Do you ship outside the U.S.
I can with some qualifiers. There are a couple of issues. The first is cost. Overseas shipping is very expensive. The bigger issue is customs and import duties. Buyers have asked me in the past to label the pot as a “gift”. This is falsification of export paperwork. I won't ship that way. IF, you are willing to cover the shipping and legally address the duties within your country I would be glad to ship outside the US. Contact me before placing an order and I’ll try to work through it with you. All duties are the responsibility of the purchaser.
Can you make me a custom pot?
I am often asked if I do custom work. I do. I’d be glad to discuss your needs. Email me with the size, shape, and color you are looking for. If you’d like to discuss over the phone be sure to include a phone number and a convenient time for me to call. I do have some limits on what I can ship. I do not like to try to ship anything over about 14 inches or 10 pounds. Big ceramic pieces just don’t travel well. There are certain times of the year when I get backed up. Spring and before Christmas are pretty busy times for me. I have been asked if I can deliver within a few weeks. From the time I throw, dry, trim, finish dry, bisque, glaze and glaze fire a piece it can be 4 – 6 weeks. So as much as I’d like to be able to, quick turnaround on custom work isn’t likely. CUSTOM ORDERS DO NOT QUALIFY FOR FREE SHIPPING. SHIPPING CHARGES WILL BE ACTUAL COST.
Are your pots frost proof?
Obviously this question is being asked by someone who’s experienced broken pots due to cold weather. Let me address this in this way. My pots are all a stoneware clay body fired to cone 6 to 10 and have a moisture absorption rate of 1% to 3%. A lot of low cost or imported pot are made with earthenware and can have a 30% absorption rate or higher. They are essentially terra cotta. These easily crack and spall when frozen because there is room between the clay particles for water to gather and expand. The biggest cause of pot breakage is overly saturated soil in the pots. Expanding frozen water can bend metal. A completely water filled frozen pot will crack regardless of the clay body. Pot shape and soil makeup also play a role. A pot that tapers out toward the top can allow the freezing water to expand upwards thus reducing the likelihood of cracking. Good soil drainage typical of a good Bonsai mix also helps. I have pots that taper inward that have been outside in Ohio winters for years without breaking but they also have a good open soil and are not allowed to fill up with water. A Bonsai planted in an ice cube is not good for the plant or the pot.
Do your glazes have lead in them?
Lead is added to ceramic glaze to enhance and lower the melt. Lead fluxes are also much less expensive than the alternatives. Lead based glazes were very common in the US and elsewhere up until the past 15-20 years. I custom mix all of my own glazes, oxides, and slips myself. I use non leaded fluxes. If I do purchase commercially prepared glazes I ask for the certification showing it to be lead free. Lead based glazes are still in use mostly outside the US.
Are your pots glazed on the inside?
None of my pots have glaze on the interior. There are varied opinions regarding interior glaze. I can say for sure that it has nothing to do with the plants ability to breath or moisture. A correctly fired pot won’t allow moisture or air to move through the clay body anyway. The biggest advantage of unglazed interiors is the “tooth” that the raw clay surface has. This gives the roots an opportunity to grip the container and anchor itself better in the pot.
Do you sell out of your studio?
I do not. Bonsai pottery is such a specific product that the only way to effectively reach my customer base in via the Internet. I do my best to make this experience as safe and personal as I can. I am available for questions or assistance via email or phone.