After hemming and hawing over putting together a site for months I thought I just jump in and get it started.
I guess I should start with a brief introduction; I'm a self employed Pedorthist by trade and have been since 1997. My collecting of caudiciform/pachycaul succulents started in 1991 with just a few plants, today I have over 800 ranging from seedlings to massive specimens and it's taking over a good portion of my backyard.
Pottery came about because I need a pot for a large Cyphostemma so I could take the plant to a local Cactus and Succulent show in 2008
A little history of my collecting first before I go on with the pots. This plant is what started my craze for fat plants, in 1991 I purchased this Cyphostemma juttae at a local home repair warehouse in a 3.5" pot. Had no idea what it was intrigues by it's shape, as my wife says "it looks like a potato in a pot". It was grown in a pot for a few years and it got bigger but not very fast. In 1995 I saw some Cyphostemmas in the ground at UC Berkeley botanical garden and those plants were quite large. I came home and made a small raised growing bed to see how it would respond. Wish I would have started taking photos of it's progress back then, the first photo of it I have is from 1999
Showing some great character even at this point and this was from being in the ground for 4 years!
In 2000 it was dug up for transportation to our new house, it's in a12in wide container. You can see a line across the midsection where it rotted one year ans I recall it was from a cold snap of the winter 97-98.
From 2000-02 it was potted, growth was minimal in height but it kept getting fatter. I wanted larger growth and later that year I put back in the raised bed.
Here it is in 2003 in the raised bed, growing medium is 80% pea gravel and 20% composted manure.
Winter of 2005 under an unheated poly tunnel for protection from the rain.
Look at all those growing points!!
After much prodding from friends I decided to enter the plant in a C&S event, I went looking for a pot suitable to put it in. Went to nurseries, home centers, bonsai retailer and found nothing . The pot that were wide enough were too deep, ones that were the width I wanted were not deep enough and I wasn't going to pay $300 for a nice bonsai container.
So this is where the pottery comes in. My wife has a kiln for her ceramic and doll making, I just needed to learn how to build a pot. Bought a book and made a few small pots to get the feel of the clay.
Nothing fancy, simple pinch and coil pots. Now I felt ready to attempt a large creation.
Here it is on top of our 28" electronic kiln. It was a coil construction using a large wash basin as a mold.
It just fits, and to my amazement it comes out of the kiln perfectly fired!
After potting up the 100lb behemoth.
At the 2008 Sacramento C&S show, too bad it was not a judged event. After receiving so much praise I made the decision to jump in the pool with the big boys down in Los Angeles 3 months later.
Winning 1st place in the novice division at the 2008 Intercity show!