Firing clay can be complicated and unpredictable. Our team can spend an entire week going through all the steps required to create, refine, glaze and fire a piece, however, that does not guaranteed a perfect outcome. We often will not know if a piece will be retail quality until after the final step of sending it through the glaze firing. More often than not, at least one piece in the kiln comes out with some kind of defect. Rather than throwing imperfect items out, we save them to sell at a reduced price, during our annual Second Sale! This is one of our company’s many sustainability initiatives.
Pieces with unsafe defects, such as large cracks or sharp edges, will be broken down and added to our Mosaic Program. However, pieces that simply have small defects, will be kept in studio to sell as a Seconds.
Since the Second Sale is online, you won’t be able to see the unique product imperfections before purchasing. To give you a better idea of what to expect from the sale, we’ve outlined 4 main types of imperfections to consider as you shop from our Online Second Sale. Although defects come in many more forms, these are the main 4 that you are likely to encounter.
Defect 1 : Chipped Clay from the Base
Featuring our Geometric Planter
This kind of defect can occur when there is a thin layer of glaze, almost like a wash, still left on the bottom of a planter. This defect can also occur if there is a drop of glaze on the kiln shelf that went unseen, and a piece was placed on top of that glaze.
When glaze is fired, it melts and fuses to anything it touches. A drop of glaze underneath the piece that is placed on a kiln shelf will fuse the piece and the shelf together. When the item is pulled away from the shelf, it can chip or break pieces of clay from the base of the piece.
Thankfully, this defect goes unnoticed in daily life because it almost always occurs at the bottom of a piece!
Defect 2 : Crawling Glaze
Featuring our 8" Riveted Planter
Crawling glaze is a patch of clay exposed on the surface of the glazed piece. The exposed area of clay is always sealed with at least a thin layer of glaze, but the off-white color of the clay will still show through the ivory white glaze. The patches of clay will also cause some unevenness to the surface of the piece.
This defect usually occurs on only one side, making it an easy defect to hide against a wall or corner. If you enjoy the extra surface texture, then this defect may actually be a pleasant surprise for you!
Defect 3 : Hairline Cracks
Featuring our Ivory Planter II
Hairline cracks are due to a variety of issues. One cause is when too much pressure has been applied to a piece, causing a crack that easily goes unseen before the firing process. For example, if a piece is stamped at the base without enough support, it may press through the clay and cause a thin crack that can become a larger one once fired. Hairline cracks come in a variety of lengths. No matter the size, the crack itself will always be sealed with a thin layer of glaze. You will never receive a product with a crack so large that you can see through the open crack. We only allow even hairline cracks on planters and vases, not dinnerware.
What’s great about this defect is that when a planter has a crack, the soil and plant completely cover the imperfection as if it was never there!
Defect 4 : Extreme Warping
Featuring our 6" Minimal Planter
Extreme warping is when an area of a piece is stretched outside of its intended form. For example, instead of a planter with a circular opening, it may have an oval shaped opening. Warping may also happen at the base of the piece. The uneven base may keep the piece, like a plate or bowl, from sitting flat on an even surface.
This defect is much less noticeable in planters, like the 6” Minimal Planter when filled with a brand new plant and fresh soil!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: How large are hairline cracks, and will it continue to grow larger with use?
A: Hairline cracks are thin cracks that occur only on one side of a piece. Though they come in a variety of lengths, the crack itself will never grow. No matter the size, the crack itself will always be sealed with a thin layer of glaze. We do not allow any cracks in dinnerware to be extra sure.
Q: What distinguishes a hairline crack from a normal crack?
A: In a normal crack, you can see through the opening of the crack. In a hairline crack, you cannot. For example, a hairline crack may be seen on the interior of a planter, but not on the exterior. You will never receive a piece with a crack so large that you can see through to the other side. We also do not allow any cracks in dinnerware to be extra sure.
Q: Does the imperfection of a Second Sale item affect its durability?
A: No! Whether its hairline cracks or extreme warping, none of the defects are significant enough to compromise the durability of the piece. Pieces too damaged will be added to our Mosaic Program rather than sold as a second sale item.
Q: Are Second Sale items still food safe, dishwasher safe, and microwave safe?
A: Yes. No second sale items are defective enough to compromise its safety or usability. They will always be safe to handle, safe to eat off of, dishwasher safe, and microwave safe!