The Pottery Post Blog
 

Give Terracotta Pottery A Second Look



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Arizona Pottery has been in the pottery industry since 2000.  We have seen and continue to see all kinds of trends come and go when it comes to choices of garden planters.  Fiberglass, Poly Resin, High Fired, Low Fired, Concrete, Black Clay, Terracotta the list goes on and on.

Why did we start with red terracotta and it continues to be our best seller?  Because it is timeless.  Terra cotta pots have been around for ages and they tend to come and go in popularity but in this post, we want to discuss some of the pros and cons.

When it comes to cons when using terra cotta flowerpots and garden planters the list is pretty short.
* Dry out quickly.
* Breakdown over time.
* Become heavy once planted.
* Discolor over time
* Plain and boring

So letís look at a few pros on why they are basically timeless and still popular.

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HEALTH
Healthy for a plantís, roots Ė Did you know that terra cotta clay breathes?  Yes, it is very healthy for all plants root systems.  Because the clay ďbreathesĒ it will also show the chemicals that are in your potting mix or fertilizer.  Every time you water the potted plant, the water soaks into the clay, eventually seeping out, the clay will start to show a calcium build up or white lines and markings.  This is loved and appreciated by many terracotta owners.  So much so that they try to age their planters by applying milk to the outside so that moss will grow and the pot will look aged faster than the natural process.

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WEIGHT
Terracotta planters are not known for being the heaviest garden containers around but once they are filled with damp potting mix, they can become quite heavy. This is great if you are planting a tree or shrub and the yard pot is placed in a spot where it will receive some wind.  Lightweight or Fiberglass containers will blow over very easily.  If you need added weight you can always put a brick or rocks in the bottom of the planter before adding the potting mix. Just make sure you have it placed where you want it since you wonít be able to move it easily.

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DISCOLORATION
One of the worse and most popular reasons for using terracotta is the aging process that naturally occurs.  Like we stated above green thumb gardeners wonít use anything else and rejoice in the aging process.  It is a sign of beauty and age that can hardly be duplicated.  If you are the type who likes their containers to look brand new then Terracotta is not the planter for you.

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PLAIN/BORING
Yes, terracotta is ageless and is seen everywhere.  Maybe you need something different a bit more modern or contemporary.  Terra cotta pottery is considered traditional, timeless and naturalistic, all good things but maybe not your thing.  That is fine.  If you like the look of clay but not clay itself there are resin pots that are textured and come in the terracotta color that will stand up to an explosion.  Unless someone walks up and knocks on the planter they will not know itís not the real clay of terracotta.

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So, these are the best pros and cons that we can think of today.  How about you?  What do you like or not like about Terracotta garden planters and containers.

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clayflowerpots, terracotta, clay pots, planters, pots, terra-cotta 



By
Post Last Updated: 2/19/2019 3:10:51 PM 

Winter and Garden Pottery



 400 Cleaning Out Winter Pottery


Winter and Garden Pottery

Not everyone lives in the same type of climate.  Like us here in Arizona have pretty mild Winters. It does get cold but the sky is mostly blue, clear and sunny.  Back on the East Coast, we know that is not the case. Well, where you live can dictate what types of garden planters you choose to grow in and decorate with.

If you are one of the lucky ones that can move large or small containers into a garage or potting shed there are a few steps you need to follow.   Start by removing all plant materials and potting soil.  Now is a great time to compost but whether you do or not doesnít make a difference. The pots need to be cleaned out!

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Start by scrubbing the outside and inside with a soft brush and 10 parts water to 1- part bleach.  Let them dry completely.  Then move them for added protection.  It is not always possible to move extra large pots, so follow these instructions instead.  Clean them out if possible and lift them up off the ground with pot feet or wood boards.  This keeps them from freezing and cracking.

For large pots with plants that are not seasonal, you will need to lay a layer of mulch across the top. This creates a layer between the cold freezing weather and the potting soil, where the plant's roots live.  It also helps if you can wrap the planter with burlap or bubble wrap. This also creates a barrier of protection between the cold and the fragile planter.

