Teaching Center Policies & Procedures

If you are a visitor, student, resident potter, apprentice, or leaseholder with The Village Potters Clay Center you must read the following and comply with what is required in areas that you occupy.

 

Policies & Procedures

(UPDATED 1/2024)

Read Carefully prior to class.

Use this as a guide and reference tool for classes and open-studio policies. There is a lot going on here in our studios.  Please explore all of the learning opportunities we offer.

Important Safety & Health Guidelines:

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we follow all of the latest CDC guidelines for public spaces and education centers. Please refer to their website for adherence.
  • Masks are optional. Please respect those that choose to wear masks. We don’t know everyone’s personal lives and health circumstances.
  • Please refrain from coming in if you have symptoms of COVID-19, cold, or flu. If you have other viral-like symptoms we ask that you stay home or wear a mask.
  • If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 for flu while in the studio, please leave. You and your instructor can discuss making up missed class time.
  • Wash and sanitize your hands frequently.

Other Important Facility Information:

  • Our facility is wheelchair accessible via a ramp entrance at the Gallery.
  • During daytime classes, please park across the parking lot and not directly in front of the building.
  • Enter the teaching center through the double orange doors to the left of our gallery entrance.
  • Doors may be unlocked up to 10 minutes prior to class time.
  • Report any problems or concerns immediately to your instructor or to a member of The Village Potters.
  • Public Bathrooms are to be used and located down the hall from the classroom. Follow signs.
  • No cell phone use in class unless you are taking pictures of pots.
  • Only students enrolled in classes may sign up for the open studio time.
  • Ask before you use use a piece of equipment that you aren’t familiar with.
  • No smoking in or outside of The Village Potters.
  • Because of space and liability issues, guests are not allowed in the Teaching Center during classes or Open Studio.
  • Open Studio access must be signed up for in advance using the online calendar link via Calendly. Your instructor will have emailed that sign up link to you. If you need to cancel an open studio slot that you signed up for, you may do so in your Calendly confirmation email for the specific time slot.

Cancellation Policy:

  1. Cancellation up to 30 days prior to the start of class, students receive a full refund (minus a $50 administrative fee).
  2. Cancellation within 29-0 days of the start of class, students receive no refund.

The Village Potters Teaching Center Policies and Procedures:

Everyone using the teaching classroom must cooperate in monitoring the space and following the procedures outlined in this guide to keep the program functioning smoothly.

Health and Safety:

  1. Close-toed shoes must be worn in and around the studio.
  2. Cover all open cuts, especially on your hands and wear gloves when working with glazes.
  3. No eating or smoking in the teaching center classroom.
  4. All spills should be sponged / mopped immediately.  A wet floor is a safety hazard.
  5. Hair must be tied back or held back in a cap. Loose clothing must not be worn. Long hair and loose clothing might get caught in revolving parts (potter’s wheel or slab roller).
  6. You must be fully instructed in the use of all equipment before using it independently.

Conditions of Community Teaching Center Classroom:

  1. The room must be mopped after each class session and after your Open Studio use.
  2. Tables are to be wet-wiped clean, wheels cleaned after use, and the walls next to equipment wiped down.
  3. Clay scraps must be deposited in the re-claim bin or outside in designated areas. Clay scraps for the reclaim bin must be in small pieces, no large chunks.
  4. Throwing slip must not be poured down the sink but placed in the appropriate bucket or poured outside.
  5. Student work is to be placed on assigned shelves marked for individual work:
    1. Works in progress must be stored on your designated shelf.
    2. Greenware work that is ready for bisque has a designated shelf.  Students must place their work there.  Instructors will not assume dry work on your shelf is ready for bisque.
    3. Glazed work has a designated shelf.  Make sure the bottom of all work is cleaned.  Position work on the shelf so that it will require little or no moving to add other work.
  6. Sinks should be wiped out and dried.  Do not leave tools or equipment in the sink area.
  7. All tools, water containers and so forth must be cleaned and put away.
  8. The door to the Raku / clay slop area should be closed securely at the end of each class.
  9. MOP the floor. Dump mop water out side in the grassy area by the Raku area.
  10.  No tools should be left in the teaching center.
  11. In short, leave it the same condition or better than how you found it!

