How to care for your china dishes and place settings

Proper care can do much to preserve china, fine or everyday. To prevent cracks, avoid temperature shock: put only ovenproof dishes in a hot oven; don’t put hot food on cold plates; and cool the dishes to room temperature before stacking them. Prevent chipping by placing paper towels or felt between stacked pieces. Hang cups on hooks instead of stacking them.

Repairing china

Mend breaks with slow-drying epoxy glue, which lets you maneuver the pieces and is waterproof when dry. Clean the broken edges well. Mix the epoxy as the label directs. Apply as thin a coat as you can, join and brace the pieces, then wipe off any excess with the recommended solvent.

The key to successful repair is holding the sections firmly until the glue has cured-at least 12 hours. One
way is to partially sink the larger segment in sand or modelling clay, balancing it so that the piece you attach will stay, at least momentarily, without support. After gluing, hold the smaller piece in place with masking tape or with pinch-type clothespins. Or mold modelling wax or paraffin to the shape of a matching plate and set the pieces in the mold to dry. Devise any system that will work.

If multiple pieces must be glued, determine the order by first putting them together dry, then attaching them one or two at a time.