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Pots and garden containers can be expensive.  Unless you donít mind replacing your pottery on a regular basis itís best to provide any protection you can so that the pots will last and last for many years.

Terracotta is meant to retain moisture so these are the most likely to crack.  You need to keep them covered with a plastic bag so water doesnít seep into the clay. If it does and the weather freezes then these types of garden containers will crack.  Materials that do well in Winter are concrete, sandstone, frost proof glazed planters or fiberglass and polyresin.  These materials are meant to repel water.  But, as a caution remember if a glazed pot cracks or chips, water will find it and seep in. Then itís just a matter of time before the pot will break down.

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So, hopefully, this information is helpful.  Take care, be wise and you will help your home and garden containers last for many years!

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Post Last Updated: 2/19/2019 12:50:27 PM 

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



By
Post Last Updated: 1/30/2018 9:36:14 AM 

 Comments (2) Last comment made 
21
2/22/2018 12:52:02 PM 
Arizona Pottery 2/22/2018 12:52:02 PM 
Hi Elaine, Once you get those calcium and salt deposits on the outside of the garden planters it's next to impossible to get them off. It's best to seal the pots before you use them with Thompsons water seal from Home Depot. You need to keep the chemicals in the potting soil and the fertilizer and water from leaching into the clay.

Elaine stamate 2/10/2018 2:05:24 PM 
What treatment or type of oil do I put on the outside of my pots as they have water marks I do not like. I know there are many home remedies for it but canít find out what. Thanks


Oreo Dirt Cake In A Flowerpot



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We have all seen these cakes in a flowerpot for parties, brunches, showers, wedding or any special occasion but we wanted to add a few fun tips to help recreate these.  Watch your guest light up when they see this creations in a clay garden pot. They think they are real and don't know they can really eat it.  Once you tell them the fun begins.

You can use one large flowerpot like the recipe below you break the pudding & cookies up into individual small clay flowerpots.  Both work great.

 7367-Cake-In-A-Clay-Flow

Serves 12

Have a clean new terra cotta clay garden pot 8" x 10"
Cover the drain hole in the bottom of the flower pot with wax paper circle so the pudding doesn't drain out.  Or place a whole oreo cookie over the hole as shown.

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In a food processor crush cookies till fine.  set aside.  In a bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and sugar till smooth.  In another bowl, mix pudding and milk till blended. Fold into cream cheese mix.  Fold in the whipped topping.

Start by alternating layers of cookie crumbs and pudding mix. End with cookie crumbs on top so that it looks like dirt.  Chill the cake pots for several hours or overnight.

Now is the time to decorate.  Use silk flowers, rock candy and gummy worms.  You can cut a straw off and insert into the pudding first, then stick the silk flowers into the straws. They are stiffer and hold up better.  Have fun with decorating. We have seen all kinds of fun ideas.

1 -15 1/2 oz pkg Oreo cookies
1 - 8 oz pkg cream cheese
4 T butter softened
1 C confectioners sugar
2 - 3.4 oz pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
3 1/2 C cold milk
1 - 12oz carton frozen whipped topping thawed

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dirt cake flowerpots, clay garden pots used for food, cake in a pot.



By
Post Last Updated: 7/4/2017 12:51:55 PM 

4th of July Terracotta Flower Pot Craft Idea



Saw this wonderful idea from Lucy Mercer for S'mores fun on July 4th
so we wanted to share it with you here.  It's an easy and fun crafty idea using terra cotta clay flower pots, paint and some decorations.

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Itís easy to add patriotic style to your patio this July 4 with terra cotta pots and chalky finish paint. These starred-and-striped pots can hold bright summer geraniums, flickering votives, bundles of silverware, or showcase a símores bar.

