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.
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 8" Minimal Vase.
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 piece.
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. When the item is pulled away from the shelf, it can chip or break pieces of clay from the base.
Thankfully, this defect goes unnoticed in daily life because it almost always is at the bottom of a piece!
Defect 2 : Crawling Glaze
Featuring our Minimal Dinner and Salad Dishes.
Crawling glaze looks like a patch of bare clay on the surface of a glazed piece, but at a closer glance, you'll notice that the patch is sealed with a thin layer of glaze. This can be due to a variety of variables affecting the glaze before or during the firing process. For example, a piece of the glaze flaking off just before firing.
However, if you enjoy a little extra surface texture on your ceramics, this defect may then be a pleasant surprise for you!
Defect 3 : Hairline Cracks
Featuring our 6" Sand Stoneware Planter.
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. You will never receive a product with a crack so large that you can see through the open crack.
What’s great about this defect is that when a planter is filled, the crack goes unnoticed.
Defect 4 : Extreme Warping
Featuring our Minimal Serving Bowl.
Extreme warping is when an area of a piece is stretched outside of its intended form.
For example, instead of a bowl 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 it from sitting flat on an even surface.
This defect is perfect for those who enjoy more organic shapes.
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. 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.
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.
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!