FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
SHIPPING: I usually ship twice per week, on Tuesday and Thursday or Friday. I only ship internationally by request, because it tends to be very expensive (pottery is heavy!). If you are local to the Stella, NC area, we can arrange to meet at a mutually convenient place instead of paying for shipping.
RETURN POLICY: Please keep the original box and packing materials if you think you might be returning an item - the safest way to prevent breakage is to ship it back to me the same way I shipped it to you. I will refund the cost of the item (not shipping) if requested within 5 days of receipt, and only if the item returns to me in new condition.
BREAKAGE / REFUND: It is very rare that a piece breaks in shipping, because I pack carefully! However, if it does happen, please contact me within 5 days of receipt with photos of the broken item, packing materials, and any box damage, etc.; I will take care of the insurance claim and we can discuss whether you prefer refund or replacement.
GIFTS: I am happy to ship directly to a gift recipient. But I will not know, from looking at the address, whether this is going to you or to someone else - so please let me know if you'd like me to indicate who the gift is from. I'm also happy to include a gift message on a notecard. I do gift wrap by request - please let me know if you would like gift wrap, and I will set up a custom giftwrap add-on charge. Gift wrapping requires a wrapped box inside a bigger box, so I compensate for the shipping expense with a giftwrap add-on charge. Please confirm the address I will send it to!
MICROWAVE SAFE: Stoneware ceramics are typically microwave safe. Do not take a pottery piece from the fridge or freezer and pour boiling water into it or put it in a hot oven, and do not put ice in a hot pottery piece. Thermal shock works with pottery the same way it works with glass - it can be prevented by heating or cooling gradually. But room-temperature pottery is fine for adding hot or cold things. Anomalies like a knock on the countertop may create a tiny, invisible crack that is exploited into a catastrophic break when you suddenly pour hot liquid into it, and much of this can be prevented by being gradual with temperature changes. I do test all new glaze combinations by pouring boiling water into a room-temperature mug. **Any piece with gold luster is not microwave safe! I rarely use gold luster, though, and it will be clearly noted in the item description.
DISHWASHER SAFE: Yep, no problem. In fact, dishwashers are safer than some people's hand washing...you know who you are.
FOOD SAFE and NON-TOXIC: All glazes have been tested for food safety. No lead is ever in the glazes or any other materials that I use. All of my glazes are non-toxic, and to further reduce risk, I use only single glazes on the inside of functional pieces (glaze combinations only on the outside).
CUSTOM WORK: I am happy to discuss custom creation, delivery timeline, & cost - please contact me.
In general, approximately 6 weeks is typical for a small quantity of something similar to what I already make. Quantity or design complexity may take longer - I will tell you the date I can commit to. Expediting the date might be possible with a "rush fee."
I start custom work upon receipt of a non-refundable deposit composed of 1/2 total product price + rush fee if applicable. Items ship upon receipt of remainder of product price + actual shipping cost. Work with a customized logo is not refundable. For work without a logo, only the final payment is refundable upon my receipt of returned product in perfect condition. Buyer is responsible for insurance claims for damage that occurs during shipping.
ECO FRIENDLINESS: I re-use boxes whenever I can (about 50%), and 100% of my packing/cushioning materials are re-used (obtained from several local shops that receive incoming shipments and give the packing materials to me). Except for tape - it's rather difficult to re-use tape, so I do have to buy that new. *So, if you are sending an item as a gift, and you'd prefer that it looks fancy, please see "GIFTS," above, for gift wrap. Additionally, I do not typically include a paper packing list, so please let me know if you'd like one. Other environmental concerns: all of my scrap clay gets recycled and re-used, pieces that break in the kiln get recycled into mosaics or other similar work, when cleaning brushes and buckets I prevent glaze materials from reaching the water table, and I re-use or recycle material containers. The leaves that I press into my work are gathered as sustainably as possible - either gathered after they have fallen, collected live but only in small scale among a healthy population, and/or pressed once to make a mold that can be used to press thereafter into my pieces.
CAN I VISIT YOUR WORKSHOP? Unfortunately, I do not have a public space. To see my work in person, check out the bottom of my homepage for shops that carry my work. If you are looking for local lessons, I can refer you to several local potters who offer lessons.
EMAIL LIST: I send approximately 6 emails per year with major updates or sale announcements. Just let me know if you want me to add your email address to my list. And if you ever change your mind, I will remove your email immediately upon your request.
SMALL BUSINESS: I LOVE working with other small businesses, so if you'd like to collaborate in some way, let me know! I also offer other small businesses to include their links when I create Small Business Saturday (end of November) posts, and I pay for boosting/advertising that post - so just let me know if you'd like an invitation for that!
GIVING BACK: Sometimes I auction a theme-specific piece or donate a portion of proceeds to charity, and which organizations I include changes depending on the relevant event or time period. But these are some organizations that always welcome donations, if you are able:
Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden in New Bern
Doctors Without Borders: https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org
American Civil Liberties Union: https://www.aclu.org/
Southern Poverty Law Center: https://www.splcenter.org/