Frequently Asked Questions

Are all the pieces food safe?

At the present time, all glazes are lead free. If any that are not food safe are added, the description will designate it as such.


Is special care needed with bakeware?

Pottery doesn’t like temperature shocks. I’d put the piece in a cold oven, though some put them in ovens up to 350 degrees. Definitely, don’t take from the fridge and place in a hot oven – or vice versa - and NEVER use on stove top. They are microwave and dishwasher safe as well.


Why aren’t there more colors to choose from?

Most potters only have a handful of glazes in their studio. Glazes are both expensive and temperamental so we like to work with a few glazes that we can trust to yield consistent results.

Since I’m affiliated with the Roberson Clayworks, I have more available to me but have no control over when my pieces get fired so the wait could be longer. Some of the glazes that appear on my site aren’t available to me now. They belonged to the Roberson studio and were lost during the flood we had in 2011. The kiln that fired them was also destroyed in the flood. The studio had over four feet of river water and kilns and chemicals were destroyed. Once the kiln is repaired, I’ll occasionally submit pieces for firing. I will not, however, take orders for firing in that kiln. Only finished pieces that are fired in that kiln will be offered for sale. I will, however, continue to take orders for pieces I fire in my own studio using my own glazes.


Are all the pieces made on the wheel?

Most of my pieces are wheel thrown but there are potters who never touch a wheel. I do some slab work in which I roll out a slab of clay and either build a piece, such as a water pitcher, by assembling pieces or drape the slab on a mold. The molds I use are wheel thrown pieces that I leave in the bisque stage. Some of my vases are extruded. A lump of clay is put in a device that has various dies. The clay is pushed through the die, forming a hollow tube such as the oil and vinegar cruets. Only the neck is wheel thrown.


What is stoneware clay?

It is a strong opaque ceramic ware that is high-fired (to about 2400 degrees), well vitrified, and nonporous, making it very functional and durable. It is usually colored grey or brownish because of impurities in the clay and is normally glazed.


What is raku?

Raku pieces are decorative pieces that are fired outside and, when the red hot piece is removed from the kiln, it is immediately placed in a container, such as a metal garbage pail, filled with combustible material, such as straw or newspaper. The hot pot ignites the combustible material and the pot smolders in the enclosed container. The material reacts with the glazes producing flashes of brilliant copper and other colors as well as fine cracks, adding to the unique nature of each piece. Raku pieces are not food safe.


How are your pieces fired?

I have some pieces that were fired at the Roberson Clayworks studio and they were fired in the gas kiln, which is a reduction method. The pieces I make and fire in my own studio are fired with an electric kiln using oxidation.


What is the difference, other than fuel, in reduction and oxidation?

Reduction uses a fuel such as gas to fire the kiln. In order to sustain combustion, the flame needs oxygen. It takes it out of the atmosphere within the kiln and the clay. In reduction firing, oxygen is prevented from interacting with the glazes during glaze maturation.  This is done by adjusting the fuel in a gas kiln, or by adding organic material such as in Raku.  As the organic material burns it uses up oxygen, leaving oxygen-free environment.  Reduction firing typically is used to obtain mottled, rich, earthy colors; often the iron from the clay shows through and gives a speckled look.  Typically high temperatures are used in reduction firings.

Oxidation firing is typically done in an electric kiln, but can also be done in a gas kiln.  Oxygen is free to interact with the glazes when firing.  Oxidation firing allows very bright, rich colors.  High temperatures may be used but lower temperatures are common.

 


Are my credit card and other personal information secure?

Yes. All of our credit card information is secure and handled through a secure socket layer (HTTPS\SSL) connection. The personal information and email address provided will ONLY be used to process your order, reply to your feedback, or send you new product updates. It will never be shared with any other persons or company for any reason


How are items shipped to me?

Orders are securely wrapped and double boxed. They are sent via the US Postal Service.


What if a piece arrives broken?

Please email me immediately through the website. If possible, include a photo of the broken piece along with your phone number. I’ll contact you and work out a satisfactory solution. Another piece could be substituted, a new piece thrown or a refund can be made. My goal is to correct the problem in a way that is appropriate for you.


If I see a piece I want but would prefer another color, can I order it?

Yes. It will take longer to get because special orders have to be thrown, trimmed and fired when there are enough pieces to fill the kiln. I’m not a full-time potter so the process could take at least 8-10 weeks.


Is it possible to place a custom order for a piece?

It depends on whether it’s a piece that is within my skill set. A determination will have to be made after discussing the piece. I will try my best to meet your needs and will send photos of the piece before it’s fired. Depending on the piece’s complexity, a non-refundable deposit may be required. Simple requests, such as “a bowl like the blue one only a little larger and in cream” wouldn’t be considered a custom made piece.