Commissioning a house portrait

‘Many many years ago I commissioned you to do a little replica of my parents-in-law’s house. The result was exquisite and to this day it remains one of my mother-in-law’s most favourite possessions.’   (Louisa)

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How commissioning works

1  To find out the cost of your project, send us a photo, either by email or by post (a snap will do at this stage); Liz will work out the cost of making it and we will give you a free quote.  Although many different kinds of buildings work well, not all are suitable for a clay portrait, so we’ll let you know at this stage if it can be done, and if so, roughly how long it would take. (A portrait on paper can be a good solution if a clay portrait is not possible for a particular subject, or if time is short.) Prices start at £500 for a portrait in clay of a relatively straightforward subject; the cost is calculated on the time it will take to make and the complexity of the facade. Prices for portraits on paper start at £300 for a portrait on A4 paper, or £400 for a portrait on A3 paper, and again, the price is determined by the complexity of the subject. Paper portraits can be framed by the artist – this usually adds around £50 to the commission.

2  If you’d like to proceed, you can then confirm and send more photos. We have a good photo guide to help you send what Liz will need: in general this will be a clear head-on view of the facade, with details of everything special, including chimneys, windows, brickwork, front door, foliage, and any feature you’d like included – the more detail, the better.  At this stage we’ll discuss and agree the size, inscription, timescale and any other particularities of the commission.

3  You can pay an advance of £100 to reserve a place on Liz’s making list, by cheque or BACS transfer, with the balance payable on completion of the commission. Liz can then start work on your commission in the reserved making time, and we will keep you in touch with its progress throughout the making process.

What’s included

The architectural portrait signed by the artist, an inscription on the back if you wish, an integral hanger, and all packaging are included in the quote. Delivery is extra unless you choose to collect from Potters’ Yard, our studio in North London; we charge delivery at cost by Royal Mail Guaranteed Delivery, fully tracked and insured. In the UK this is usually £11 to £14 (but can be up to £29.60 for large, heavy or several portraits) at current rates; please ask for overseas prices.


Please allow plenty of time: it takes a minimum of six weeks to evaluate, design and draw, hand-build, dry, decorate, fire, glaze, glaze-fire and inscribe the piece – the clay can’t be hurried! As these detailed portraits are individually handmade by one artist, Liz usually has a waiting list; we will always try to fit commissions in for a special occasion, but if you have an important date, it’s best to reserve as far in advance as possible. We will always give you an estimated time of completion with the quote, and agree it on commissioning. If time is short, you may like to consider a portrait on paper.


You’re welcome to make an initial enquiry about any architectural portrait through the contact page; we’ll send you our photographing guide that shows you exactly what we will need if you’d like to go ahead with a commission.

‘I know that my husband would absolutely love a memento of the house… as would I… and I also know how clever you are at capturing the character of buildings. I also know that if anyone can capture the magic of our house it is you.’  (Louisa)

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To gallery page

To portraits on paper page

To contact page