Yes, they are about as fragile as any plate or bowl you have that is ceramic. Handle your item with care and it will provide a lifetime of enjoyment.
The ceramic is fired to very high temperatures, and will withstand the heat of a few tealights. Your luminary or votive is perhaps one of the more safe types of candle holders, as the flame is enclosed and contained.
The luminaries, lanterns and votives should all be washed by hand with warm soap and water. Should you have some stubborn wax, simply run the spot under warm water and simply peel the wax off with your fingers, or scrape with something plastic. Another option is to put the piece in the refrigerator for a bit and the wax should pop right off.
For the votives, a tealight or votive candle is recommended. It is the same for the luminaries, though you can put 2 or 3 tealights instead of 1! Though they will fit a pillar candle, the wicks often smoke, leaving a black residue on the inside of the piece, and they are too tall to let the design be seen completely. Though it is possible to use the battery powered tealights we find that they often do not produce enough light to effectively show the design.
The sockets we use are UL approved, and the manufacturer recommends the use of a 7watt bulb. We are not responsible for fire or damage due to the usage of anything higher than 7watts in the candelabra sockets.