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Oakland

Orta Kitchen Garden

Orta makes terracotta self-watering planters designed to make seed starting easier and more successful. You fill the reservoir once a week, and your baby plants get all the moisture they need.

We’re also on a mission to make the world a greener place, both by helping people grow more plants, and by making our operations as environmentally friendly as possible.

The Makers and their Production Spaces
All Orta pots are made in our Berkeley studio by a team of two people, the business owner plus one employee.

The Making Process
Orta pots are made from terracotta clay using traditional slip-casting methods. Slip (liquid clay) is poured into plaster molds and then poured out again to create a hollow form whose exterior matches the interior of the mold.

After casting, the pots are finished by hand. While they’re still damp, we smooth the surface with knives and sponges. Once dry, the pots are coated in our proprietary glazes, formulated to function in a single, low firing (to save energy) and to be applied by dipping rather than spraying (to keep particulates out of the air).

The Production Model
We use a slow and steady production method. Ceramics do best with consistency in everything: temperature, cycle times, batch sizes, etc. We produce at about the same rate every day, year round, building inventory in our slow season, and selling it in our busy times.

The Materials
Everywhere possible, we use non-toxic ingredients. Early on, we developed a clay recipe that eliminates the toxic barium carbonate (commonly used as rat poison) that is in most commercial formulations.

Our glazes are lead-free. They also primarily use encapsulated stains which make them especially inert and safe when used at our low firing temperatures.

We also use 100% plastic-free packaging, including all our shipping padding.

San Francisco

Jewelry

Anna Monet Jewelry

San Francisco

Culinary & Garden Totes

Aplat

Oakland

Timepieces

Bespoke Watch Projects

Los Altos Hills

Ceramics

Blue Plate

Sausalito

Skincare

Botnia Skincare

San Anselmo

Clothing & Accessories

Entrelanas Designs

Corte Madera

Dressings

Farmhouse Lab

San Francisco

Heated Outdoor Furniture

Galanter & Jones

Berkeley & San Francisco

Botanical Living Walls

Habitat Horticulture

San Francisco, Sausalito

Ceramics

Heath Ceramics

San Francisco

Body & Bath

Heliotrope San Francisco

San Rafael

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Herderin

Oakland

Furniture & Accessories

Jason Lees Design

Oakland

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Jay Morgan Handcraft

Oakland

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Juniper Ridge

Oakland

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Lacson Ravello

San Leandro

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Manos by Concreteworks

San Francisco

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MMclay

Oakland

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Model No. Furniture

San Francisco

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MOkun

Crockett

Furniture & Objects

Oja Design

San Rafael

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SKINNY

San Francisco

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soft - geometry

San Francisco

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Stella Fluorescent

San Francisco

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Veso

Napa

Clothing & Accessories

YOLOTI