FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ARE YOU AVAILABLE FOR CUSTOM COMMISSIONS?
A custom commission involves creating a unique design not currently offered in our catalog. Accepting these commissions depends on schedule availability. We recommend requesting these types of custom orders a year in advance of when you wish to use the pot to allow placement on the waiting list and time to design and make the ware. If one were to ask if a custom request can be accommodated before Spring re-potting in 2 weeks then the answer will unfortunately be a 'sorry, no'. Turnaround time once your spot is up and the design is finalized and approved may take up to four months. Due to the unpredictable nature of firing, it is possible the result might not be acceptable and a new one must be made. Nao offers priority to trees that will be shown in events such as the U.S. Nationals.
ARE YOUR WARES FIRED TO CONE 10 AND THUS FROST-RESISTANT?
The answer to this is yes, however this question requires a far more in depth answer. There is a misconception that a pot must be high-fired to cone 10 to be fully vitrified, and thus impermeable to freeze damage from water getting into the clay body (terracotta pots is an example of a porous low fire clay body that is not frost resistant). Vitrification implies a clay body has matured to a glassy and thus impenetrable state, but not all clays require firing to cone 10 to be vitrified. There are many excellent clay bodies that can be fired to a vitrified state at cone 6 or 8. It depends on the clay body itself. It does not make them inferior to one fired to 10. In fact, many high quality Tokoname pots are electric fired to cone temperatures at Cone 6 or lower for consistency and lack of warping. We all know that water expands upon freezing, and if soil is especially damp due to poor drainage and full of organic, expandable matter before a freeze, it is more likely to damage a pot, especially one with an enclosed rim (for example, bag pots_ than the pot's qualities itself lending to cracking. This is a brief answer; for a more thorough explanation down the rabbit hole of clay bodies and permeability to the elements, Whistling Fish Pottery is an excellent resource. If freezes are a concern, feel free to ask if the pot style is appropriate for your climate.
CAN WE BUY POTS IN PERSON?
We occasionally vend at in person at the Bonsai Society of Portland meetings. If you are not local, we are happy to bring you as a guest. Otherwise, we highly recommend joining! Pots purchased ahead of time can be picked up here as well. Other in person events will be listed in the events section. Visiting the studio is a possibility and by appointment only. Be warned you might be sent home with a free plant.