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The Brantford Potters' Guild Standards

for sales and exhibitions

The Standards Committee shall consist of a Chairperson and members appointed by the Chairperson as needed.


The objective of the Standards Committee of The Brantford Potters’ Guild is to ensure the presentation of well-crafted pottery of original design for exhibition and sale. The jurying of pots by the Standards Committee is to protect the potter, the Guild, and the public and to encourage and maintain a high level of craftsmanship in the Guild. Pottery submitted to the Potters’ Guild for display or sale will be judged on the basis of quality according to the following guidelines.


When members of the Standards Committee are unable to accept a pot for display or sale, they will place the pot under the potter’s sale table with an accompanying explanation. The pot will not be juried a second time for that show or sale. If rejection is expressed by more than one Standards Committee member, it will be final.

General Guidelines for all Pottery Design

  1. The guild encourages original design.

  2. The object should perform the function for which it is intended.

  3. Clays, glazes, and decorations should be suitable to the function of the object.


Mixed media is acceptable as long as clay is the major focus.

The Guild accepts pottery formed by coil, slab, wheel, etc., and the use of handmade moulds or any combination thereof. Commercial moulds, bisque or greenware are unacceptable (i.e. commercial tiles are unacceptable).

Glaze flaws, e.g., crazing, crawling, pin holing, blistering, pitting, shivering, where detrimental to function, are unacceptable. (Refer to Daniel Rhodes’ book Clay and Glazes for the Potter.) Crazing is allowed, providing the clay body is mature (vitrified). It is to your benefit to know if your clay body is vitrified. The Guild will not be responsible for damage occurring from vessels with crazed glaze on unvitrified clay.


Clay and glaze are to be fired to maturing point.

  1. Extremely dry matte glazes are not recommended for food surfaces.

  2. Lead glazes and under glazes containing lead are not acceptable.

  3. Bloating is unacceptable.

  4. Functional details must perform their function: bases must be smooth and steady, lips must pour, spouts must be non-drip, rims must be smooth, lids must fit, handles must facilitate holding, and containers must hold liquid if meant to do so.

  5. Electrical appliances or any items that require an electrical cord must have a genuine CSA label stating that the cord has been CSA approved.

  6. Dual purpose items must function for both purposes; for example, milk bag containers with spouts must meet the standards for ‘pourability’ as with any other pitcher.

Specific Guidelines for Pottery

  1. Non-functional pieces, including Raku and smoke-fired objects, will be selected by the Standards Committee on the basis of technical qualities.

  2. Raku pieces are not ideal for wet acidic foods – in fact, they could be potentially dangerous. In addition to the Guild Card packed with each Raku pot, the potter must apply a sticker stating that this work is for dry food and decorative use only.

  3. All Raku needs to be scrubbed, washed, rinsed and dried to remove debris and excessive smoke and odour.

  4. Shino glazes are known for their peculiarities such as crawling, crazing, and pin holing and must be identified on a sticker applied by potters to their own work.

  5. Since earthenware is porous, all functional surfaces in this clay body must be completely glazed, and the potter must place a sticker on each piece stating that it is not recommended for dishwasher or microwave use.

  6. Sgraffito pieces should be lightly sanded as greenware or bisque or damp -sponged gently when leather hard to remove barbs. Sgraffito looks wonderful alone or under a glaze, but improperly smoothed areas can cut users and handlers.

  7. Sculptural pieces require smooth bottoms just as much as functional ware. Extra time needs to be spent smoothing rough edges and securing joints for masks, planters, animals, figures, wall plaques, vessels, banks, etc. Nobody wants customers to cut themselves while handling our pieces.

  8. For oil lamps and other pottery pieces that will contain oil, bear in mind that no matter how vitrified the clay body, oil leaks eventually. If you wish to sell oil lamps at the Guild Sale, you must let the Standards Committee know that you have properly sealed the insides and bottoms of your lamps and that you have tested for oil leakage over a good period of time.

  9. On hanging pieces, the grooves or holes meant for hooks or nails must be substantial enough to be hung securely. Wire supports must be strong enough and appropriately secured to hold the weight of the piece.

  10. Anything requiring glue should be done so that the finished product has a neat and professionally finished look. All work glued to be repaired is unacceptable.

  11. Pottery to be displayed must be clean, not dusty, and free from signs of use.

  12. Unless specifically marked in the design of the lid and base, all lids must fit in all directions. Lids that fit in only one direction, lids that lock when rotated, or lids that fall off when the container is slightly moved (due to improper seating into the container) will not be accepted for Guild Sales.

  13. Thin flanges are unacceptable.

  14. Handles must be comfortable in performing their function. Casseroles and baking dishes should have handles and knobs that can be handled easily with oven mitts or potholders.

  15. Lids that don’t fit and pots that are tipsy or have cracks in the handles, feet or lids, or are under-fired are ‘Seconds.’ Leave your ‘Seconds’ at home. If you have questions about the acceptability of certain pieces, please bring these to the attention of a Standards Committee Member before putting your work out for display or on the table for sale. Our goal is to provide a strong professional image of the Guild to our customers. This is accomplished by ensuring that the Guild sells well-made pots – "FIRSTS".

  16. Post fired pigmentation is not acceptable on function work.

  17. Underglazes, stains. or glazes using cadmium must be a minimum 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the rim of functional ware. These are acceptable on non functional items, such as Christmas ornaments and sculpture as long as they are permanent.

Guidelines for Display

  1. No artificial weeds or flowers will be allowed.

  2. Dyed weeds will be allowed only where they are an integral part of the piece. Natural dried weeds and live plants and flowers are to be kept to a minimum.

  3. Live plants must be healthy and aesthetically pleasing. Pots intended to hold plants may be displayed with the plant in a removable plastic or clay pot, not planted directly in the pot.

  4. Christmas ornaments may be put on display stands, as well as in baskets. Jewelry is best mounted on neatly finished display boards.

  5. Accent cloths on tables can overhang the edge by no more that 6 inches.

  6. Display shelves or supports used on tables can be no more than 36 inches high. Final decisions regarding all matters of display remain with the Sales Committee.

Pricing Guidelines

  1. Prices should be roughly comparable for all potters for similar items, especially to avoid under-pricing. Under-pricing hurts all members of the Guild, so try to be fair when you price your pots.

  2. Prices may not be changed during the sale.

  3. All prices must be in whole dollars.

  4. Items must be legibly labeled with Brantford Potters Guild number/letter code and price on a single sticker. Use the following format for your label: potter’s code (e.g. ’141 DEV’) with the price (e.g. $10.00) below.

  5. If the price and code are not legible, the piece will not be sold.

  6. In the case of sets (e.g., cream and sugar), sets may be labelled A, B, etc. and labels identifying the set (A - set of 2), with the price only on one piece.

  7. If you are unsure how to price your pots, ask for help. Guild members are more than willing to help a newcomer.

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