Feet on Bonsai Pots

Is the primary function of the feet on bonsai pots, aesthetics or  for horticultural function?

Certainly feet are critical for the flow of water and oxygen. Feet add a  little height so wires under the pot are hidden. However most feet can achieve these functions.

The feet on a bonsai pot can be strong and textured, subtle and plain, decorative, or delicate.

So what makes aesthetically pleasing feet on a bonsai pot?

  • The feet must flow with the line of the pot
  • The feet need to fit in with the design so if the pot is elegant and refined, the feet need to be elegant and refined
  • The feet may mimic the rim of the pot or the texture of the pot
  • The feet must look like they belong to the pot, not a last minute addition
  • The height, the width and the angle of the feet can take a pot from ordinary to beautiful

Feet can be hand made, moulded, turned, carved or thrown.

Dragon feet

This dragon foot was hand made and will be used to make a plaster mould and then 3 or 4 feet can be made in the mould  then  added to the pot, either facing up or facing down and curved to fit the pot. One such foot took me about 30 minutes to make so making 4 for a pot would be very time consuming.



These  hand sculpted handmade feet could also be moulded.

These feet were made by throwing a separate ring of clay which is then cut up shaped and added to the pot base.These feet have been thrown

These feet were turned. After a pot is thrown and dried to the point where it can hold it own weight it is placed upside down on the wheel and the base is shaped to provide feet.

Turned feet



The feet on this pot were handbuilt and carved to create the stepped effect.

These feet were handmade.

So next time you look at a pot take note of the feet and ponder the time and skill needed to add a little flourish.

Denise Allen

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