Custom pots

maroun.c

Chumono
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A local ceramist is interested in doing couple bonsai pots for me. Shes not a bonsai potter per say but willing to try.
My trees are far from being custom pot worthy but believe it would be a nice experience with couple trees I like.
What would be the important pointers to give for the pot to work. I'm guessing tougher ceramics (if degrees of strength exist) drainage holes for sure. Rectangle with sharp edges dark brown colour for the cedar and juniper ? This cedar isnt that masculine but then again might go for a better more masculine cedar I guess.
Will also experiment with a pot for a maple guess oval blue color i guess. And for an olive will go with rectangle with rounded corners and maybe dark green color ? Suggestions tips and samples would be appreciated
 

Shibui

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Include tie down holes in the base of the pot to make it easier to wire trees in. 4 or 6 small holes is good. Drainage holes are often used but sometime a couple of extra holes for wire can be very useful.
Make drainage holes larger rather than small ones. 2 or 4 holes depending on the size of the pot.
Feet on all bonsai pots. feet keep the pot up of the bench to assist with drainage. Also allows some air circulation which probably helps with fungal disease and other problems.
Need to be fired to stoneware. Softer pots like terracotta absorb water so the tree dries out too fast. Probably won't matter where you are but lower temp fired pots tend to crack in winter when the water freezes.
Shape is up to the individual and the particular tree. I prefer to have outward sloping sides. Inward sloping sides are a nightmare to get the root ball out for repotting.
 

maroun.c

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Thanks for all the info will make sure to communicate. Agreed on the tie down holes a huge struggle for me I'm still not that good with securing trees in the pot. As you mention this any idea if it's ok to drill the pots I have to have few tie down holes maybe a 3-4 mm metal drill bit or will drilling crack the pot ?
Thanks
Maroun
 

penumbra

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Don't settle for anything less than stoneware cone 6. Cone 6 to cone 11 is what you want. Porcelain is excellent too but your potter may not work in porcelain. Earthenware will not hold up to the elements and it is softer and more brittle. Clay should have an absorption rate when fired of less than 2% and 1% is better. Feet and wire holes are excellent but not critical.
Rim of pot should not turn inward unless pot is very wide, otherwise you could have a difficult time re-potting. The best thing you can do, or your potter can do, is study pictures and descriptions of other pots.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Thanks for all the info will make sure to communicate. Agreed on the tie down holes a huge struggle for me I'm still not that good with securing trees in the pot. As you mention this any idea if it's ok to drill the pots I have to have few tie down holes maybe a 3-4 mm metal drill bit or will drilling crack the pot ?
Thanks
Maroun
If you can find a nail or something, you can always lay that across the bottom of your pot making an ø over the drainage hole on the outer underside. You can then attach the wire to the nail.

Drilling holes in pots is a skill on its own. High RPM en very little pressure (and lots of cooling) can work, but I ruin 2 drill bits per hole if I drill ceramics. It's cheaper just to buy a pot.
 

sorce

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The most difficult thing to overcome with bonsai pots, over other ceramics is the drag across the kiln shelf as they shrink their greater distances.

Pure Silica Sand is the cheapest "wheel" to put under the foot, alumina better, and more expensive.

Sorce
 
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