We consider custom orders a very specialized service that we can to extend to our customers when possible. We take no deposit up front because we want to ensure that you are happy with your pottery before you purchase it, however there are some very important points you should be aware of before we move forward with an order for you:
We cannot duplicate or match items: Handmade pottery has, inherently, an enormous range of variables in the steps of the process, and also in the result. This makes it an exciting medium, but also tricky in terms of trying to “copy” an item. We are not able to guarantee any results, especially in terms of glaze color. Some glazes have a wide range of color variation in their results and we will be happy to discuss your different options when you place the order. We will always do our best to achieve the results you desire, but please keep in mind that many pottery items are “one of a kind” and achieving something similar is often the best we can do! If conformity is important to you, we cannot deliver that.
We can only attempt orders once: If the order is something that one of our potters is able to make, they are happy to put forth their very best effort to create the item. If the customer is not satisfied with the result, they are under no obligation to buy the item, but the potters will not, in most cases, be able to attempt the order a second time.
Sets: If you are ordering something in multiples (dinnerware, a set of mugs, etc.) and think you may want more in the future, you need to order the full set all at one time. We are not able to duplicate dishes in order to “match” an existing set, therefore it is wise to have all the pottery fired at once in order to match as best we can.
Custom Work: This is something we are often unable to do, however in some rare cases we can fill orders for personalized pottery that includes specific names or similar personal details. Since those items cannot be re-sold in our gallery, we must ask that you take careful attention in your order. Once those personal details have been added, the order cannot be changed. Unless the item(s) are flawed in the firing process, you will need to be responsible for the item(s) and the price agreed at the time the order was placed.
How long will it take? Our potters are very busy with their production work for the shop and their orders. The potter can sometimes fill an order within a two month time period, however there are many times when it may take longer due to firing schedules or how many orders a potter is working on at a given time. The months of January-April are the best times to place special orders and some potters prefer to only take orders during this time. Due to heavy sales volume during the summer, fall, and holiday times, most potters will take a longer time to fill an order.
Why does it take so long to make my order? We have a small core group of potters that are able to take special orders and we process a great number of orders throughout the year. The process of making stoneware pottery requires several steps and they all take varying amounts of time. After the piece is made, it must dry for several days, be “bisque” fired, then waxed and glazed, then fired again. There can be up to a week or more between each of these steps depending on several variables. If you are curious about any of these steps or want to know more, please don’t hesitate to ask! We enjoy sharing the process with you.
How will I know when to pick up my order? The potter or a Mud Dabber’s clerk will contact you to let you know when your order is ready. In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to call us and we will be happy to update you on where your order is in the process and even send pictures of the work in progress if possible. If we are shipping the item, we can send pictures as well. We are able to hold your order for you if you let us know when you are able to pick it up, but if we are not able to contact you after a period of 30 days, we will need to put the item out for sale in our shop.