Word of the Week: Crazing

No, this isn’t the process of an eBay seller going crazy.

Crazing is when the glaze on a ceramic item cracks.

It is important to note that this does not mean the piece is damaged in any way. This is actually quite a common problem, and it does not affect the quality of the piece. In fact, crazing is often a good indication that the piece is old and original, and not a reproduction.

Crazing tends to happen all over the piece, not just in one spot. It forms a network of thin little cracks around the body of the plate, bowl, vase, etc. Sometimes the crazing is extremely easy to notice – dirt will get inside of the tiny lines and really make them stand out. This is especially true if your piece is white. However, sometimes you need to look very closely to notice the crazing. The cracks can be nearly invisible, so you’ll want to make sure that you take the time to look for them.

Note that the unfortunate chunk that was taken out of this saucer has absolutely nothing to do with the crazing that you also see here.

While many people don’t seem to mind crazing as long as it is not discolored, you always want to make sure you mention it in a listing. Be specific as far as how noticeable it may be. You’ll find that most of the time it won’t make or break a sale.

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