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Pottery/Safety of Bread Making Bowl


I have a large bowl I would like to use for making bread. my problem is I do not know if it has a food safe glaze. can a piece be reglazed and refired with a food safe glaze? I know zero about pottery so any help u can give me would be great. I know cooking!  :)  thank you so much for your time, really.

Dear Linda,

Thank you for your recent question. Safety and glazes is a great concern when using older pottery, however, in your case, there is no need for concern as in making bread acids are not used to create the bread product. Let me explain.

Lead glazes are only harmful in functional pottery when an acid food such as lemons, tomatoes and other acidic products come in contact with the glaze. This causes leaching of the lead into the food product and can cause toxic poisoning. Furthermore, if the glaze is not a pure color such as bright red, blue, green, but rather off white, it is highly unlikely lead was used in the glaze.

Since bread making does not require the use of acidic materials to create bread, you will not cause a leaching effect with any lead that may be in the glaze.

However, if you are still concerned, instead of re-glazing the bowl, I would go to your local hardware store and purchase a lead leaching testing kit, usually under $15.00, and follow the instructions on testing the bowl. This will give you the answer you need to assure the bowl is safe to use in any situation you choose, whether with making bread or potato salad!

The reason I suggest you avoid re-glazing the bowl is if the pot is very old, it will significantly devalue the bowl and it is difficult to re-glaze a bowl successfully if you have little experience in pottery. This is not saying you could not do it without significant instruction, which I would be happy to give you. It is just a lot of time and work involved to complete a successful re-glaze.

So I suggest purchasing the lead leaching test kit and testing the bowl first. If it tests free of lead, then you have solved the problem and can use the bowl worry free. If it tests that it contains led, use the bowl only to make bread and use no acidic food products in it and the bowl will not leach lead. If you wish to use the bowl for other food products that contain acidic products, then contact me again and I will fully explain how to re-glaze and fire the bowl.

Good luck to you and happy bread making! I am always at your service!

Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat


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Ti Phillips


Will answer any questions on hand building, wheel, glaze, firing. Speciality questions to include those in glaze calculation and development, firing techniques. Please do not send questions on identifying pottery. Although I would love to add this to my question topics, I have a retreat to run as well as the studio and volunteering on AllExperts, and therefore do not have the available time to research indentification and marks. Thank you for understanding.


Experience includes 30 years in pottery design and education. Have taught online and studio classes worldwide for the last 20 years. Own a pottery retreat specializing in firing techniques. Have 12 years solid experience in glaze calculation and formulation as well as problem solving in glaze chemistry. I am the first potter in the United States to have developed a complete package of pottery equipment blueprints for a studio. The blueprints include wheels, kilns, studio furniture, wedgeboards, raku kilns, slab rollers, ball mills and studio tools.

Alliance of Pottery Artists Worldwide Association

Ceramic Industry - PPP Wyndstryder Press - Pottery Journal

University of Sciences and Art's of Oklahoma, studied under Professor Jaymes Dudding.

Awards and Honors
Potter of the year with APAWA, various awards for showmanship and design.

Past/Present Clients
Available upon request.

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