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Scrumptious Colors, Nice Shapes, Pesky Production Flaws!
on March 12, 2004
I've had the same set of white porcelain dinnerware for 18 years. These dishes were joined a few years ago by my husband's black stoneware dishes, and I quickly realized that food looked a LOT better on his dishes. Since that time, the menfolk (husband & 14 y/o stepson) have chipped, cracked or otherwise broken several pieces of my dinnerware set. Thus upon a recent significant birthday, I decided I was going to buy myself a new set of dinnerware as a present.
I loved the way food looked on the black plates, and wanted dishes colorful enough to stand up to my deep red dining room. The dishes had to be tough enough to stand up to the menfolk, be dishwasher friendly and microwave safe. I soon settled on Fiestaware. I loved the assortment of colors and serving pieces and the possibility of mixing and matching colors and pieces. A big plus was the variety of places to order them online, allowing me to avoid the dreaded mall. I did make one trip to a local kitchen store to look over the colors in person, as I know the accuracy of color representation online is iffy.
I ordered 4-piece place settings from Amazon in plum, persimmon, turquoise, sunflower and cinnabar (I'm still waiting on the sunflower). I added a matching boullion cups, the pedestal bowl in plum, serving pieces from the Betty Crocker catalog in juniper, and dinner plates in chartreuse from Ebay. The colors are absolutely scrumptious, and with all those colors I can mix and match to suit my mood, my outfit, the dish I am serving, the weather or any combination of the above. The dishes are attractively designed, and fit well in the dishwasher. The mugs are amazingly comfortable to hold (I wasn't sure they would be), and the cereal bowls are generous in size. There are numerous shapes and kinds of serving dishes to accompany the dinnerware, which will make it hard to stop adding to the collection. And did I mention I love the colors?
Most of the place settings arrived very quickly, with the longest wait for the sunflower. Amazon shipped for free, and the boxes arrived in excellent condition with no breakage, just lots of cardboard to recycle, so no complaints on that. I've been using most of the dishes now for about a month.
Now for the downside, and I'm sorry to say there is one. Apparently Fiestaware has a long history of production flaws. Several of my dishes arrived with glazing flaws such as debris in the glaze, glaze pops and skips. Amazon exchanged quickly and easily, no complaints there, but one of the replacements, the persimmon boullion cup, arrived with an even worse flaw. It looks like Homer Laughlin China needs to do some significant work on their quality control. Others have mentioned that the dark colors show some scratches from use, and unfortunately I have to agree. To date, however, the scratches are not significant enough that I'm overly concerned, after all these dishes get used daily and tossed in the dishwasher.
On the whole, I love these dishes, and am happy with purchase. They were reasonably priced and will offer years of service. If the thought of a few scratches on the plates, or a few pieces with production flaws, concerns you, though, I suggest you consider different dinnerware. I'd give Fiestaware 5 stars if they could clean-up their production act; until then 3 will suffice.