Finding Pottery Online
There are many ways to find great pottery. While it is often best to see the pieces in living color, the Internet offers opportunities for those who do not have ready or easy access to great artisans in their town or who prefer a type of pottery that typically isn't carried locally to find the pieces they desire to add to their collections without traveling extensively in order to do so.
There are a few drawbacks to ordering pottery online and one of those would be the fact that you are only seeing a very flat representation of the finished product. In other words, it is very difficult for a picture to recreate the drama that a certain piece of pottery may have. The colors cannot be relied upon as accurate because of the differences in cameras, monitors, and picture quality. This means that if you are getting what you think is one color, that will match a certain feature in your room, you may actually be getting another color all together (blue and purple are often difficult to differentiate among other colors). This means that seeing the piece in person is definitely the best way to go if you have the opportunity. If not, be certain that the dealer from which you purchase the piece has a good standing with the BBB and a liberal return policy.
Another reason you should display caution when purchasing pottery online is that you can't really gauge the quality of the workmanship through a photograph either. This means you may be getting flawed pieces and yet paying the price you would expect to pay for a perfect piece of pottery by said artist. Unfortunately we cannot trust everyone to be completely honest. It is a sad truth but one that should definitely be considered. Many flaws will not show up on camera, particularly if there is only one view of the piece. Pottery, even when flawed can still be beautiful but no one wants to pay more than a piece of pottery is worth, especially those that are collecting as an investment.
If those reasons aren't enough there is the fact that it is always a good idea to support local talent whenever possible. If there is a good deal of support for local artists, chances are that more artists will begin to migrate to the area. Artists tend to build communities of like minded artists for some reason. Communities that support them often draw in more new artists, which means your choices and the local selection will improve with support and over time. Also, any money going into the local community is a good thing for everyone in the community. Jobs, spending and housing are all signs of a flourishing community. A community that supports the arts is another sign of a community that is growing.
Last but not least, when purchasing online make sure that you take every precaution to protect your investment and know the company you are dealing with. Good business happens online every day. There are many more honest people doing business online than dishonest people but it never hurts to be careful and protect your money and your purchase. Buying pottery online can be quite convenient if you have the need but it is certainly not the only way to go.