Wheels:

  1. Wheel heads and splash pans must be cleaned after each use.
  2. The floor around wheels must be cleaned of any spatter or water.
  3. Wheels are to be turned off and unplugged after each use.  Please unplug ALL equipment by firmly holding the plug – do not pull from the cord. Place the cleaned splash pans back in place and the stool up side down on the wheel head. Place your foot brick and pedal on the wheel ‘table’. Unplug the extension cord and put it away.
  4. All bats are to be cleaned for next use and returned to the proper storage place.

Glazing:

  1. Glazing can only happen when an instructor is present.
  2. Glazes must be sieved prior to using. Your teacher will instruct you.
  3. Glazes must be applied by brushing or dipping.
  4. Wearing gloves is highly recommended. We suggest you acquire your own pair.
  5. Check pieces to make sure glazes are wiped off the bottom before placing your work on the glaze cart. Work must not be “over-glazed.” If you are unsure, ask your instructor.
  6. Clean up the glaze area when finished. Rinse all brushes, bowls, pouring cups, stirrers, and so forth and return them to their proper places.
  7. Make sure the glaze names on the lids match the names on the buckets. Work only from one open bucket at a time to avoid cross-contamination.
  8. Inform the instructor if a glaze bucket is empty or low.
  9. If you think a glaze is too thick, ask your instructor about it. Do NOT thin out a glaze.
  10. Make certain that all equipment is thoroughly cleaned of glaze before returning it to the proper storage area.
  11. Wet-wipe all table surfaces.
  12. MOP the floor!

Kiln:

  1. Instructors and studio apprentices are responsible for firing student work.
  2. Instructors are to schedule firings.
  3. Students are not allowed to load or unload kilns.

Clay:

  1. Only clay provided or purchased from the Village Potters Teaching Center may be used.
  2. One 25 lbs. bag of clay is provided to you with class registration. Additional bags must be purchased in the gallery. If you purchase more than a second bag of clay you will charged an additional $45 fee for additional glaze and firing costs.
  3. Hand grinders and Dremel tools can be used to remove dripped glaze from pots.
  4. All grinding and sanding must occur outdoors. Proper breathing and eye protection must be worn.
  5. No work made outside of class may be fired at the teaching center.  (You may take works in progress home to complete, but only work originated at The Village Potters will be fired.)
  6. For beginner classes – any work over 8” in any direction will be bisque-fired on a space-available basis.  Firing of oversized work may be delayed until there is room in a kiln. Such pieces may be assessed additional fees for glaze firing in the following increments:  8 – 10” = $5 fee; 10 – 12” = $10 fee; 12-14” = $15 fee. *Large work must be discussed with the instructor; size constraints will be determined at the discretion of the instructor.                                                       No student work may exceed 14” in any direction.
  7. An additional bag of clay may be purchase but if you exceed two bags of clay in a six-week session and are making large quantities of work, you will be charged an additional studio / firing fee.
  8. Follow instructions when using the slab roller.  Secure loose clothing and hair to reduce the chance it will get caught.
  9. Make sure that clay to be reclaimed goes into the appropriate bucket.
  10. If your assigned shelf is on a cart, do not store unused clay on your shelf.  Make sure your name is on your bag and store it in the designated clay shelf area.

Open Studio:

  1. Open Studio access must be signed up for in advance using the online calendar link via Calendly. Your instructor will share that sign up link with you.
  2. Open studio gives priority to the first to sign up on the calendar link.
  3. Each student will receive 8, 12, or 16 hours (depending on the class you’re in) of Open Studio with each session. Open Studio hours are posted in the studio and information is on the sign up link. (unless a special event necessitates cancellation).
  4. Students who miss classes may only make up two missed classes in Open Studio and only up to five hours can be added to Open Studio hours. It’s possible you can attend another class date, but you’ll need to make arrangements with your instructor
  5. Open Studio is not an instructed session, so students must be able to work independently to take full advantage of this extra studio time.
  6. If a student uses the all of their allotted hours of Open Studio before the end of a class session, additional hours may be purchased in our gallery at $10/hour.

Class Cancellation Policy:

  1. Whenever possible, classes will be consecutive weeks. If holidays fall on class days during a session, we will skip that week.
  2. If weather or other circumstances require The Village Potters to cancel or postpone a class, students will be notified with as much notice as possible. The class will be made up at the end of the session.
  3. The Village Potters weather closing policy typically follows that of Asheville City Schools. If you are unsure whether or not you have class during inclement weather, please contact your instructor.