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We have parts of several different dinnerware sets, most of which have "history" involved (such as remnants of a previous marriage, gotten from ex-mother-in-law, etc). As such, I (at least) keep my eyes open for any dinnerware sets which meet my (and skitten's) fancy.

Out shopping yesterday, I thought we hit paydirt with the Red Solstice collection from Target (of all places). It's stoneware, black on the outside/bottoms, but a rich, deep crackly-red on the inside. The pictures on the Target site don't really do it justice.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, since we haven't bought it yet or asked for it as a gift), a very strong recurring thing in the comments/reviews on the web site is that the stoneware is not very durable or microwave-safe. It breaks in the sink, it breaks in the microwave, it breaks sitting on the cabinet, it breaks on the car-ride home from the store, it breaks "in mid air", or so say the reviewers (and I give Target props for not deleting all the reviews which say "Love the pattern, wish it didn't break so easily"). The description does say "improved construction and glazing for better durability", but some of the reviews say that it still breaks easily.

Can anyone recommend another source for a similar stoneware pattern that isn't so fragile?

(Given my last posting, we are obviously not in the market for it this month, but when we can, it'd be nice to know where to get it.)

Update: Just to be clear, I don't have a problem with the durability stoneware. Red Solstice is a beautiful pattern and if we had the money we probably would have gotten a set. However, 14 of the first 20 reviews of Red Solstice on Target's web-side complain about the durability. That's a problem.

To put it another way... Red Solstice is beautiful, but is apparently substandard for stoneware in the durability department. Can anyone recommend stoneware that we might like (given our appeciation of Red Solstice) that is NOT substandard in durability?

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It won't be exactly like, but if you check out SaveOnSeconds or ZestyDishes, the Cinnabar color of Fiesta Ware is a little like that. I know it's decently durable - has survived a couple instances of being thrown by the toddler. :P

Edited at 2007-12-17 03:50 am (UTC)

Agreed - I'm rather enjoying our mix and match set that was ridiculously on sale when we got it. You'll probably pay more (but not significantly more) for an equivalent set of seconds, but the seconds look to me more like slightly used firsts, not too unlike what new dishes will look like with 2-3 months use. Then again you'll also be getting much sturdier dishes (AJ hasn't done them justice - as dishes go these things are practically indestructible) made in America.

Unfortunately, one of the appeals of the Red Solstice set at target was the two-toned nature of it. Being black on the outside, red on the inside gave it a flair not duplicated by monochromatic dishware. The Fiesta Ware I saw at SaveOnSeconds and ZestyDishes looked monochrome to me.

are you near the border-ish?
canadian tire is notoriously shit but these dishes are not made by them. we use them at work, under heavy use, and they are holding up well. and they're beautiful.


The closest border is a Great Lake :-). To get to the easily-drivable part of Canada, we'd have to drive about 3-4 hours, and still cross a bridge or two.

a little much for dishes...

that's also stoneware - in fact, it looks like the exact same thing as they sell in Target.

it is holding up very well to daily use/dishwasher etc..

It's so funny that you should mention this because I just went through this. The other thing you have to watch out for when buying stoneware is that it gets molten-lava-sear-your-skin-off hot in the microwave.

Honestly if you want durability, search for corelle dinnerware by corning. you can find it on ebay or garage sales for cheaper if you don't care about matching patterns and such. Corelle/Corningware is so durable and you can microwave it safely.

Stomeware is usually durable enough. I didn't go looking for durability; I was turned off by the exceptionally large number of comments about how easily the Red Solsice broke.

We occasionally break our stoneware through activities I would expect to break stoneware -- dropping it on the floor, etc. Our problem with our current stoneware isn't that it breaks too easily; it's that it doesn't appeal to us aesthetically, it's a bit mix-n-match, it doesn't represent *us*, and some of it has "history" with skitten's former marriage.

My experience with Corelle is that it is very thin and lightweight, dominated with painted patterns on a white background. The Corelle Hearthstone segment has the type of colors/patterns I'm looking for, but I don't know how it feels.

Corelle makes nice, sturdy stoneware. Look for Corelle Chili Red on Amazon - you'll see it looks very similar to the Red Solstice.

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