How to care for your Terracotta Casa Cubista Dinnerware and Serveware

How to care for your Terracotta Casa Cubista Dinnerware and Serveware

Handmade terracotta is a beautiful and unique material, especially when made by Rui, the head potter of Casa Cubista, a studio in Southern Portugal known for it’s distinctive graphic hand painted pottery. 

Rui’s family has been creating pottery for the last 200 years, and he’s proudly carrying on that tradition. He creates plates, jugs, bowls, and many other pieces out of terracotta for Casa Cubista. If you’ve recently purchased one of these beautiful pieces, this guide will help you care for them so they can stay lovely for years to come.

What is terracotta and how is it different from other dinnerware?

“Terracotta” is a category of pottery. “Pottery” is a catch-all term for any vessels made by forming clay and then firing it. Pottery is one of the oldest human inventions, dating back to 25,000 BC! 

Pottery can be divided into three main categories: earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. The main difference between these three is the temperature at which they are fired. Terracotta falls into the category of earthenware. 

The typical firing temperature of terracotta is around 1,000 °C (1,830 °F), a relatively low temperature compared to stoneware and porcelain. Fired terracotta is not watertight, but can be made so with the addition of glaze on the inside and outside of the piece. Without glazing it’s a great material for planters, with glaze they are great as dishes, vases, and serveware. 

When you first get your Casa Cubista dinnerware:

Prior to first use, wash your terracotta piece by hand in hot soapy water. Rinse it well and allow them to air dry. 

The base of the jugs, mugs, and vases may initially sweat. This is normal and will decrease over time. Protect delicate surfaces that may be affected by watermarks. 

Daily care:

Crazing, the fine network of barely visible cracks in the glaze, is normal and a feature of these handmade pieces. They do not affect the integrity or water tightness of the pieces. 

Terracotta pieces should not be washed in the dishwasher. Wash them by hand in hot soapy water and allow them to air dry. Do not microwave. These pieces are not oven safe. 

If using a vase or jug to hold flowers, change the water daily. 

For long-term storage, please ensure the pieces are completely dry before putting them away. We recommend storing pieces upside-down in a well-ventilated area.

Avoid foods and sauces with large amounts of turmeric, as this may stain the white portions of the glaze. 

Caring for Wood Trays:

Wood products are made of chestnut and ash and are all carved by hand. With all wood products, grain, knots, carving and wood color will vary by piece. 

To clean all carved wood pieces, wipe with a damp cloth. Do not submerge in water. Trays can be occasionally oiled with food-grade mineral oil to protect the product over time.

The pieces are lightly finished with matte varnish. If using for food service, please note that some oily products may stain and mark the wood.

Black stained wood is designed to ‘age’ through use. Lighter wood will show through over time.


Atacama Home accepts no responsibility for damage caused by following the cleaning and care procedures listed in these instructions. This is general advice and you should always consult a professional if you are in doubt about the care of your dinnerware.