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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc. USA

Why We Love Terracotta Pottery



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Yep, we can honestly say we LOVE terra-cotta garden planters!  When Arizona Pottery first started that is all we sold.  Nothing but real clay garden pottery and some accessories.  They were and still are the basis of our business.  You may ask yourself why do we love terracotta planters so much?  Well, let us explain.

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Plant Health - Terracotta breathes.  This means the clay, which is real and harvested out of the ground is not so compact that it lets air thru it.  This also means water will saturate the pot and seep.  A plants roots like good air circulation and clay flowerpots are know for being healthy.  Once you use real clay you will find that your houseplants will perform better.

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Watering - Since a clay pot is porous it will keep water from sitting in the bottom of the pot, soaking the roots and possibly drowning them.  The water will seep into the clay and dissipate.  Unfortunately if you have chemicals in the soil or water they will show up on the sides of the pot as a white calcium line.

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Beauty - Because real terracotta pottery is porous it will start to age and show it's wear.  Many folks really like this and will even take steps to age their clay containers by applying yogurt or milk to the outside of the clay pot.  Everyone has a different idea of what beauty is but we love the aged, rustic look of terra-cotta pots and planters.

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Selection - Arizona Pottery imports real clay flower pots from Italy, China, Mexico and Vietnam.  Each factory uses their own clay mix or will harvest the clay out of the ground using their own firing process.  Some clays are smooth and silky like the Italian, while the Mexican clay is dark and very porous.  So porous and heavy that it will start to break down the first year of use.  We love the old traditional styles of Rolled Rim Garden Planters as well some of the newer more contemporary styles. There is always something to choose from.

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Many Uses - Yes real clay garden pottery will break but that doesn't mean you should toss them.  You can re-purpose them into pot shards to fill the bottom of your larger containers.  The terracotta shards will shield the drain hole and keep soil from plugging it up.  You can stack large pieces into pots and create a fairy garden or elf shelf.  Don't toss those broken pieces.... think outside the box and have fun with them.

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So those are a few of the reasons why we love our terracotta home and garden planters so much.  If you wish to share your thoughts we would love to hear them.

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real clay pottery, terracotta pots, terra-cotta pottery, planters, garden pottery, pots



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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Mexican Terracotta Pottery



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We have been importing Mexican garden planters for over 17 years. While the clay is heavy, very dark and considered porous it is still in high demand because of it's unique designs & original styles.

The Mexican clay pottery that we import have very distinctive designs.  It's very rough, porous and many times lined with a black tar product, that helps to prolong the life of the clay.  Each design is usually hand made and so each one is slightly different.  One thing we can say is unless the outside of the planter is sealed with a water proof product the clay will break down from water and sun exposure.

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These planters are not made to last and will start to deteriorate after a season of use.  Our terracotta sealer will not waterproof the pot but it will help to prolong the life of the clay by laying down a barrier of protection.  Just brush it on and let it dry.

Many of the styles, like garden hose containers, strawberry jars, pocket pots and animal planters have been standards in the industry for years and continue to be good sellers.  These same patterns and styles are not being produced by other suppliers.

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When it comes to price point, Mexican terracotta can't be beat.  It is very inexpensive because it is easy to make, the clay is a powder product and it's fired in wood burning kilns instead of gas.  Since the durability factor is poor we recommend using them with perennials and annuals flowers that will last only one season.

Good designs, unique styles and easy ability make these garden planters good sellers.

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mexican terracotta planters pottery pots garden containers etc



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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Still Talking Terracotta Pottery Tips!



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Arizona Pottery imports clay garden pottery from around the world. In this post we will refer to Chinese Clay Pots. As we stated before Italian terracotta is the best in the industry. Lightweight, wonderful color and great firing process.

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Chinese terracotta flowerpots are made of a very heavy, thick clay. After the planters are formed by hand and fired in a mud hut they will have a very rough texture to them. If you rub your hand down the side, it will feel uneven and scratchy. Because of the clay mix you will also see a whitewashed finish. It looks like a powder coating but what it is showing is the calcium that is in the clay. It turns whitish when fired.

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If you seal these pots, which we recommend, it will darken the clay up and not be as noticeable. Because these Chinese clay pots are very porous they will absorb a lot of moisture and will contribute to a faster deterioration of the clay. Of course this is where sealing again will help to prolong the life of the clay.

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On a scale from Best to Worse - Chinese terracotta pottery is considered middle of the road. Even though it's rough it comes in some super decorative designs. You will see hex pots, lots of garlands and details. They aren't as defined as the Italian pots but are still unique. We love basket weaves, cherubs, and medallion embellishments.

Seal these planters, store them for winter if possible and you will be very pleased with their performance in your garden for years!

