Where did the name "Hot Ice" come from?
The crystals in the glazes on our porcelain pots are grown at just over 2000° for up to 6 hours, but the process is as similar, delicate and unpredictable as making snowflakes or the frost on your winter window. Just as water vapor, under exactly the right conditions, will become a snow flake (a crystal form of water), so the glaze on these pots, when fired precisely, will grow crystals, in this case made of zinc and silica. Think of each crystal on a pot as if it were a snowflake. Each pot has captured its own snowfall.
Do you paint the crystals on the pots?
No, the crystals grow spontaneously in the glaze during the 15 hour firing. We do not know the size, shape, number or location of any of the crystals. Those decisions are made by the Kiln Goddesses. They are the Jack Frost (Jackie Frost?) of the kiln, making each pot completely unique and impossible to duplicate.
What is that goldish crystal on the home page?
This crystal was created with copper and manganese, fired during the normal process, then heated with a propane torch to oxidize the copper, leaving haloes of red (reduced copper) and green around the edges. It's pretty touchy (i.e., hard to do) and unpredictable, but when it works it's a winner.
Can I put these pots in the dishwasher?
You can put crystal pots in the dishwasher, in the microwave, and in the oven. Generally you will probably not be cooking with these pots (so the microwave and oven uses may be irrelevant).
Can I serve food in/on a crystal pot?
Yes. There is no lead in the glaze. However, it would be better to serve food rather than store food in these pots.
Who buys these pots?
Just about anyone. Attraction to beauty is not limited to a gender, race, religion, age, political preference, nationality, culture, social, economic or educational background. The prices of these pots permit almost anyone to own, appreciate, share or give one.
For whom are pots purchased?
At first, I would have expected that the answer would certainly be, obviously for the purchaser. However, I am struck by the level of (here you can put your own spin on this) either "generosity" or "self-denial" that I observe in customers. I have seen so many folks be simply mesmerized by these pots, yet they will say, to me, to their partner, to no one sometimes, "Gosh, wouldn't Aunt Melinda love one of these?" or "This reminds me, I've got to get my mother something for her birthday! Honey, do you remember what color she has in her newly remodelled living room?" It certainly appears clear to me that the customer WANTS the pot but cannot get one for him/her self. I'll even test the waters: "But what about You!? Don't you want one of these?" And the answer is often "Oh, yes, but...." followed by some lame excuse ("I couldn't afford it. My child would break it. My spouse wouldn't like it. I don't know where I'd put it.") Life is short. Surely you remember plenty of people, or experiences, or things, in your life that you might have pursued but just couldn't do it at the time (crafting for yourself some convenient, if wimpy, excuse), and have some wistful regrets that you didn't, still experiencing some "Oh my" sighs long lingering in your psyche. Carpe Diem, sister. Grab the moment, brother. If not now, then... (never?)
What are the shipping costs?
Shipping is done by USPS Priority (2-3 day delivery anywhere in the US). The basic charge is $16 plus $10/pound for the items; a $4/item charge is added for insurance. Shipping costs include the carrier charges and the packing materials. Our shipping practice is designed to be Gorilla Proof.
Pots are thoroughly wrapped in bubble wrap and smothered in packing peanuts.
Purchases over $100 are insured.
You can be confident that a box we pack dropped on concrete from a height of 5 feet will contain unbroken pottery. We won't even flinch if you try this in front of us. (This is the standard USPS test)
We have a unbroken pot delivery success rate of over 99%. (One pot was broken when the shipper ran through the box with a fork lift tong).
What are any conditions of sale on your pottery?
All sales are final. We do not accept returns or exchanges. No warranty of any kind is offered with our pottery.
While many owners may use one of our pots for display or for some kind of use (like serving food, holding a candle, floating a flower in water, etc.) we make no claim that any use has any warranty.
Pots with crystal glazes have not been tested for food use. They are likely dishwasher, microwave and oven safe--again this has not been tested. None of the glazes contains lead. Typically pots with these glazes are not used for everyday functional purposes, like holding your morning coffee, but they certainly might hold your morning flowers or fruit. While best used for aesthetic or artistic purposes, they can be used for food serving (but they are not recommended for food storage).
If we ship you a pot and it arrives broken, it is your responsibility to make a claim with the shipper (typically either UPS or USPS). You must save all components of the broken pot and the box and wrapping materials to show the shipper.
Crystal pottery, like any pottery, will break if dropped or if something hard is dropped into or on it. It will break or crack if it suffers thermal shock.
Now the good news:
Properly cared for, crystal porcelain will last for hundreds of years with no degradation in beauty. A bright light (the sun is a good example) applied to the pot will dramatically enhance the beauty of the crystals. Many pots can be displayed on a wall by just adding a wire around the foot of the pot. Please let us know if you would like a wire added to any pot you purchase.
A special thank you to those of you who purchased a pot for yourself. Many buy pots for others (laudable to be sure); bringing art and beauty into your own life--just for you--gets a box of gold stars.
We hope you will forever savor the beauty of the pot that you purchased from us. Thank you!
What are the colors of the pots at the top of each web page?
The color of the pot on the left is cobalt; the color of the pot on the right is champange. The color of the pot in the background is aquamarine. The cobalt color comes from cobalt carbonate. The color "champagne" comes from iron oxide (there is almost no difference between red, yellow, and black iron oxide when fired, although they are strikingly different in their raw forms.) The color aquamarine comes from copper carbonate.
What does it say on the bottom of each pot?
Each pot has "Hot Ice Orcas" written on it. This allows you, or the person who you may have given a pot to, an opportunity to locate us should you have questions or want to order another pot. Just type "Hot Ice Orcas" into your favorite search engine (like Google) and you will quickly find the Hot Ice Studio.