Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, answers to the most burning questions can be found here! If not, Contact Us.
Where the heck is this marvelous pottery made ?
Prairie Dog Pottery is completely handmade from lumps of porcelain clay in our 4 hand 8 paw studio/showroom in beautiful downtown Bishop Hill, Illinois. The initial design is usually sketched on paper. We then hand build some pieces and use the potters' wheel for others. The first kiln firing - referred to as the bisque fire- renders the pieces more durable, before we hand paint them with underglaze color. After a dip into our clear glaze they are then kiln fired a second time to a hotter temperature which creates a durable, useable piece. In some instances we do a third firing if using special over glaze elements. The making and finishing is a slow process!
Can I eat out of your pottery?
Yes you can. Our pottery is non toxic, dishwasher, microwave and oven safe. Like most pottery you cannot place it in a hot oven. Place it in a cold oven and bring to temperature as the oven pre heats.
Can garden totems stay outside year round?
Yes they can. There is no place for water to accumulate, freeze and break the totem. You do have to be careful with snow blowers throwing things at them. And we do know that totems will not survive a car backing into them. The same goes for falling trees. However, in a safe place, they can stay outside year round.
Why do I have to purchase my own totem rebar?
We don't ship the rebar with your totem purchase because of the shipping cost. Rebar is less than $5 to buy and probably $30 to ship. Rebar is readily available at home improvement stores and hardware stores...in fact, consider asking around. You would be amazed at the friends you have who have rebar in their garage or shed.
Why does it sometimes take so long to get my order?
We are a small 2 person/ 4 hand studio. Our work is Made To Order. And we work in clay, which does not have a 24 hour turn around. SO we try to have Ready to Decorate work for many of our pieces. This work has been kiln fired once and is ready to decorate for your order and kiln fired a second time before shipping. Custom work has to be started from scratch and takes a bit longer. We like to think that your order will always ship in less time than it takes to get a new litter of pups!
Help, my dog cannot see! My dog cannot breathe!
You are right. Some of our designs are more of a suggestion or silhouette of the dog. We do not always include a detailed eye or ear or nose or tongue. Remember we are potters not fine artists. What we do try to get right is the shape! Every piece is hand painted and then put back into the kiln. The heat of the firing makes the colors move and we figure that you would prefer not to have the small bits in the wrong location as a result of the firing.