Here are some commonly asked questions, answered by Tennessee Pewter’s own Kathleen Armour Walker.

Does pewter have lead in it?
No. Lead has been banned from use in pewter for over 30 years. Tennessee Pewter is lead-free and completely safe for food use.

Can I use this pewter piece, or should I just display it?
Use it! Tennessee Pewter is made to be enjoyed. Your pewter should be treated just like your sterling. Care should be taken when packing and storing pewter. It is a soft metal, and pieces such as cups and goblets should not be stacked. Do not store your pewter pieces in the attic, especially if you live in the South, as they get too warm in the summers.

Do I need to polish my pewter?
Truth is, no. Pewter will not tarnish like silver. Through the years, pewter will develop a beautiful luster. However, I do polish my own pewter tableware pieces to match my sterling flatware. It makes for an incredible table presentation.

Can pewter be repaired?
Yes and no. Spun tableware pieces are made from a pewter disc and the top rim of any cup or goblet is the strongest part. If the top rim is bent or broken then the piece is not repairable. If there is a small dent on the side then, yes, that can be removed. My advice is to take very good care of your pieces. Tennessee Pewter can do repairs on our own pieces, but repairs can be a lengthy and costly process. We do not repair pewter made by other craftsmen.

What do I do with a porringer?
Porringers are popular baby gifts, although they can be enjoyed for many uses other than baby feeding. I suggest using porringers for ice cream dishes, oatmeal, parfaits and cereal. When I give this piece as a baby gift, I give it with my sterling baby food pusher. Nothing looks more beautiful!

Can I serve food out of my pewter serving bowls?
Absolutely! Use, use, use those beautiful bowls. Always remember, just like sterling, any acidic food like tomatoes, oranges and vinegars will cause spotting on pewter. When using pewter serveware, always wash with original blue Dawn immediately after the event is over. NEVER wait until the next morning, and do not store food in pewter or silver. Even if you have to go to bed with make-up on, for heaven’s sake…WASH YOUR PEWTER AND STERLING!

Can I put my pewter in the dishwasher?
NO! NO! NO! Do not even try to see what will happen if you put your pewter in the dishwasher. You will not be happy, and when you call me for a replacement, I will not be happy. Wash by hand with original Dawn.

Can I mix pewter and sterling?
Of course, they are best friends! Nothing makes for a more beautiful table then a mix of pewter and sterling. These two metals are wonderful together and represent different places in our country’s history. I use pewter punch/baby cups with my sterling punch bowl and my sterling goblets alongside my pewter goblets. It’s a beautiful match!