We have launched an ongoing, online Seconds Sale that can be accessed by those who make a donation, in any amount, to the grassroots organization we're partnering with each month. These Seconds are in stock and ship in 7-10 business days. Learn more here.
Where's the pottery?
The answer to this starts with another question. Where are the kilns? When we closed our factory for two months at the start of the pandemic, there was no way to replenish the inventory as our customers bought it. With nothing on the shelves, we knew that when we were able to bring everyone back to work safely we would do so with a new pre-order system.
Last year we ordered two large, industrial gas-fired kilns from a company in Turkey that were scheduled to arrive and be installed this June. These kilns are unique in that they are industrial grade which means they use different technology than the gas kilns that are available from U.S. manufacturers like Olympic, Geil or Bailey, which focus on the studio pottery market. The kilns we bought use a high-velocity burner system and forced air to fire fully automated in a reduction cycle. As you can probably imagine, this machinery is complicated to install, which is why the manufacturer needs to send five technicians to install the equipment on site. With the borders being closed, this is impossible to do, and so our kilns sit somewhere in Istanbul, waiting for travel restrictions to lift.
In short, we don't know when these kilns will land. We've gone as far as to buy new small kilns from a clay studio in New York City that had to slow its expansion plans, we've scoured every Craigslist in every city and even put in an order for some Portuguese kilns that we hope we can install ourselves. In the meantime, we pack the kilns we have as tight as they can get, and make sure they fire every single night.
In early Spring, we made a quick pivot to a pre-order (or made-to-order) model. It's not what we want to do forever, but it's what's getting us through this super unpredictable time for business owners. And it has its perks! Yes, you have to wait up to 8 weeks for your pots to be made and shipped to you, but it eliminates the complicated forecasting equation that asked us to predict demand by color and form. Now you can order exactly the forms and colors you want during pre-determined pre-order windows.
We know it's hard to keep track of. You need to know in advance when we open our site for pre-orders. Last time, we reached our capacity within one hour. So if you plan to buy pottery from us, you really do need to plan ahead, open e-mails, and turn on post notifications on Instagram. We'll also update this page weekly so that information stays current.
1) Our next pottery pre-order for orders in Eggshell, Morel, Panna Cotta, and Amaro will be on Sunday, November 22nd at 12pm EST—unfortunately we can’t guarantee that these pots will arrive before December 25th. It’s looking like we’ll be able to squeeze in one more pre-order moment in mid-December, and we'll share that date here when it's finalized!
We also have some gorgeous, limited-edition pots from the Small Batch Studio and a funky, colorful collaboration with Momofuku still planned to launch in time for holiday gifting. Please make sure you’re subscribed to our never-spammy newsletter and follow us on Instagram at @eastforkpottery.
2) Over the next two years, East Fork will be moving into an impactful stage of growth—bringing clay production and recycling in house, moving to a bigger space, expanding our team and team member benefits, rolling out a plan for carbon neutrality, and investing in more infrastructure and equipment for the manufacture of our work. This growth requires a significant upfront capital investment. In building a strategy for financing this growth, the Founding Team has turned over every stone. We explored capital raises with venture capitalists and private equity—while our current investors are wildly supportive and trusting of the Founding Team, bringing on new investors and relinquishing majority ownership comes with the danger of potentially compromising our ability to pursue our mission, vision, and values. We considered crowdfunding platforms or internal fundraising through the sale of specialty items—both came with roadblocks that seemed insurmountable given our production capacity and bandwidth. Ultimately we realized that a 15% price increase across our core items would allow us to self-finance our growth.
While raising prices is no one's idea of a good time, in the end, it's the path that will allow us to stay truest to our vision, retain control of our company, and set us up for the sort of long term financial stability we'll need if we want to still be making pots and being good neighbors in 100 years.
3) All non-pottery pantry, kitchen, and tabletop objects are in stock and ship in 7-10 business days. We hope to become your go-to shop for your kitchen and tabletop needs.
4) We cannot combine orders at this time. If you'd like to add an item to an existing order, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get you sorted out.
7) Black lives matter, no ifs, ands, or buts. We're so encouraged by the wave of awareness, analysis, action, and accountability around racial injustice currently sweeping the nation. Let's keep it up! Keep on doing the personal work, keep having necessary conversations with friends and family, keep calling and writing our elected officials, keep learning, keep loving, and keep co-conspiring to find and initiate better, happier, healthier, solutions to replace the white supremacist, hetero/cis-normative, patriarchal, imperialist shit show we've all been living in for way too long. Time for something new! You can read a little about how equity work manifests at East Fork here.