Traditional Terracotta Pots & Planters From Crete

12,000 Years In The Making

The Orchard is proud to have launched a brand new collection of traditional terracotta pots and planters hand thrown on the island of Crete.  Though a new offering in The Orchard, the pots we have sourced have been in production on the island of Crete for over 12,000 years.  Each terracotta pot, however big, is hand-thrown by craftsmen using traditional skills honed and passed down from generation to generation.  Ceramics such as this have been used for the preservation and storage of foods, oils, and wine for centuries in addition to being used in the decoration of Minoan Palaces.

Two craftsmen throw a tall pot.
Two craftsmen throw a tall pot.

Traditional Methods Used In The Making Of Our Terracotta Pots

The clay the terracotta pots are made from is specially selected to ensure the finest end product.  The clay is worked on site in huge mixing bowls before being stored in a cool environment until required.  Slowly the pots and planters are made, some of the larger pieces taking several days to complete.  The potter carefully adds height to the walls of each pot, before letting it dry, so allowing the finished height to be attained without the pot collapsing under its own weight.

Upon completion, it is allowed to dry out and then fired in a kiln at an extremely high temperature for at least fourteen hours.  After this initial firing, each pot is slowly cooled for a further fourteen hours.  The process is completed by standing the pot outside and leaving for at least twenty-four hours filled to the brim with water.  It is this process that gives the pots their frost resistant qualities.

A craftsman uses a traditional tool to decorate a pot.
A craftsman adds the finishing touches.

Unique Qualities And Detail

As all our terracotta pots and planters are hand thrown no two pieces are quite the same.  Each is a unique piece of historic art in its own right, practical, decorative and beautiful to look at.  Each pot is supplied with a waterproof descriptive label explaining the history and the quality of the pot.  The label also includes aftercare procedures to ensure the long life of each piece.  Our traditional Cretan pots are THE best home for any large plant.  In addition to their frost proof qualities, they offer a cool, protective and breathable environment for root growth.

Whilst all Cretan pots are made in a similar way from local clay, with the same mineral content etc, we firmly believe ours is made from some of the best clay available. Clay can be bought ready-made for pot makers so as to speed up the whole process.  Our potters, however, prefer to make their own material. Taking the raw clay dug from the ground, processing it through a number of pieces of machinery and sieves.  The end product is as soft as talcum powder, devoid of stones or grit.  This ensures that when mixed with water and thrown that only high-quality pots are produced time after time.

Whilst proud of the traditional methods evolved over the years we also embrace modern techniques to bring you the best possible terracotta pots and planters.  As such, each pot is sprayed with a silicon solution upon completion.  This solution is designed to repel water droplets.  The solution is safe and inert and dries completely clear so does not colour the pot in any way.  This new innovation still allows for the breathable nature of the terracotta allowing air movement and thus making these pots the best growing environments for your beloved plants.

50 Year Guarantee

If the provenance and beauty of these pots are not enough alone, we offer a 50-year frost proof guarantee on each and every pot and planter sold.  No quibbles, no debates, a guarantee cast in…..well, terracotta!  Once you’ve found the perfect home for your pot you can leave it there in sun, rain, sleet, and snow.  Simply follow the care instructions supplied and enjoy your pot for years to come.  Each item has its own unique stamp/barcode, to benefit from the 50-year guarantee you must register your pot here .  Failure to do so results in a default 12-month warranty being issued.  The guarantee is against frost damage only, not breakages through impact or similar.  Your pot will be replaced by the same model, or the nearest equivalent at our discretion if the original no longer in production.  No monetary refunds are offered.

Seal of quality for fifty year guarantee of pot.
Our quality seal.

You can see a selection of some of our most popular pots below and view the full collection of Traditional Cretan Pots here.

A bulbous terracotta pot.

The Koronios pot

Traditional large terracotta pot with handles.
The Melissofraska
A low, round traditional terracotta planter.
The Plake planter
A tall, narrow, traditional terracotta pot.
The Maria Tall Pot