Updated: Mar 27
Now that we have sold thousands of clay lights and answered equal number of queries. This post will help you decide on what to expect if you are buying a ceramic lamp for the first time.
The Nature of the material: Clay is one of the most versatile material, it can be shaped endlessly. Whether you are a fan of minimalistic design, contemporary, traditional, rustic or any other interior style, you will always find design that suits your taste probably not possible in any other material.
The art behind the scene: The art of pottery is probably has changed least over its inception, thousands of years ago. When it comes to let's say metal, earlier we used to manually beat the metal to shape, now, huge machines can do the thousands of pieces of same shape in a single day. Same for the invention of electricity in kilns and wheel, most of the work are still manually done like old days. Each clay piece still take 5-7 days to produce, the amount of final rejections (for unknown reasons) remain the same and the challenges in mass production remains the same.
The variations: One of the most unique characteristics of clay - the slight variation from piece to piece. No two pieces are exactly the same. The sheer number of factors that can influence the final outcome is like no other. From composition of the clay itself even if it is mined from the same place, how long the clay has been stored, the time of year that it has been produced (which affects the drying time), the type of mold used, age of mold, consistency of clay or slurry, and last but not the least, the human factor that one has to account at every stage.
Taking care of these variations while buying: To make sure that these variations do not affect your home décor intent, if you plan to hang the lights in same location and they are within say 9" (inch) to each other like in cluster or chandelier, order them in one go; there will be variations but they will match above 95%. If you plan to order over length of time, choosing white clay will guarantee much more consistency that natural. In case, you are keen on natural stoneware/terracotta, buying over period of time, talk to us and we will share solution on case to case basis.
Choosing the clay type: Although both natural and white clay are equivalent manufacturing wise, some points to note:
the natural clay shrinks slightly more (2-3% more) compared to white clay.
with same wattage of bulb, white clay will be brighter than the natural clay by up to 10%.
final color of light from the lamp will be influenced by the natural clay. The darker the color of clay, the more the influence on its brightness and change of light hue.
The fragile nature of ceramic lamps: Probably no need to mention, we understand your pain when you open the box to a broken ceramic piece that you have been waiting for so eagerly. Although our successful delivery rate is beyond 98%, there is this 2% chance of damage. However the susceptibility towards damage varies by size and this is how it varies as per our experience over last 3 years
Size up to 11" AND height up to 8" - <0.5% (less than 5 in 1000)
Size between 11" and 13" AND height between up to 8" and 11" - 0.75% to 1.2% (1 in 100)
Size above 13" AND height above 13" - 2% to 2.5% (up to 5 in 200)
therefore IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO CHECK THE PACKAGE as soon as you receive them and keep it back if you are not using it immediately. If there is any delay, we might have shipped the extra pieces to another customer or would have reclaimed them without baking, which leads to the fact that more the delay in your discovery, more the delay in shipping of your replacement piece.
Storing the clay lights before installation: If you got your lamps early and want to store them for the installation on later date, we strongly suggest using the original packaging till the installation is done.
Handling the ceramic lamp: Never subject the lamps to jerks, like sudden pulling by cord, holding the cord and allowing the lamp to free fall or swinging the lamp by cord etc. Ceramics have great compressive strength, but are very vulnerable to pull. If your lamp has patterns/cuts, never use them for holding by your finger(s). Thin sections are fragile.
Sloped ceiling: All the clay lamps can be adapted in general for the sloped ceiling. However, it is important to let us know following your order, that you plan to install pendant lights or chandelier on the sloped celling and the incline so that we can guide you with proper mechanism for mounting.
Lamps are heavy: Ceramic lamps are heavy compared to any other types of lamp. It can range between 500gms to 6-7kg for the larger pieces. Please consider this fact while ordering, especially if you are looking for installing clay clusters lights. We can help you with custom made canopies for this type of installation. Please discuss.
Mishaps during installation: We have heard enough instances from our customers about this. So, even if you are getting a trained professional for installation, please let him know that they will be installing a ceramic lamp.
For any other doubts, please contact us at sales(at)naayastudio.com