Many people think that pottery is too beautiful to use and they are afraid it is too fragile to be functional. However, todays clay bodies are extremely durable and most potters expect and encourage you to use your hand made ware. There are some precautions to consider, however.
Pottery is fired at very high temperatures in the kiln (over 2200 degrees Fahrenheit) so normal oven use is totally safe. However, do not take your hot pottery out of the oven and place it on a cool surface. Always use a wire rack or wooden trivet so there is no thermal shock. Once cooled, your leftovers can be safely stored in the fridge or freezer. Then, before re-heating, bring the pottery back to room temperature. That way, it will always heat up and cool down slowly, with no adverse effects.
Unless it has a decorative metal over glaze on it, your pottery is also microwave safe. Lustrous finishes such as gold or silver are not microwave safe. You may wonder why your pottery gets hot in a microwave. That is because of the metal elements in the glaze, which are used to color natural glazes. Even though the pot might feel warm, it is okay to cook in the microwave.
Dishwashers pose no problem at all, since, again, there is a slow heating and cooling cycle. The biggest problem with pottery, and all dinnerware, is the risk of chipping. Avoid wrapping the rim with spoons or even eggs, to minimize risk of chipping, and of course, care in stacking in your cupboard is also recommended.
So, enjoy your hand made teapots, casseroles and dinnerware. It is meant to be used and will last for years with proper handling.