Antique crocks and jugs are excellent when used as kitchen utensil holders, cookie jars, vases, planters and bookends. Lidded stoneware crocks are also popular for curing homemade pickles and holding crafting supplies.
Many appealing ways can be found to decorate with antique crocks, jugs and other stoneware. For example, the tops of kitchen cabinets are convenient display shelves for groups of large crocks. Some collectors keep valuable specimens in glass-front china cabinets, but ordinary jugs and crocks don't need such protection.
A group of antique stoneware pieces makes an eye-catching display on a sideboard or open bookshelf. This technique works particularly well when the collection includes crocks and jugs of varied sizes. People with huge collections of these items often display them in smaller groups throughout their homes. For example, a small set of jugs in complementary colors makes a rustic table centerpiece for casual dining. Miniature crocks and jugs also make convenient vases for single flowers.
Some antique jugs and crocks are sealed with a clear lead glaze. The easiest way to identify a lead glaze is to use a home testing kit. These inexpensive kits produce fast, reliable results and are available at hardware stores. Crocks and jugs made with lead glaze are unsuitable for storing food, but appropriate for all other uses.