Brothers, Zane and Dr. Samuel Burley, founded the Burley Clay Products Company in 1923. Originally, the company produced large stoneware crocks and jugs for home use. Since 1933, the company has focused on the production of garden pottery and birdbaths.
Burley Clay Products is located in Roseville, Ohio. Our garden products are manufactured using a unique blend of the finest clay from our southeastern Ohio company- owned mines. This area is world famous for its stoneware clay, and our mixes produce the strongest, most attractive stoneware available in the world. Many famous pottery factories were once located in this area – Nelson McCoy, Friendship, Roseville, Zanesville, Brush, Hull, and Watt. Today, Burley is the only stoneware manufacturer of garden pottery remaining in operation in our area.
In 1996, Burley formed a marketing alliance with another local pottery, The Robinson Ransbottom Pottery Company. Under this special alliance Burley produced nearly all of the birdbaths and pedestals sold under the Robinson Ransbottom brand from 1996 until 2002. In 2003, the Burley name re-entered the lawn and garden market with a new custom designed line of birdbaths and garden planters. Burley Clay utilizes several different production methods to produce our stoneware. From high-tech hydraulic and ram presses to the craftsmanship required in jiggering and casting, our production methods differ significantly but share certain features – an emphasis on quality, efficiency, craftsmanship, and attention to detail. Certain production methods require thicker, more solid clay, while others demand a thinner, more liquid consistency.
Burley Clay History
Our processes carefully clean and mix the clay blend at a perfect consistency specific to each production method.
Burley Clay Products is proud to offer beautiful, American-made and Imported products. Currently our products are sold in lawn and garden stores, nurseries, specialty birding stores, and hardware stores across the United States and Canada.
One of the methods we employ today is a rarely found “lost art” form known as jiggering. This means of production is an old-fashioned, hand-made process we use to create several of our larger items, such as birdbaths, pedestals and planters. In this process, the jiggerman places a plaster mold inside a spinning steel drum; then adds an estimated amount of clay inside of the mold determined by the size of the piece to be manufactured.
As the clay begins to dry, the plaster mold draws the water away from the clay, releasing the clay from the mold. The ware is then removed from the mold and the rough edges are trimmed. This acquired skill requires years of apprenticeship and is usually passed down to family members who have worked in area potteries for generations. Our artisans hand-decorate all of our products, creating pottery that is in great demand throughout the United States and Canada.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does it freeze?
Yes, winter storage is recommended to prevent any damage. If you do not want to bring it in for the winter, flip the top over to prevent any water/snow from sitting inside.
Will it break in winter?
Yes, if you allow water or snow to sit in the bowl it will freeze and cause cracks.
What paint is used for the hand-painted pieces?
We use a Lead Free Outdoor Paint on our pottery. It stands up to outdoor conditions all year long and maintains the beautiful colors for many years.
Will it fade?
Unfortunately yes, but this takes many, many years. Like most things left outdoors, they will eventually fade. If you see your piece fading, you can find Outdoor Paint and touch it up for a personal touch.
Is it really made here (Ohio)?
Yes, it really is made right here in Roseville, Ohio. We have a local clay mine and materials are brought right to the warehouse and factory in Roseville. Everything is made from start to finish in the same place.
Is the clay local?
Yes, there is a local Ohio mine of clay that we have used exclusively for generations.
Why do the 2 same hand-painted pieces I bought look different? – We have a group of artists who all have their own style of painting, each piece is going to be slightly different due to which artist painted it. It’s what makes our pottery one of a kind!
Are the crocks food safe?
Yes they are. If you get cracks or chips on them however, they will no longer be food safe.
Are the Ceramic Chef stones oven safe?
Yes they are! They are also microwave safe as well. The stones are prefect for grill or oven, and act like a cast iron pan, holding in seasoning and getting better with age.
If my top breaks, is there anything I can do?
No, unfortunately once they are broken there is not much you can do. Most glues are not safe for the wildlife that will be enjoying your birdbath.
How do I clean my birdbath top? –
You can use a wildlife friendly cleaner to scrub any dirt and gunk away. Some of our staff use a bucket of hot water and some Comet to clean their birdbaths, just mix the comet with the water and scrub until clean. Do not let the mixture sit and soak in the top and make sure to really rinse it out as best as you can.
How to I stop animals from knocking over my birdbath
There’s really not much you can do. Most of our tops are now made with a locking feature to try and prevent bigger wildlife from knocking them over. We also have adhesive strips for the birdbath tops that do not lock.
My item arrived broken, what do I do?
If any of your items arrive broken, don’t sweat it! Take a picture of the damaged item and send it to us in an email with your name & address and we will send out a replacement at no cost to you.
Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.