Friday, July 22, 2011

Discovering The Pot Stop at Little Baja

For as long as I can remember there has been a big pottery yard in Moss Landing (on coastal Highway 1, about halfway between Santa Cruz and Monterey). It used to be called "Little Baja" and specialized in (you guessed it!) inexpensive pottery from Mexico. Current owners Bob and Polly have renamed it The Pot Stop, and created something quite remarkable; you will not find this particular mix of product anywhere else in the world.

That's not just hyperbole. Bob and Polly buy most of their pottery personally, rather than through a broker, and have many exclusive relationships that ensure you will ALWAYS find something unique here (and y'all know how much I like THAT!) I mean, just look. Water bearers, Buddhas, classical columns, a big stone shell and the promise of an endless aisle of more? Let me show you around...

Um, so really cool or just a little bit creepy? I think it's bothering me that they are missing their brains. What would you plant in this pot? Pittosporum Golfball would add a nice cranium (they are about two feet tall). Perhaps a bowler hat with a green apple on top...

Have you noticed how this narrow-necked urn shape isn't as common at many large pottery distributors? It's because you can't nest them, darling. If you are trying to fit as many pots as you can into a container, these things take up a lot of room. I supposed you could fill them with something else (I'll let you use your imagination here!) but suspect that most ship empty. I love these for fountains.

OK, these are new...and very interesting! Nice and architectural, love the two heights. Maybe on a Craftsman-style porch with a couple of matching Hinoki Cypress or something... everything about this; click to see the detail on those center pots with the shell pretty.

Look at those copper glazed pots. They are big. Just look at them. Near a pool? Are you with me? Planted with some choice Palm...

Those are my favorite brown bonsai-style pots in the back (the little feet make it SO much easier to install drip irrigation) and they come in some really interesting shapes. The urn in the foreground would look good all by itself in a meadow or shrubbery...

Killer water feature potential here...those ridges might do interesting things with the water as it flows down. But can we talk about the stink-eye imp from hell? It reminds me of something that Amanda Thompsen would have gladly used for gnome bowling, back in the day...

I know! I know!

So, a warning, as we reach the heart of the Pot Stop, things can start getting funky. Loved the red fountain on the green pedestal!

The Three Amigo Musketeer Mariachis?

"You can never have too many deities in the garden." I overhead this once at a nursery. You have to imagine it said in an impeccable, clipped Indian accent to get the full effect...

Even the local fauna are color coordinated (lucky shot, this was a loong zoom!)

I repeat, you can never have too many deities in the garden...

The fine folks at the Pot Stop can help you turn any of their pots into a fountain. These can be tricky, so let them help you with all the bits you need for a clean, low-maintenance installation.

The best advice I ever got about working effectively with exceptional pottery is to not be limited by what I can carry to the car by myself.
Go big or go home!
They deliver!

One last find; loved this beautiful modern interpretation of classic terra cotta. Lemon tree in that tall one, right?

This was fun! Thanks for joining me. Which are your favorites?


  1. Ridged urn and those big round copper pots...we have nothing even remotely like this here, sad to say. I still have a few good pieces from the Planet though!

  2. Oh to live somewhere frost free...I wouldn't have enough storage for what I could bring home from here...

  3. I enjoyed the tour. Thanks for taking us along! I also really liked the advice you were given regarding not being limited by what you can take to the car by yourself. I like to do a lot of things by myself and hate to bother busy workers but the few times I have asked for help with big items I have been very happy with the outcome. Thanks for the reminder to be bold!

  4. I like the combination of Talavera and terracotta for my patio pots. Enjoyed your post.

  5. Wow! Ditto what Miss Rumphius said, suffering from severe pot envy here!

  6. I love all the colors and the way your photos captured the life of that pottery yard! I may have to take a road trip and visit there one of these weekends! Thanks for sharing that!