Our next Seconds & Samples sale will be in 2025 – it is exclusively for our email subscribers. If you haven't already – join our email list to be notified when the sale starts.
In the world of ceramics, "seconds" are those pieces that don't quite make the cut but are still functional and safe for use. They're still beautiful – some would argue more so than the 'perfect' pieces.
So how do we determine what 'seconds' are at Winterwares?
Every piece that comes out of our kilns is assessed based on it's functionality and beauty, to see if it is a First or Second.
Both types are functional and are food-safe where needed, the key difference lies in their aesthetic qualities, with Seconds displaying characteristics that were unexpected.
Aesthetic flaws come about for many reasons. From issues with the raw materials, or from when we are forming, trimming, glazing, firing and handling. Any deviations in these can lead to a piece being classified as a second.
When you purchase items from our seconds collection, each piece will have one or more of the following;
- Kiln Flecks
- Uneven Glaze
- Superficial glaze splitting
- Samples (designs we didn't keep)
Forming and Trimming Issues
Human error or tool malfunctions during the forming or trimming process can create visual imperfections. For example when we attach handles to our mugs, sometimes a small surface split will appear in glaze where the handle meets the body.
While glaze variations are expected due to the hand-crafted nature, major streaks, thin spots or pinholes can downgrade a pot to second quality.
Flaws occurring during the kiln firing process, like scratches in the base or small flecks of impurities discolouring the glaze.
During the many stages of handling, any mishaps like scratches or misshaped forms can relegate a pot to second quality.
All our bowls go into the kilns as circles – not all of them come out as circles! The intense heat of the kiln can warp them into looking more like ovals, eggs and other quirky shapes.
We're always designing and trying out new products and glazes. Samples are the one of pieces that we have made that haven't made it into our collection. There is often nothing at all wrong with them!
Seconds are essentially about embracing imperfection, recognising that not every pot will be picture-perfect, but can still be a beautiful, usable piece of pottery.