Frequently Asked Questions

Some folks want to know about:

What does Old Barn Pottery do?

We make hand-crafted stoneware reflecting the intersection of traditional music, our maritime home, and functional pottery. Vickie Gray, the potter at Old Barn Pottery, is passionate about combining function and beauty. She makes each piece of wheel-thrown pottery in our studio, pulls every handle, makes all the glazes from scratch, and manages every firing. We test our glazes in our own kitchen, and some have been used, put in the microwave and washed in the dishwasher almost daily for years. We produce pottery to sell ourselves, and also make custom pieces for individuals and other businesses.

We have a musical theme to our pottery. We both love music in all its forms, and Celtic music in particular. Paul plays bagpipes, smallpipes, the electric bass, and sings. Vickie plays cello, guitar, piano, and sings, and in 2020 is learning to play the bagpipes. We also play with other local musicians for the love of the music, and enjoy going to music festivals. Vickie noticed that there wasn’t any beautiful pottery celebrating musicians who play Celtic music. While that’s not all we do, the Tune Mugs, or “sheet music” mugs, are the spark and the enduring flame of Old Barn Pottery.

Can I put my pottery in the dishwasher?

Yes! Your new dishes are made to be used just like dishes you would buy from a store. Only they’re more beautiful, of course!

How about the microwave?
Yes. In fact, we use our own pottery at home, and microwave our mugs of coffee and tea many times a day. We even make porridge in the microwave right in our bowls.

Is our pottery food safe?
Yes. While you may have heard about pottery that is not food safe, we do not use the techniques or materials that would put anyone at risk. We are so confident in our glazes, we use our own pottery every day.

If I break it, and purchase one to replace it, will it look the same?
There will be slight variations from batch to batch, because each piece is made by hand, our glazes are mixed in small batches, and each piece is dipped in glaze individually. While we do aim to be consistent, over time you will notice that colours, shapes, and sizes may be slightly different.

Can we visit the pottery?

Although we don't have a display space on-site, we're happy to have you visit. So it’s best to let us know before you drop by. Call Paul at (902) 521-8493 to make arrangements. We may be out delivering orders, or walking the Pottery greyhound, or at a market selling our ware.

Do you make custom orders?
Let us know what you’re thinking, and we’ll see what we can do! We have certainly created many unique products for customers across North America.

Who made my pottery?

Vickie Gray is the potter at Old Barn Pottery. When you see the Old Barn Pottery logo stamped in the bottom of our pots, you can be sure she made your pottery with love.

Where did Vickie learn to make pottery?
She learned about ceramics at one of the top high school arts programs in Toronto, Ontario. She then went on to run her own studio pottery on Hornby Island, BC, and learned about glaze design from Robin Hopper at the Metchosin Summer School of the Arts. She participated in the early days of the Clay-Art Listserv, learning from potters around the world, and she has continued to experiment and learn in her own pottery in Nova Scotia.

Who else works at Old Barn Pottery?
Vickie’s sweetheart, Paul Reeves, is an indispensable partner in the pottery, managing everything from our online store, to bookkeeping, firewood cutting, kiln repairs, and being Vickie’s musical partner.

NOTE: Buy now before we have to charge tax.

How do I place an order?
Since you are already here, you can shop just as you do at any on-line store:

  • from the Home page, click on the picture of what you want
  • use the Select option list to personalize your item if applicable
  • add it to your Cart
  • select another item to continue shopping
  • click on the cart total upper right to Checkout.
You can pay by credit card securely through Stripe, or PayPal (we do not see nor keep any of your financial information.)  All our prices are in Canadian dollars and will be converted at payment to your currency (if necessary).

Can I pick up my order to avoid shipping?
Yes you can! When you are checking out there is a Summary section just below where you choose your Payment method. In the "Discount code" field of the Summary enter NOSHIP and click on the plus sign. That eliminates the shipping charge and tells us not to ship it to you. Use the "Notes or instructions" field to make arrangements for pick-up. Complete your payment information to finalize your order.

What happens next for on-line orders?
We receive your order and confirmation of payment and do a happy dance. Then we get to work to fulfill your order and emailing you so you know what to expect. Once your order has shipped, we do another happy dance, and let you know the status and tracking information.

How long does it take to process my order?
For items that are in stock, you should expect 1 week for packing and shipment from our location, with arrival depending on your location. For items that are not in stock, expect at least an additional 2 weeks to produce your items because they are all carefully hand-crafted. During peak seasons like August and November, we may advise it will take longer. The earlier you order, the sooner we can get your order done!

What about duties & taxes on International orders?
Any applicable duties and taxes are collected upon receipt by your postal service. We recommend you check your country's import regulations to avoid surprise costs.

What if I want to cancel my order?
Please send us an email from our Contact page with the details and reason for cancelling. If you were surprised or upset by any part of the ordering process, please let us know. We'll confirm your request to cancel and process a refund by the method you paid.

Do you offer discounts?
If you would like to place a wholesale order, please let us know and we can work out a reasonable price for the number of products you’d like. For individual orders, however, we believe our prices are already excellent and reflect the care and professionalism we put into every piece.

Why don’t I see tax on my order?
The Canadian government does not require that we collect tax because we do not make enough yet to warrant it. At some point in 2021 we hope to be so successful that we'll have to charge tax, so get your orders in early.

How do gift cards work?

Use the link on our Gift Card page to move to the Square website. You can then choose your format and value, and provide an email address for your recipient. Once you've paid, the Card is emailed to your recipient. They will need to contact us directly to use the Card for payment in person or over the phone. Best to have them Just Call Paul at (902) 521-8493.

How will I know when your product lines, prices, taxes, etc. change?

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