Tips on Using
Franciscan Dinnerware and Art Pottery

Lead Issues

Since the manufacturers of Franciscan used a high fire one fire process, the lead in the glaze is stable. All manufactories of dinnerware in the United States are required by Federal legislation since the late 1980's to use lead free glazes.

Lead is an issue when it can be "leached" from pottery by using an acidic liquid and letting it stand for more than 2 hours. If the liquid has the presence of lead then the pottery is deemed unsafe. One of the leading experts in the field of lead from pottery tested the earliest of the Franciscan patterns. El Patio was put to the test by using vinegar and letting it stand for more than 48 hours. In testing the vinegar, no lead was present. Also pieces that were crazed and cracked were tested and again, no lead was leached from the pottery. This testing was one of the most vigorous of all tests. Hence, you can be safe even storing foods in Franciscan Dinnerware. However, we do not advise you to store any food in Franciscan for more than 2 hours, just to be extra safe. Also, this will prevent any staining to your pottery.

Microwave Use

So far all Franciscan tested in using a Microwave were safe. In testing for use in a Microwave, most manufacturers advise that if the vessel heats up then it is not safe to use. El Patio and Coronado as well as later patterns have been tested and used by collectors.


It is advisable to cut the detergent 1/2. Most manufacturers advise to use more than is necessary for clean and sanitary dishes. Most dishwasher soaps are made from TSP, which will dull the glaze on most Franciscan.

Fine China with gold or silver bands can be put into the dishwasher, however do not dry with the dishwasher as the heat will melt the banding leaving marks. After the dishes have been washed, open up the dishwasher and let dry on the racks.

Oven Use

All ovens must be cold when placing Franciscan into them. Turn the heat on only after placing the pottery in the oven. If you put the pottery in a hot oven they will break or crack. Franciscan was advertised to be "oven-safe." if you use this precaution.

If you have tips or suggestions, please contact the Archives