nice and I have no complaints about the font size. Even now it is pretty easy on my tired eyes 🙂

  7. Good quality , usually old , dishware lasts longer and is cheaper in the long run, it happens with a lot of things, better build quality cause is thought to last , but dishwashers now , usually , if properly used, consume less water than washing by hand.
    Even if we don’t get government support being an official “church, religion , belief” maybe we get some kind of tax exemption that could be interesting 😉

    • Good quality is to be preferred. Boring quality goods can be sold or donated. I had one or two things I almost broke just because I was so tired of them hehe.

      As for the tax exemption.. should we get a bigger one the more luddite we are? On one hand we save on electricity and also get some exercise. On the other hand the cost of quality dishware, not to mention comfy chairs and good slippers, should give us tax exemption. 😉

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