Questions about Ordering, Shipping and Returns

Can I ship my order to multiple shipping addresses?
Yes. Upon check out, you will be prompted to designate which product(s) to ship to a specific address. Shipping charges apply to each shipping address.
What is your privacy policy?
The entirety of our privacy policy can be accessed from a link at the bottom of every page. In a nutshell, your email address and user information will never be shared for any reason with any one. We will not hold your credit card information on file unless you specifically ask us to.
What is your return policy?
Custom or personalized products may not be returned due to their nature, unless there is a manufacturing defect. Please double-check all spellings and dates for accuracy, as we will print exactly what you give us! If we have a question about grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. we'll contact you so you have a chance to correct it if necessary. If you require a return, please contact us for a return authorization.
What about breakage?
We take great pains to pack each item carefully so that your pottery will arrive in the same condition we packed it. In fact, we double-box almost all items, exceeding the standards in careful packaging. In the rare event of breakage, please do not touch any broken pieces! Damaged pottery or tile can be extremely sharp. Save all packing materials and contact the carrier immediately. Each piece of Branching Out Pottery is shipped with insurance. You will receive a replacement for any carrier-approved claim that is reported to us within 5 business days after delivery.
Which shipping carriers do you use?
We use UPS for all ground or expedited services. We use the US Postal Service (USPS) for small packages, priority mail, and international orders.
How long will it take to get my order?
BOP typically will ship your order within 2-3 weeks upon receipt of your order and images. Most orders go out sooner. There can be exceptions such as if we have a question about your order and need to contact you requiring a reply. If this is the case, please respond to us as soon as possible! Other situations that might delay shipment of your order are complex projects, backordered frames or boxes, large orders or orders requiring fabrication of custom woodwork.
Can you rush my order?
If you need your order on short notice, please contact us first to ensure availability. We will try to accommodate your needs, without compromising our quality assurance.
We can also provide a full-color printable gift certificate via email for a either a specific product or purchase amount to be redeemed at the recipient's convenience.
Do I have to order online?
We want to assure you that our site uses advanced security technologies to ensure the privacy of your personal information and credit card data, enabling us to provide secure transactions at checkout.

If for any reason you prefer not to submit credit card data online, we offer the following alternatives:

Phone: Simply call us at 530-622-5911 during business hours with your credit card and order information handy. If you'd like to submit your order online and call us with your credit card information, go through the normal checkout process, selecting Phone/Fax. Give us a call at your convenience so we can begin working on your order.

Fax: Select Phone/Fax instead of Credit Card in the Checkout process, submit your order online, then print a copy of the Confirmation page. Fill in the requested credit card information, then call us for a fax number.

Mail: Select Phone/Fax instead of Credit Card in the Checkout process, submit your order online, then print a copy of the Confirmation page. Send us your personal check or money order with a copy of your Confirmation page.

Please note that we cannot begin work on your custom order until your funds clear.

