Heavy and durable special melamine, triple weight to ensure strength and resist shattering. Dishwasher safe, but not microwave safe (Melamine never is micro wave safe due to the nature of the manufacturing process). The designs are inspired by French and Italian Pottery. These designs were purposely crafted with a distressed feel to mimic hand painted pottery... items are not damaged if they look a bit irregular, that is how they are supposed to look! We highly recommend buying only one piece if you have never seen these before, to ensure you like the pattern, weight, color and feel; then you can order more when you are sure of the pattern you want.