How is the price of an item decided?
I ask my customers, within reason having referred to the guide prices on the site, to say what price range they had in mind and within that price range I outline what size and design of piece could be made. Eg. 50th birthday present for a dentist, who owns a dog and cat and whose interests include rugby, fishing, reading and astronomy. Preferred price range €150.
How do I receive my ordered piece?
If you can collect it that's great. It’s obviously safer and costs less, but if not, I use the An Post parcel service which delivers to anywhere in the world within 3 weeks. Your parcel will be insured against loss and breakage. I find this service to be the best priced and most reliable. In the case of exceptionally large or fragile items, I do not take the risk of sending them by post, and if possible deliver the finished item personally. This is obviously only reasonable if the customer is within Ireland.
What is the cost of posting an item to me?
This depends on the weight and destination. At the time of ordering, I will discuss delivery and give you an estimate of the cost. The exact cost (generally less than my estimate) will be added on to your final payment at time of sending. I only pass on the face value of the postal charge; I do not charge extra for packaging.
Are items safe from breakage during delivery? What do I do if my piece arrives damaged?
Generally, I have very little problem with breakages. I pack my parcels very substantially, but do insure against all eventualities. In the event of a breakage, keep the broken item and all the packaging materials for inspection by the postal service and contact me immediately. I will re-make your piece and handle the insurance claim from there.
Are these ceramics suitable for children?
Definitely! Some of my best customers are children, coming up with the most imaginative ideas and because I make the item to suit the customers price, they get a nice unique present that their pocket-money can accommodate. And, when given responsibility, they are rarely as clumsy with delicate things as we expect them to be.
Does your work include charicatures?
Not strictly. I do endeavour where appropriate, to have my figurative pieces resemble their eventual owners (eg. I would represent the height, shape, colouring of a person and certain physical characteristics-shape and size of facial features (but only if requested-people with exceptionally long noses or large ears often prefer not to be reminded of the fact!)If you wish to accompany an order with sketches or photos, that’s helpful, but any resemblance is going to be superficial. Charicature is another talent altogether with which I am unfortunately, not blessed.
Do the colours fade over time, or if put outside?
No. The high temperature of the firing ensures permanence of the colours.
Are the pieces weatherproof?
My ceramics are fine outside in most conditions, and make unusual garden ornaments, but must be moved if heavy frost is expected. If water gets into porous (unglazed) ceramics and then freezes, the water expands and shatters the piece. This holds true for all ceramics, even flowerpots.
How do I dust the pieces with very fine detail?
I wouldn't even attempt to dust them! Place them in a large sink, bath or shower tray, drizzle a generous amount of washing-up liquid over them and then shower them with a strong jet of very hot water. Leave to drip dry of place in front of a fire, or dry with hair drier. Be careful when handling wet items, they will be slippery.
How long does it take to make a ceramic piece from the time of ordering?
This varies according to size and detail of piece. Also take into account the delivery time after completion. I always ask for a few weeks notice, but in 'emergencies' I have been known to produce the finished article within a matter of days, especially smaller pieces which I can dry out quickly. I now have a tiny kiln that fires small items overnight and this has speeded up the process greatly.
How can broken ceramics be fixed?
This depends on the severity of the break. A clean break can usually be fixed with Loctite Superglue, but a messy break with loss of edges etc, needs Araldite (this bonds and fills gaps). Items fixed with Superglue are not suitable for holding water and the join will not be weatherproof, so use Araldite or similar for outside pieces. If in doubt, please contact me with a picture of the damaged item.