Pottery Care

The majority of our pots are made painstakingly by hand, and it is expected that variations in colour, size and glaze will occur as part of the natural manufacturing process. These are not considered defects, but part of the natural and unique beauty of each individual piece.

Our terracotta and glazed pottery is fired at between 800 and 1100 degrees, making it very strong and resistant to most weather conditions. It is best to avoid freezing conditions however, as water within the pot can freeze and expand, putting pressure on the walls of the pot which has the potential to cause cracking.

As terracotta and earthenware are always porous, we encourage the use of a pottery sealer to reduce the porosity of pottery products. Applying the sealer to the inside walls of the pot before planting, will help preserve its appearance, save water and encourage the health and growth of the plant.

Mother Nature will determine how your pot will age over time. Natural salts within the terracotta clay may gradually seep through the clay to the exterior surface creating a white dust finish (often seen on plain terracotta pottery). This is quite normal as all terracotta must “breathe”. You can minimise the ageing process by scrubbing and cleaning any affected areas with a mild detergent and soft brush.

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Pottery with drainage holes

Northcote Pottery gets the thumbs up for providing the right level of drainage for its different size pots! Did you know that the drainage hole in most terracotta and glaze pots is made when the creator simply pushes his thumb through the base of the pot before it is fired?

However, all green thumbs out there know that the bigger the plant (and the bigger the pot), the more drainage the plant requires. Until now, this fact has largely gone ignored with regard to terracotta and ceramic pots, with them often containing only one small drainage hole, no matter what size of the pot. In consultation with horticulturists, Northcote Pottery now aims to have all our pots with an appropriate amount of drainage in accordance with their size. We now apply the following system:

Thumbs Up drainage diagram