advertise on Tiki Central

Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop
  [Edit Profile]  [Edit Preferences]  [Search] [Sign Up]
[Personal Messages]  [Member List]  [Help/FAQ]  [Rules]  [Login]
Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Crazing, a mark of age?
Crazing, a mark of age?

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 0
Posted: 2002-09-25 08:57 am   Permalink

Do all old mugs have crazing? Most all of mine do except for this Trader Vic's Seahorse-shaped mug I just got.

It's dark blue so I don't know if I just can't see it or there isn't any.

(old people seem to all have crazing!)
"I'm ashamed to be here, but not too ashamed to leave..."

Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki King
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2002
Posts: 562
From: Lush tropical Santa Cruz, CA.
Posted: 2002-09-25 10:01 am   Permalink

Crazing is basically cracks in the glaze. it is often, but not always, a sign of age. It can occur in new mugs if the glaze does not "fit" the clay. Ceramic clay is like stone, and glaze is more like glass. These can have different expansion rates, and if exposed to sudden tempeture changes, crazing can occur. If it is in an old piece, well, that is the way it goes. If it is in a "new" mug, that is bad.
www.tikiking.com Since 1994! Neat Tiki and Ukulele Stuff
www.ukulelesoffelton.com Our Retail store. Come Visit!

 View Profile of Tiki King Send a personal message to Tiki King  Email Tiki King Goto the website of Tiki King     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 2639
From: Seattilite Telstar
Posted: 2002-09-25 10:25 am   Permalink

From the glossary at digitalfire.com :

"(Crazing) is caused by a mismatch in the thermal expansions of glaze and body. A glaze of higher expansion shrinks more than the clay to which it is attached and therefore crazes."

My observations: The majority of my Tiki mugs don't seem to have crazing. Neither does the rest of my too many pieces of ceramic/pottery. What crazing is present is mostly in translucent glazes.

Crazing is often attributed to age but it can occur immediately after the firing and it's not always present even in very old pieces.

Although Tiki mugs were probably manufactured as throw away pieces I don't think the crazing is a sign of poor craftsmanship. A lot of the big name art pottery has crazing in it.

(I sound like an echo, but apparently Tiki King and I were posting at the same time.)

[ This Message was edited by: woofmutt on 2002-09-25 10:27 ]

View Profile of woofmutt Send a personal message to woofmutt  Email woofmutt Goto the website of woofmutt     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2002
Posts: 1500
From: Huntington Beach, California
Posted: 2002-09-25 10:37 am   Permalink


On 2002-09-25 10:01, Tiki King wrote:
Crazing is basically cracks in the glaze...Ceramic clay is like stone, and glaze is more like glass.

So then should we assume that if there is crazing, then there are possible "leaks" from the impurities of the the ceramic that can get into your drink? This kind of goes back to the thread of "mug safety/lead tests" (
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=1078&forum=5), which included the following info (courtesy of TikiKing): <<If a glaze is improperly formulated or applied, however, or if the piece is improperly fired during the manufacturing process, large quantities of lead may leach from the glaze into food contained in the vessel. Even with properly glazed pieces, some lead may migrate to food; however, the amounts will be much lower than with poorly glazed pieces.>> So the once properly glazed piece is now a poorly glazed piece and should be treated as a decorative piece only? Is it possible that by using crazed mugs we are weakening the structure of the ceramic? Kind of like using a paper bathroom cup day in and day out and eventually having it collapse. Am I way off on this? Am I rambling? Is my fez on too tight? Tell me! TELL ME!!!...Hey, where did everybody go?


In this fast-paced, hectic, crazy world that I participate in, Tiki is my center-of-calm that brings me back to where I can slow down, relax, have a drink, chat with friends and just be me.

[ This Message was edited by: sugarcaddydaddy on 2002-09-25 10:38 ]

 View Profile of SugarCaddyDaddy Send a personal message to SugarCaddyDaddy      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 2244
From: seattle, wa
Posted: 2002-09-25 3:36 pm   Permalink

*voice o experience*
don't put anything you like in the dishwasher.
no, i didnt wreck any mugs ~ just a really cool pink and black pottery/lazysusan thing. crazed the finish. wierd though, as time has passed, the crazing looks less. must have been the infusion of water..and heat..

View Profile of dogbytes Send a personal message to dogbytes  Email dogbytes Goto the website of dogbytes     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 974
From: Oceanside CA
Posted: 2002-09-25 9:12 pm   Permalink

I saw on the "Antique Roadshow", or one of those shows, a while back that certain ceramic dealers (not Tiki mug) have a method to craze a new peice to make it appear older. Like they heat it up and quench it or something. Thus increasing the value.