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chinese terracotta terra-cotta garden pottery planters pots clay garden pottery clay flowerpots planters


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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Talking Terracotta Garden Pots!



 3708 Italian Tall Bell Garden Planters

The definition of the word terracotta is - FIRED CLAY, brownish red in color when un-glazed, that is used for architectural ornaments, facings, pottery and as a material for sculpture.  

Arizona Pottery imports terracotta pottery from Italy, China, Mexico & Thailand.  There are few if any American manufacturers left.  Each country has it own way of harvesting clay that is used in the forming process.  And, each factory has it own way of firing the pots in a kiln.

 3710 Italian Cone Garden Planter

Our Italian pottery is well known in the pottery industry for having a nice smooth feel to the touch.  The sun baked color is even toned and stunning.  Each pot is close to identical and the manufacturing process is unsurpassed.  These pots are hard packed which makes them less porous and therefore more durable.  Because of the compacting process they will absorb less water and no breakdown as fasts as other clay's.  They are considered a low fired product.

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Terracotta pottery is meant to breathe. This is a definite advantage when ti comes to the health of the plants root system.  Since it is porous, any water you apply to the potted soil will be absorbed into the clay.  That is why you may end up with lines around the planters body.  These are caused from the water applied, any chemicals in the water and calcium build up that comes from the clay.

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Once a pot is used it will bread down naturally over time.  We sell a pottery sealer that helps to prolong the life of the clay pot.  All low fired clay flowerpots & planters will break down over time. This is a good thing!

If you want to keep your garden pottery looking as new as the day it was purchased we suggest you choose a pot made of a more durable product.  Concrete, Poly Resin, Metal, Glazed ......

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Interestingly, many manufacturers are using a powder clay mix to form their planters out of.  The Italian pottery we sell does not.  It still harvests the clay out of the ground, very real, beautiful & old school.So keep this in mind when comparing Italian garden pottery to other imports.

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terracotta pottery garden planters garden pottery home and garden clay garden pots clay garden pot



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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Cleaning Tips For Your Terracotta Pottery



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Terracotta pottery is the uber material for healthy plants. They keep the soil moist, insulate plant roots and breathe because they are porous clay.  Unfortunately that means that when you water for fertilize those containers, you will have the white lines that start to show up on the outside.  It is the calcium, minerals & salts from fertilizers and water that become trapped.

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When the moisture evaporates these salts are left behind.  Many people like this look and even try to turn new clay flowerpots into aged pot by applying product to the outside of the pots to get this look.  But, for those who don't here are a few tips to help get residues off.

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The best way to start cleaning terracotta pottery is to scrub the outside and try to loosen as much dirt as possible.  Use a dish scrubber, a textured sponge or nail brush.

Once the planter looks as clean as you can get it - it is time for a bath. Submerge the pot in a solution of water and vinegar.  1 Cup of white vinegar to 4 cups of clean water.  Put it in a bucket.  Let the vinegar dissolve any build up.

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Go back to step on and after 20 mins or so take the brush to the pot again for one last try.  If there is still build up soak for a bit longer and keep testing till you think you have the pot as clean as it's going to get.

End off with a really good rinse.  Make sure that all the vinegar or any soap you have used comes off before filling with fresh potting mix and fetching plants.

 
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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Talking Terracotta!



Let's take a few minutes and share some facts about terra-cotta. Which happens to be our number one selling garden pottery. Everyone loves clay flowerpots not only because of the way they look but because of the way they perform.  Read more.....

Does you family have a garden? Or, do you have friends or family members who like to put potted plants on their front porch, patio or around the yard?  If so, chances are you already know what terracotta, (terra-cotta, terra cotta) is.

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Terracotta is a clay like earthenware that can be either glazed or unglazed.  In addition to being used for flower pots, terracotta is also used for water and sewer pipes, bricks, roof tiles or sculptures.

The word terracotta comes from the Italian words for "baked earth". Since terracotta pottery is made by baking terracotta clay, that only make sense!  Terracotta is often used as a word to describe a color. Many times "terracotta" is used to describe a natural brownish orange color.

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Terracotta can be easily sculpted into all sorts of shapes. To harden terracotta, it must be heated to between 1,000 to 2000 F.  Once it hardens it is still a bit porous, which means it can be penetrated by water.  This makes the plants root systems can breathe while being planted in a terracotta clay flowerpot.  However, a simple coat of glaze can make a terracotta garden planter water tight.

Terracotta has been around for a long time.  It was the only clay product used until around the 14th century.  Archeologists have found terracotta that is approx 5,000 years old.

