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You may be a year shy of a decade of marriage, but that doesn’t mean your ninth wedding anniversary is any less important! Traditionally, this anniversary is symbolized by pottery, but the origins behind this tradition remain mysterious. Some say that a pot of water represents continued sustenance or the couple’s future. Others say it’s a sign that has been transformed into something beautiful over time. Others, still, attribute it to an icon of family and home.
All of these qualities makes pottery a great gift for any anniversary year, regardless of traditional and modern customs (it’s totally ok to go off-theme!). Also, the modern gift for the ninth anniversary is leather, if it turns out pottery isn’t your thing, The options are endless!
If you do stick with tradition for the ninth anniversary, it’s likely your kitchen may be getting an upgrade. That’s because some of the best pieces of pottery come in the shape of plates, serving ware, and trays. along with a few other items made in a kiln, from earrings to ring dishes. That’s not to mention some useful ceramic options like a diffuser and a styling iron, for a modern-day twist on a traditional theme.
Read on for the best pottery gifts that will fire you up.
What to look for when buying pottery gifts
First know that there is a difference between pottery and ceramics, however interchangeably the terms may be used. According to Mary Ann Collins, who runs handmade pottery shop Clay by Collins, pottery is typically a type of “vessel” such as a plate, cup, bowl, vase, or planter. A ceramic piece is used to describe a more sculptural or non-functional piece.
“When looking for a piece of pottery for the kitchen or dining table, make sure it is food safe,” she says. One rule of thumb is to look at the type of clay and temperature it was fired it. “Pottery fired at higher temperatures is more food-safe, dishwasher safe, oven safe, and microwave safe,” she adds. Most of the time, however, there will be information with the piece saying what is safe for use.
For handmade pieces, hand-washing is best. Collins says that it’s especially important the piece has gold or metallic details, which means they’re not microwave-safe. “High fire clay can be placed in the dishwasher for convenience, but be careful not to load the dishwasher too full,” she says. But if you’re unsure about how to care for a piece of handmade pottery, the best thing to do is consult the artist’s instruction.
It’s important to choose the right type of pottery, depending on how the recipient plans to use it. “Some ceramics that are fired at a low-temperature aren’t capable of retaining water well,” Collins explains. “This means it’s not food-safe or great for plants.” Some pottery is meant to be entirely decorative—that’s ok too!
Attention green thumbs! Collins warns against using low-temperature fired pottery with glazes for plants. “If there’s lead or other chemicals in the glaze, the plant will absorb the chemicals and eventually die once the pot becomes saturated with water.”
Meet the Expert
Mary Ann Collins is a ceramicist and owner of NYC-based pottery shop Clay by Collins,
Why Trust Brides
Brides contributor Hillary Hoffower has over seven years of experience writing for the wedding industry, covering everything from bridal fashion trends to wedding decor. She’s currently decorating her new apartment from scratch, which means she’s spent hours scouring the internet for the best home goods. She’s slowly building out a collection of pottery serving ware for her kitchen.