ABOUT THE POTS.
I make fine art pots for gardens and outdoor spaces. All the pots are made of terra cotta clay from a Texas clay supplier and fired in electric kilns manufactured in Texas. The pots are made by hand on a potter's wheel. They are then carved, glazed and fired. Terra cotta pots are traditionally porous. In flower pot terms this porosity has several favorable characteristics. When watering the pots they will absorb water which will let you go farther between waterings and it also keeps roots cooler in hotter weather. Porosity also allows the pots and consequently the plants to breathe better which promotes healthier plants. I fire a little hotter than the traditional terra cotta pots available at box stores and hardware stores. I fire the pots to cone 03 (1960 degrees Fahrenheit) which tightens up the clay body just a bit and makes them a little tougher and more resistant to the elements while still retaining the porosity of good flower pots.
WHO MAKES THE POTS?
I make the pots. All the pots are made 100% by hand on the potter's wheel in our studio. I even make the wires the pots are hung from.
TIPS ON PLANTING.
Basically, we just have two tips. But, it's very important to protect your drain spout! It is the vulnerable part of the pot. After you get the pot planted and hung, all will be well.
TIP 1: Put a small rock in the bottom of the pot and plant as usual. The rocks only job is to keep the soil in the pot. The shape of the rock doesn't really matter as long as it is large enough to cover the hole and not fall through the hole. Even a round rock will keep soil in and still allow water to drain properly. And...protect that drain spout.
Thanks for the rock Zeb!
TIP 2: To make the planting process easier, set the new pot into another flat bottomed flower pot. This will keep the pot upright and steady while planting. A dish cloth can be draped over the bottom pot to help protect the new pot if necessary. Remember...protect your drain spout.
MY POT SEEMS TO BE CHANGING COLOR.
Terra cotta pots are porous. As a result of the porosity, water and dissolved solids will leech into the clay sometimes resulting in a "yellowing", "greening" or "browning" of the pot. This discoloring is essentially a mineral deposit and can happen depending on what type potting soil or fertilizer is used in the planting process or depending on water quality in different areas. In an attempt to slow this discoloration down a bit, I have started lining the inside of the pots with a clear glaze. However, I am only lining the inside of the pot which is opposite of the carved white band on the outside because I don't want to diminish the characteristics of the terra cotta pot. As a craftsman, I am concerned with the discoloring but at a certain point I have to remind myself that it is a flower pot and it's going to weather and patina over time. We have pots around our place that have been outside and used for ten plus years and still look just fine. I've been told that a light solution of bleach and water (between seasonal plantings) will eliminate the discoloration. I have never tried this trick personally....so, if you try it let me know how it turns out.
DO POTS NEED TO BE BROUGHT IN DURING THE WINTER?
This is probably one of the most asked questions and one of the hardest to answer. Generally the "do you need to bring them in" question depends on where you live. We live in central Texas about an hour south of Austin and we don't have much freezing weather here. We have about fifteen of the hanging flower pots hanging all over our place. Some hang from trees, some under porches and some out in uncovered spots. Some of them never get brought in. The pots we typically bring in during colder weather are the ones planted with succulents. We have never lost a pot to freezing weather but have lost a plant or two due to unexpected cold snaps.
HOW TO PUT THE HANGING WIRES ON THE POT.
If you are reading this far down on the list you bought a pot from us at a show and chose not to have the hanging wires put on it. It's OK...this happens quite often. Lots of times folks buy pots and need to pack them in suit cases or carry them onto airplanes, buses, taxis or trans Atlantic cruise liners. If the wires are not connected to the pots...they are much easier to travel with and they will fit in over head bins or quite nicely in the trunk of a car. Travel safe.
So, here's how you do it. Each set of hanging wires has three wires. Each pot has three holes in the rim. From the inside of the pot, put one wire in each hole so the wires are pokin' out the side of the pot. Watch your eyes! Hold the pot by the rim with your left hand and let the drain spout rest on your belly or lap. Remember to protect the drain spout. Place your left index finger on the wire pressing it against the inside of the pot. With the index finger and thumb of your right hand, bend the wire up and to the right of the vertical wire. Now, bend the wire over and one time completely around the vertical wire and push it down into the pot. Viola, you've done one...two more to go and ready to plant and hang. Sounds pretty easy, huh? The process is pretty simple but I think it might be just a little easier if you can see the explanation in real time.
Thanks for buying pots...I hope to see you again!