Questions about Photo Tiles

What types of images work best?
We can work with virtually any image - photographs, logos, artwork and scrapbook pages. We can incorporate invitations, handwritten letters, newspaper clippings, fabric, children's drawings, documents such as wedding licenses, diplomas, report cards or maps. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. If it can be scanned or photographed, we can include it!
Ideally, your image should be focused, have good contrast, and the subject should not be too close to the edge of the photo. We can zoom in to crop the image, eliminating excess background.
We are experienced at artfully cropping and positioning your photos or graphics, and will carefully blend your personalized inscription to capture and preserve the image and sentiment you provide.
How do you make the tiles?
The process is called dye sublimation. First your image(s) are imported in to one of several graphics editing software programs such as PhotoShop and created onscreen. Multiple layers develop as components such as text are added. We pay close attention not only your image but minor nuances such as adding drop shadows that subtly enrich and enhance the design.
Once we are satisfied with the final layout, the next step involves a heat press, special paper and special ink. The process uses heat and pressure to convert the heat-activated ink (dye) to a gas at ~400°. As the dyes cool, they are permanently infused to the tile or other substrate.
Is there any way you can incorporate a minor design change to one of your products?
We enjoy making each piece as unique as its recipient. Please contact us with the product you're interested in and your specific requests. We'll let you know as soon as possible how we can accommodate your changes. For ideas requiring extensive customization, we will be happy to provide a custom quote
What do the fonts look like?
So as to not make your checkout process an insurmountable chore, we have selected a wide, yet limited, variety of font styles that reflect many moods.
We take that extra bit of time to consider text placement and color, often selecting a color for the inscription that is derived from and compliments your image. Sometimes we'll add an outline, drop shadow or beveled effect - to create a caption that is harmonious and readable.
Are there special care instructions?
Not really. You should be aware that the tiles can be scratched. We primarily use a satin finish ceramic tile, which is well suited to most applications. If you want to install tiles where they will get significant wear, we recommend either a matte finish tile, or a glass tile, in which the image is actually printed on the back side.
Use only nonabrasive cloths to clean your tile – a slightly damp rag will generally do, but a mild glass cleaner can be used as well. Do not use any harsh chemicals. Frames and boxes should be wiped with a soft slightly damp cloth as well.
To prevent premature fading, photo tiles should not be subject to intense sunlight. Treat them like you might, other pigmented pieces of art. We recommend them primarily for indoor use. With care you will enjoy the tiles for decades and generations to come.
In what format do I need to send you my digital image?
Our preferences is high resolution .jpg, .psd or .tif files. We also accept other file extensions such as .cdr, .pdf, .ai, or high resolution .eps.
For best results, your image should be at least 1200 x 1800 pixels, or 300 ppi at final image size. If you are using a digital camera, we suggest the highest size and quality setting as possible.
What if my photo is not that good - can you fix things light red eyes, small scratches or distracting background elements?
As part of our standard service, we will crop your image if necessary to fit the product's format, and make minor color/contrast adjustments to enhance it. Oftentimes that is enough to correct some of the common issues.
Artwork requiring more intensive photo retouching (repair, red eye or blemish removal, special effects) can be done as well. If you have a question regarding requests such as taking backgrounds, objects or people out of the photo, please call. Retouching services are billed at $40 per hour in 15 minute increments.
Remember, the final result is dependent on the quality of the images you provide. We will contact you if we are concerned about the image. Often, images may have been resized inadvertently. However, if the photo you want to use is small, a bit blurry, faded we'll do our best to enhance it and bring it in to the overall design of your piece.
Can I mail you my original photo or my image on CD?
Yes. But we recommend that you do not send precious or irreplaceable photos in case they are lost or damaged in the mail. It is better to have the photo scanned at 300 ppi (minimum) and sent on a CD. You can use a flat bed scanner to scan your image at 300 ppi/dpi resolution. Save the file in RGB mode using JPEG format with the highest quality setting and lowest compression.
If you have an old photo and don't have a scanner, you can have your photo scanned into a 300 ppi JPEG digital file on a CD at most print service stores (such as Kinko's), which you can then upload to us from your PC or send the file by mail on CD.
I have several photos I want to send for a mural, but the shopping cart only lets me upload one. What do I do - they are large files and my email program can't handle the job?
After you have placed your order and have received a confirmation number, simply use the free upload file feature at www.yousendit.com. Email to service@branchingoutpottery.com. Be sure to include your name, order confirmation number and brief description of the image. This is a free service and allows you to send files up to 100 MB. The only glitch is you can only send one file at a time. The better solution in our opinion, and most easily organized, is to send us your image files on a CDs.
Can the tiles be incorporated with other media?
Absolutely. If you are an artist or crafter, I am happy to work with you to create products that you can add to your creations. Stained glass artists can add imaged glass tiles to products such as jewelry boxes...table tops are a natural fit for wood or metal workers. We can even produce full color imaging on fabric - opening a world of possibilities for quilters and seamstresses. Contact us to discuss ways photo imaged products may add a new dimension to your work.
Will the colors match exactly what I see on my monitor?
All monitors are uniquely calibrated, so the colors might not be exactly the same as what you see on your monitor - but they will be close! Just think how different TV’s look when all lined up next to one another.
Color matching service is available and billed at $35 per spot color.
What is your policy regarding copyrights and trademarks? Or...stuff my dad (the attorney) would want you to know.
We cannot reproduce copyright material without permission. This can include photographs taken by professional photographers.
By law, written permission must be obtained to reprint any copyrighted image. When you place your order, you represent and warrant that you have the authority to reproduce the image, logo, etc. that you have supplied. You certify that:
1) You own the image and/or the copyright for all images submitted for reproduction; or are authorized by the owner of the copyright of the image to allow Branching Out Pottery to reproduce the image onto one of its products, and
2) You agree to indemnify and hold Karen Adler and Branching Out Pottery harmless from all liability, expenses and damages that may incur as a result of fulfilling your order, including any claims brought by any other person claiming an interest in the image(s) supplied or its subject matter.
Anything you won't print?
Branching Out Pottery will not print images, artwork or text that are, or could be construed as being bigoted or demeaning, sexually explicit or promotes any illegal activity.

Questions about Pottery

How long will it take to get my custom pottery order?
All of our custom pottery is made to order - from scratch! That means that most products begin with just a lump of clay tossed down on the potter's wheel where they are formed by hand. Typically your order will leave our studio within 6-8 weeks. Most orders go out sooner. however, we will not forsake quality for speed.
Can you rush my pottery order?
If you need your order on short notice, please contact us first . To the best of our ability, we will try to accommodate your needs, without compromising the quality of the final product. The process of handmade pottery is time and labor intensive. After being made , the clay must dry thoroughly and is put in the kiln for a minimum of 2 firings.
We can also provide a full-color printable gift certificate via email for a either a specific product or purchase amount to be redeemed at the recipient's convenience.
Is there any way you can incorporate a minor design change to one of your clay pieces?
Same answer as for our tiles. Since the pieces are created by hand and made to order, the answer is definitely and gladly...yes! We enjoy making each piece as unique as its recipient. Please contact us with the product you're interested in and your specific requests. We'll let you know as soon as possible how we can accommodate your changes. For ideas requiring extensive customization, we will be happy to provide a custom quote. Allow additional time.
Is your pottery safe for food?
Absolutely! We exclusively use lead-free glazes. All products are food-safe and dishwasher-safe. Although our high-fired porcelain can withstand your oven--and even your microwave, assuming there are no metallic accents--it's also a unique and fragile collectible piece, so you should treat is as such.