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(article, Melanie Mesaros)
Call them potholders, oven mitts, or (in the South) hot pads, those insulated thingamajigs we all use to grab hot items out of the oven are usually more about function than form. (And if they do try to get funky, they tend to get kitschy; witness the chomping fish mitt.) [%image feed-image float=left width=250 caption="Jaws, it ain't."] But these days the humble holder is going high fashion, especially when made from silicon. Most potholders made out of it are heat-proof (some up to 600 degrees) and are resistant to stains, steam, and flames. Check out Eva Solo’s sleek silicon potholders, featured recently on the shopping blog Outblush. Not into the sleek? Anthropologie's kitchen gear focuses on homey retro prints. Like everything to match? MUkitchen can help you coordinate everything with your potholders, including your dishtowels and aprons; the Minneapolis company's potholders come in nine colors. And if you really secretly dig those chomping shark mitts, try the dog and frog styles (made, again, from silicon) from Kitchen Contraption. More playful varieties featuring skulls and mushrooms can be found at the handmade haven Etsy.