Frequently Asked Questions About Our Terracotta Tiles
About Us & Our Products
Who buys them?
We have many people who collect them and large numbers are given as presents. If stuck for ideas, then we may just have the solution for that special Christmas, birthday or anniversary present.
What do you do with them?
These decorative pieces are used as wall decor in many different situations in the home and garden. Some examples of where they can be placed: on a mantle piece or beam, on or over a door, on a pillar or in an alcove, kitchen splash back, around a cooker or Aga, in a porch, conservatory, gardens, gate/gate post, built into risers of steps or patio/courtyard wall, just to name a few!
Why are you called Black Dog of Wells?
The name comes from the mediaeval property where the business was founded. In the 17th century it was a cider house known as "Ye Blacke Dogge".
Purchase & Delivery
Can they be posted and where can you send them?
Yes, our tiles are easily posted and we send them all over the world. We pack them in bubblewrap and put them in a tough card sleeve. So far they have successfully survived in many postal systems!
How can I pay for your products?
You can purchase our products from this website with secure payment using your credit or debit card via PayPal or your PayPal account. You can place your order by phone on 01749 672548. Payment can also be made by cheque, but we need to clear this at the bank before we dispatch the products.
What happens if I change my mind about my purchase?
Just send the design back to us in its original packaging and we will either send an alternative design or refund your money.
I would like to buy a tile and have it delivered directly to someone else?
Yes, we send tiles to wherever you would like them delivered. The website order form allows you to enter an alternative delivery address. We can provide a compliment slip for any message you would like to send.
Do you run any website promotions?
Yes, we have a permanent offer running. For every £65 spent in a single transaction you can add a FREE tile from the standard range to your basket. The FREE tile cannot be a framed tile or a personalised tile. When you reach £30 or more a helpful notice will appear in the basket to let you know how much more you need to spend to qualify for a FREE tile.
About The Tiles
How is each tile presented and how much packaging comes with it?
Each tile is mounted on thick blue card for a traditional look or cream card for a contemporary look. They are presented in a polypropylene slip case and a descriptive card full of interesting background information to the design is included with each piece. There is very little packaging that comes with the tile apart from what is required to post it to you.
Are they frost proof?
Yes, the tiles are fired to a high temperature so they are frost proof. We had a visitor from northern Norway who bought a tile from our shop and he asked if it would survive at temperatures below -30°C. We asked him if he could let us know if anything happened to it. We have not heard anything since - so we assume it was fine.
I live in a hot climate, will they be alright outside?
Yes. We fire our terracottas to over 1100°C so should the Earth's climate rise above this, then we have a serious problem with global warming!
How do you make your terracottas?
Each tile is made in red clay and is pressed in a special kind of mould. It is hand finished before being carefully dried and fired to over 1100°C in a kiln. The rest are our trade secrets!
Where do you get your clay from?
It comes from Stoke-on-Trent in northern England where the commercial British Pottery industry developed during the 18th century such as Wedgwood, Spode, Minton and many more.
How long does it take you to create a design?
Most designs take about two months to complete from first drawing to the finished product.
Do you colour or glaze your tiles?
No we don't. We have experimented with adding finishes in the past but we know that people like the natural organic feel of unglazed terracotta. We think our tiles with their rich and delicately modelled surfaces speak for themselves.
Do they break easily?
Our terracotta tiles are very robust, but should they fall onto a hard surface from a reasonable height they will be prone to breaking.
I have pulled the tile off the backing card and glue is stuck to the tile - how do I remove it?
To remove any glue stuck to the tile, soak the tile in hot water for about 20 minutes. With a blunt knife you can then easily peel off the glue.
How do I hang the tile?
All our designs incorporate hanging holes with a couple of exceptions where a slot has been cut into the back. You can fix them on a wall with a nail or screw and to do this you may like to drill a pilot hole to make this a bit easier. If nailing a tile to the wall, it is best to knock a small headed nail in first and then hang the tile on it. An ill-aimed blow with a hammer could be dangerous!
If you don't want to see a nail or screw head, you can use a thick bodied glue, mastic or tile cement. To prevent yourself holding up the tile while the glue dries, tap in a long nail enough to hold the tile in place. When the glue has dried, just pull out the nail with pliers. You can also bed the tile into the surface of a wall which can look great. Make sure you keep the tile surface clean of cement or plaster as you may have quite a job cleaning it away.
You show two framing options - do you offer any other frames?
Sorry, no we don't. We have chosen simple, classic frames, one traditional and one modern, that we feel complement the terracotta designs. For a different frame you can always ask your local picture framer who will be happy to help.
About Our Shop & Workshop
How do we find your shop?
Please visit our very informative Wells & North Somerset Tourism Website. On the front page you can download maps of Wells and the surrounding area which show where our shop is located. Our Tourism website provides lots on information about the main attractions, events and activities in the area and places to stay and eat within Wells.
Can we buy seconds of any of your terracotta tiles?
We do not promote the sale of seconds on the internet. We have a shop where these can be purchased. However, if you are keen to have some then give us a call on 01749 672548. We charge the price of the second(s) plus postage and packing. We will always find the best seconds to send to you, but if they are not to your satisfaction then you would have to return them at your own expense.
Do you have tours of your workshop?
We have thought about doing this but we do have a number of processes which are our trade secrets. So the answer is sorry, no we don't.
I want to buy some tiles from your shop but I will be travelling - will they be safe in my luggage?
Yes, as long as they are protected by clothing or something soft to cushion any blows dished out by over zealous baggage handlers!
I would like a personal design - can you do one?
We don't do personal one-off designs. This is because we have a complex process of designing and making our tiles. For us to create an affordable tile we must produce them in large numbers.
A friend/family member does not have access to the internet - can you send them a catalogue?
Yes we can. Please forward their name and address details to us. Please note that we only print a sampler brochure containing a small selection of our range. We no longer print brochures containing the full stock range.
I have an idea for a terracotta tile, would you like me to send it to you?
Yes please! Should your idea or part of your idea turn into a product we will happily give you a couple of the finished tiles as a thank you present. We are always looking for new phrases or quotations but they need to be quite short. Does anyone know of a house blessing or other blessing from Dorset, Cornwall, Yorkshire, Wales, Scotland or any special area of the UK? We would really like you to tell us!
I am a Trade Buyer, do you sell wholesale?
Yes, we do sell wholesale. Our main market is within the UK and we have a few outlets in the USA. See our trade page for further information.