Heritage going back to the mighty civilization of the Minoans 4000 years ago, invests pride in today's potters of the Thrapsano region of Crete, creating pots and pithoi using traditional techniques, materials and designs from their Minoan ancestors.
The pots are made from local clays - carefully sourced form two different mountain areas - which are hand thrown on the wheel and then fired at 1150c using residue from the island's olive harvest to fuel the fire. These high temperatures guarantee quality.
Originally the large pithoi were used for storing olive oil, wine, grain and honey etc whilst the smaller pots stored olives, pickles, cheese and salt etc.
Now equally at home in traditional or contemporary gardens or even as in-house sculptures, these pots make a big statement and the patina that develops with age not only enhances their appearance, it increases their value also
Our Cretan hand-thrown terracotta is made with the highest quality prepared clay and crushed olive stones and grape seeds are still used as fuel for the kilns. The pots are fired up to 1150°c which is the highest temperature that terracotta can be fired to and as a result the pots are strong, very frost resistant and will last for years if you treat them correctly.
WHY PLANTS LIKE TERRACOTTA: Plants grow well in terracotta. Roots need air as well as moisture and can breathe through the porous wall of the clay pot. The evaporation of water from the outside of the pot in hot weather keeps the root ball inside relatively cool. In the winter the terracotta gives more insulation than any other material.
DRAINAGE: Drainage holes are vital if a pot is going outside and/or you are planting it. Unless specifically asked, we always drill holes in the base of every pot before it leaves here. Every so often check that the holes have not become clogged up, otherwise water could be retained within the pot, leading to root-rot, or the risk of damage to the pot during freezing conditions. Although not always necessary, if you wish, you can raise your terracotta pot very slightly off the ground to assist drainage. Flat stones, tiles or our terracotta feet are ideal.
PLANTING: If you are using the pot for planting, put a good layer of gravel and broken crocks at the bottom. This prevents the holes from getting clogged up and aids good drainage. Top up with a suitable compost/soil blend depending on the plants.
If the pot is enclosed (has a narrow neck with a “belly”, e.g. a Beehive or Minoan) we advise that you avoid permanent planting or have a removable plastic planted pot within the terracotta pot. Otherwise the roots will grow into the ‘belly’ of the pot making the plant extremely difficult to remove.
SITING: Never stand your pot on bare earth. Being porous, the bottom few inches will soak up the moisture, frost playing on permanently wet terracotta may not be in the best long-term interests of the pot. Instead sit it on a paving slab, pebbles, gravel, bricks or concrete.
DURING THE WINTER: If prolonged freezing conditions are forecast we recommend wrapping your pots in bubble plastic; this should prevent the earth from freezing solid (and avoid the risk of splitting the pot) and at the same time protect any plants growing in them; a frozen pot will of course kill off a plant far easier that if it were growing in the ground.