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STEPS:

  1. Cover the pot with white paint, using the foam brush. Let dry, about an hour, or longer.
  2. Tape off the stripes using the painterís tape. Itís easiest to start just under the rim for the first stripe.
  3. Using the width of the painterís tape as a guide (.94-inch works well), tape off the next stripe, being sure to press the tape against the pot.
  4. Paint the red stripes, let dry. Peel off tape.
  5. Paint the blue stripe on the rim, let dry. Sanding the edges of the pot with a sanding sponge adds a rustic look.
  6. Use the white paint marker to draw stars on the rim, and also to clean up any splotches on the stripes.
  7. Optional, but nice: spray the completed terra cotta pot with acrylic spray to seal.
When your patriotic pots are completed, they can be used to display flowers. Geraniums and petunias are pretty and perfect for July 4 parties.
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4th of july clay pot crafts, crafts using clay flowerpots,  painted clay flowerpots, 4th of july decorations



By
Post Last Updated: 6/29/2017 1:54:04 PM 

Easter Flower Pot Idea



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Easy Easter Craft Project using a clay flower pot!
Start with a nice smooth Italian clay flower pot.  Make sure it is clean. If there are any finger prints or marks on it, just wash with warm water and soap and rinse good.  Dry completely.  

Take Folk Art acrylic Paint and stencils purchased at Michael's craft stores.  Lay the stencil on the pot where you want it placed.  Squirt some paint on a paper plate.  Dip the stencil brush end into the paint and make little circles on the stencil to transfer the paint.  Don't get the brush to full. If you do dab some of it off.

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It doesn't take much to paint on the design. If you keep the brush fairly dry you won't get the leaks under the stencil.  The Folk Art stencils have a sticky back to help it stick to the pot surface.  They are easy to clean up also.

Once the pot is finished, fill with floral foam.  Top with shredded paper and then stick the items you purchased around the pot into the foam until you get the desired look.

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At the end of the Easter Season, you can take it all out and have a great flowerpot to plant in.  

Source:  Petticoatjunktion

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By

Make Clay Pot Leprechaun Hats



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Here is another fun craft idea using clay flower pots and turning them into something decorative & playful.  Since it's St. Patrick's Day today we thought we would show you how to make a Leprechaun Hat.  We saw this easy idea at thatswhatchesaid.net 

Purchase small clay flowerpots. Of course you can get them from us or any craft store.  Paint them with an acrylic green paint.  It may take 3 coats to get them covered because you want a bold bright green.

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Wrap a black ribbon towards the bottom of the clay flowerpot. Since the pot is not a true cylinder, you will have to adjust in the back to the ribbon to sit properly in the front. Use a hot glue gun to secure the ribbon in place.

Next use an Xacto knife to cut out the buckle.  Use gold card stock and hot clue in place.  Now we know it's hard to believe but that is it. Think of all the fun things you can do with these hats.  Place one at each place at the dinner table. Stack the pots on a living room fireplace mantle and decorate with clover.  Place them around the house and put a gold candy coin under each one and use them like a treasure hunt.

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The whole idea is to have fun and be creative.  
 
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craft pots, leprechaun hats out of pots, clay garden pots, clay garden pottery, diy crafts using clay pots



By
Post Last Updated: 2/28/2017 9:56:10 AM 

Valentine Clay Flowerpot DIY Project



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With Valentine's Day approaching we thought it would be fun to see a DIY project that turns a plain clay flowerpot into something special.
Make this loving pot from Inspirations By D.

Take a plain clay flower pot in any size you want.  Make sure it has a matching saucer.  Wash the pot if it has already been used and make sure it's completely dry.

Paint the pot and saucer using a acrylic white paint and a sponge brush.  Let dry completely.  Take chalkboard paint available at Home Depot and paint a patch on the side of the flowerpot.  You can use tape if you want the square to be perfect for you can free style for a more home grown look.

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Let the chalkboard paint dry on the side of the clay garden pot.  Then write a short message on the chalkboard.  Put the receiver's name, or write LOVE like the example shown.  Either way this is your time to be personal.

You can drop a nursery pot directly into this painted clay pot so that you don't have to even plant it.  That way when the holiday changes you can change the word on the pot and also take out the grow pot, toss it and replace with something new.  EASY!!!

Happy Valentine's Day!

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valentine craft idea valentine clay garden pot valentines day diy project arizona pottery valentine's day idea



By
Post Last Updated: 1/11/2017 2:16:43 PM 

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



By
Post Last Updated: 1/11/2017 2:16:52 PM 

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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By
Post Last Updated: 1/4/2017 3:14:36 PM 



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