We have a wonderful selection of terracotta garden containers.  Most from Italy but others from Mexico, China or Vietnam.  These are the back bone of our pottery line because of their beauty and workmanship.

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terracotta terra cotta terra-cotta clay pots garden pots home and garden planters



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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Gilded Terracotta Clay Pots



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Take old worn out clay pots and turn them into something beautiful again. It's easy to do with gold leaf.  It only takes a few steps and a steady hand so here we go.  Found on huntedinterior.com

Supplies:
Terracotta pots - new, used, large, small - whatever you want.
Gold or Silver leaf found at all craft stores
Size - the glue to adhere the metallic leaf with
Spray sealer for the leaf - found in the same area as the leaf.

Normally you would follow what the leaf directions are for applying. But, in the case of clay flowerpots which are porous you will have to adjust.  The easiest way to do this is brush on a length of glue at a time & immediately apply the leaf.  Don't wait to apply the leaf to the size because it will dry almost immediately.  Continue around the entire rim of the pot until complete.

Try not to brush the glue over the existing leaf as it will dull the shine. After all
pots are gilded, coat them with the spray sealer. If you like the worn look on the bottom of the pots don't spray that part with sealer because it will clean the look of the flower pot up.

That's it.  Plant and enjoy!  Perfect for a holiday table or wedding reception.  Elegant and classy!
 
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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Tipsy Pots



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You will tumble head over heels for this leaning tower of clay pots.
 
A cinch to create and ultra frugal to make, this unique garden planter commands a second look.  Fill the clay pots with herbs or colorful ornamentals and create a unique display.
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Pick a level spot in your garden area.  Drive a 66" piece of re-bar 2 feet into the soil. Surround the base with newspaper to prevent weeds from growing.  Then place a 12" round clay pot at the base, threading the re-bar through the drain hole.

Fill the pot with soil so that the next pot has something to rest on. Press the soil down and water till firm.  Take a 10" terracotta clay pot,
tilt it so one side of the base rests on the soil below.

Thread the next 3 pots and tilt them in opposite directions so the weights are distributed evenly.  Add plants to the tipsy pots.  Make sure to leave 1 1/2" space at the top of each pot.  That way, when you water, the soil won't run off.  Finally add a layer of much over the newspaper on the ground.
 
Now, enjoy watching your flowers bloom!
 
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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Aging Terra-Cotta Pottery



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You really like that weather, antique look of worn terracotta pottery.  It reminds you of European gardens where they have been using clay for centuries for stunning displays and distinguished design features.

You know that over time the new clay pot you just purchased from Arizona Pottery will weather and age naturally, but you don't want to wait. What do you do?

What causes your terracotta planters to age over time?  Well, mostly its the chemicals in the fertilizer you use and the minerals leaching from the water.  Terracotta is porous and meant to breathe and break down over time.

So all those minerals & chemicals will create those white lines that appear after use.  Over time they become part of the pot and add so much character and charm that we are going to tell you how to speed up the process so you no longer have to wait.
 
According to Martha Stewart Living, simple gather these few items listed below.  Coat the pot with this mix, allow to dry and TA DA....aged pots.
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Lime Powder, Bristle Brush, Terracotta pot, Med. grit sandpaper (150 grit)
Stir one cup of lime powder, a mineral available at garden centers, into 2 cups of water till it takes on a thick, gravy like consistency.  With a bristle brush, paint the solution onto the pots,
sparingly in some places and generously in others.  When the pot is completely coated and still wet, spray some spots with water from a spray bottle on the "stream" setting to let some of the lime solution run off.  All the pot to dry, then sand in a random pattern with sandpaper till you are satisfied with the gently mottled surface.
 
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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

DIY Project - Gilded Terracotta Flower Pots



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Here is a clever way to dress up your terracotta flowerpots that may be looking a bit worn. You can use old or new pots, either way the gold leaf will dress them up and give them a cohesive look. We thank huntedinterior.com for this clever idea.

Supplies:
Terracotta pots
Gold or Silver leaf - available in sheets at most craft stores.
Size - the glue to adhere the leaf to.
Spray sealer for the leaf.

Normally they recommend following the instructions when applying the leaf to items but in this case, because the flower pots are so porous, the size dried immediately. So they recommend you apply a length of glue and immediately apply the leaf. Don't wait. It will dry immediately. Continue around the entire edge of the clay pot until you are complete. Just try not to brush the glue over the existing leaf as it will dull the shine.

Once all the pots are gilded, coat them in a spray sealer. If you want to retain some of the natural patina that accumulates on the worn pottery, avoid spraying the sealer there.

We think these gilded flowerpots would be perfect for a holiday table, a wedding display, or a New Years Party. Simply elegant! Give it a go and let us know how you do?

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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.


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