"Seconds" and "samples" explained.
In ceramics, "seconds" are items that didn't pass the quality control phase with flying colors. Some ceramicists have "seconds sales" in which you, the consumer, are able to buy beautiful ceramic works for heavily discounted prices. We don't discriminate when it comes to seconds, because as collectors, we LOVE seconds. Seconds are an excellent chance to nab a piece of work from an artist you've been admiring.
The seconds here are all discounted from the artist's original prices.
Here's and abridged list of what makes a second a second:
Warping. If the object's form has changed in anyway (other than normal shrinkage) - i.e. uneven rims, wobbly bases - then it's a second.
Glaze flaws. Bubbling, crawling, crazing. Basically, if the glaze does something unusual in the firing process. Glaze flaws don't determine the functionality of a piece.
Cracks. Ugh, cracks.
Other quality control failures can include: scratches, poor attachments, bloating, chips, poor handling of clay in various stages of done-ness.... the list goes on.
"Samples" are prototypes, tests, or one-offs that never got produced! The cool thing about samples is they are usually one-of-a-kind, inexpensive, yet still incredibly beautiful.