View Profile of Alnshely Send a personal message to Alnshely  Email Alnshely     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 26, 2002
Posts: 39
From: Knoxhell
Posted: 2002-09-26 08:20 am   Permalink

A word about crazing. Crazing is considered bad by those who don't like it. Those who do like it call it "crackles" glaze. Tiki-King is partly right about its cause, but the conditions that made the glaze not fit were during the firing. Cracks that appear later were already weak spots.
I see a lot of slip cast pieces with a white liner glaze go crackly after a few uses because the owner didn't read the warning about dishwasher or microwave use. Crazing should still be 100% functional and will leach neither more nor less impurities or chems than a stable glaze. However, they should not be used in the microwave or dishwasher since the crazing can allow small amounts of water to become trapped. If it were to be suddenly heated up to gaseous state, then BOOM! SO... sugarcaddydaddy, Keep on using your mugs without fear, but don't microwave them and they'll last longer.
BTW, just because the glaze looks like "good glass" doesn't mean it's foodsafe. However, no responsible ceramist would be using lead on dinnerware these days.
Crazing=bad, Crackles=good. same thing really.

View Profile of Saint-Thomas Send a personal message to Saint-Thomas  Email Saint-Thomas Goto the website of Saint-Thomas     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 13, 2002
Posts: 168
From: Elon, NC
Posted: 2002-09-27 09:05 am   Permalink

Sometimes crazing is a desired effect caused by double-firing...The Japanese especially prize this technique for their ceramic dinnerware...you'll often see it on bowls and sake sets. Grey

View Profile of chefgrey2 Send a personal message to chefgrey2  Email chefgrey2     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3293
From: Victoria, BC
Posted: 2007-03-18 1:14 pm   Permalink

Bump -

So does anyone drink from heavily crazed vintage mugs on a regular basis?

Do you feel as though you'll only live once, so what the heck?

I know there is a possibility of lead leaching, do you think it increases if you were to, say, drink hot coffee from a vintage crazed mug every day?

Maybe stick to new?

Great Minds Drink Alike

 View Profile of Tikiwahine Send a personal message to Tikiwahine      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 21, 2006
Posts: 7199
From: Tujunga
Posted: 2007-03-18 2:32 pm   Permalink

Bamboo Ben was crazed long before he got old.

There are PLENTY of newer mugs to drink from, so save the older crazed mugs to look at.The more you handle the old mugs, the more of chance to dropping 'em, or chipping 'em or whatever, and then you have to wash them as well....

View Profile of GROG Send a personal message to GROG      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3293
From: Victoria, BC
Posted: 2007-03-18 5:28 pm   Permalink

I sometime wash and 'christen' a vintage mug before it goes into retirement from active duty, but I've recently had some queries from a new member that wants to drink from one.

I know there are a few people who regularly slurp from oldies, but I play it safe like you grog, and drink from the modern ones primarily.

View Profile of Tikiwahine Send a personal message to Tikiwahine      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 01, 2005
Posts: 735
Posted: 2007-03-18 6:32 pm   Permalink

I drink out of vintage (and crazed) mugs once in a while, though not every day. Part of it is the "you only live once" attitude. Something's going to kill me. It might as well be lead out of a tiki mug, though I doubt that would be it. Still, it's better than getting hit by a car in the crosswalk while walking to work.

I've seen a little about lead exposure in ceramics, before. From my understanding, you're not exposed to a serious amount of lead in occasional uses-- like that leaded crystal that only gets used once a year, even if you put something alcoholic in it. Now if you used that leaded crystal every day for several years, even with non-alcoholic stuff, you might have more cause for concern. I don't believe any info exists about how much lead is leached from a ceramic vessel per drink, and how that might correlate to lead poisoning, but I'd be careful about using anything day after day.

Most of my Mai-Tai consumption is from a double rocks glass that I was able to lift from the Royal Hawaiian on my last visit. (It's no tiki mug, but it feels so cool while watching syndicated episodes of Five-0 on the TV.) Anyway, the point I was on the way to making is that since I'm using old ceramics rarely, I tend to worry about it even less. The air pollution outside is probably more hazardous.

View Profile of TikiJosh Send a personal message to TikiJosh      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote

[ About Tiki Central | Contact Tiki Central | Advertise on Tiki Central ]
(c) 2000-2018 Tikiroom.com (tm), Tiki Central (tm)

Credits & copyright infomation