Frequently Asked Questions
Most of my pots are porcelain, high-fired and durable. Occasionally I use stoneware clay for ovenware. The pots are individually thrown on a potter’s wheel, or slab built, and fired in a gas reduction kiln to about 2400 degrees.
The pots are meant to be used: the forms are balanced, rims and edges smooth, the weight of the pot suits its use, and pitchers and teapots pour without drips.
Are these pots safe for food?
Yes. There is no lead or other toxic chemicals used on any food surfaces.
Are porcelain pots fragile?
Porcelain pots are strong and durable, contrary to their reputation. Porcelain is fired to @ 2400 degrees, creating a stone-like clay body. Fragility might be an issue with very thin-walled delicate pots. Though my pots often are translucent, they don’t have delicate edges, and can withstand normal usage on the table, in the microwave, and in the dishwasher.
Can I use your pots in an oven?
I don’t recommend using porcelain to bake in the oven. Reheating leftovers is fine. As a general practice with pottery, put pots in a cold oven and turn on.
Can your pots be used in a microwave?
My pots and most other pottery are safe in the microwave. Cooking and heating up beverages and leftovers are fine. It’s best to not use ceramic bowls and plates to defrost frozen food to avoid cracking.
Can your pots be used in a dishwasher?
How should I care for teapots?
Before filling the teapot with boiling water, heat it with hot tap water. Empty the hot water out, place tea leaves in, and slowly fill with boiling water.
Some of my teapots do not have strainer holes in the body of the teapot. These teapots come with an external strainer and saucer. Hold the strainer over your cup to catch the tea leaves when you pour your tea.
How are the flowers on your pots made?
I use a process called Nerikomi to make flower designs. First, I add colorants to the clay, (I use @ 10 different colors). I make gradients of the clay, dark to light, and form this colored clay into long rolls of designs, mimicking flowers that I find on walks or in my garden. The rolls look like sushi rolls. The cross section of the design is thinly sliced and placed on slabs of clay, or on pots, and rolled into the clay until it is totally incorporated into the base clay.
At a later stage, a glaze is applied.
What is the smokey finish on your pots?
The grayish blush on some of my pots occurs because of carbon-trapping using a glaze named Shino.
A Shino glaze has soda ash as an ingredient. After you apply the glaze, soda ash migrates to the surface of the raw glaze as it dries, forming a crust of alkalis which melt earlier than the rest of the glaze. When you cut off oxygen in the early process of firing, the flame seeks oxygen in the pot and forms soot (carbon) under the glaze. As the firing continues, the glaze begins to melt before the carbon sitting on the surface burns away. The carbon is “trapped” under the surface of the glaze.
The effect is unpredictable. Sometimes black dots appear, or grey “blushes” or even totally black pots. The serendipity is what makes carbon trapping so seductive.
How are shipping rates determined?
When an item is purchased, the cost of shipping when you place the order is an estimate. When I process the order, if the actual cost is more than the estimate, I pay the difference. If the actual shipping cost is less, the overcharge will be refunded as soon as the actual box is packed and weighed. I choose the economy shipping rate, with usps, or ups. If you need to get the package quickly, please send me an email, when you make the purchase.
Why don’t you offer free shipping?
At one time I did, but I came to realize it was dishonest.
In small online shops like mine, offering free shipping usually means that the price of an item is calculated to include shipping costs. A mug in a shop might cost $25, but online the same mug with free shipping might costs $35. The customer pays for the shipping either way. Rather than include the shipping cost in the price of the pots, I list the same fair price that I charge in my studio.
Offering actual free shipping would be almost selling pots at cost, making it impossible to make any profit from the sale.