FAQs: Adult Clay Classes

Adult Classes • Master’s Series • Workshops • 
Independent Study & Mentoring Program •  Fees & Registration •  FAQs

What are the dates for the Adult Clay Classes?
Our six and eight-week sessions are scheduled with staggered start dates, which means that whenever you’re ready to start a class, there’s likely a class waiting for you! Your session will end six weeks after your start date (eight weeks for handbuilding classes), but if any official holidays fall on your class day, or if The Village Potters close the studio for any reason during your session, dates will be added to make a full session. As sessions are ongoing, you can keep your space in a class simply by renewing your enrollment before the end of each session, even if there happens to be a week break between sessions. If your class has full enrollment, you are encouraged to put a deposit on the next session at the beginning of each session to ensure your spot, as new enrollments may easily fill a class you want to continue. You will find a list of the next start dates or each class at the page detailing information about our Adult Classes.

Can I roll-over my missed classes into a new session?
We’d rather not keep up with that kind of administrative fun, but we know circumstances are all individual.  If you are able to plan your absences in advance, you may arrange make up classes with your instructor if they teach other classes, but make ups are on a first come, first serve availability (open classes may not have space for a make up), and only two make ups are allowed during a session, and only with notice and permission of your instructor or the instructor of the class you will use for your make up.

You are, however, able to roll over unused Open Studio hours if you are taking consecutive sessions (up to four hours rollover), and separately you may make up missed class time in Open Studio. Extenuating circumstances should be discussed with your instructor for any consideration beyond this base policy.

How often do classes meet?
Each class meets once a week for 2 1/2 hours.

Can I work in the studio at any time other than my class time?
Open Studio time is available for adult students, with six hours of open studio time available with each session for six week classes, and eight hours of open studio time for those enrolled in the eight-week handbuilding classes. Additional hours may be purchased at a rate of $10 per hour, and Open Studio is only available to actively enrolled students. Unused Open Studio hours, up to four hours, may be rolled over into a new session, as long as the student is taking consecutive sessions. Open Studio does not include instruction, so students must be able to self-direct, although one of The Village Potters will be available for assistance if you need to purchase clay or need help with equipment. Open Studio is available by reservation, and as space is limited is available on a first come (reserve), first served basis. Open Studio is available on Friday and Saturday from 10am-6pm (10am-4pm during our Winter Hours, noted on the home page), and on Sundays from 10am-4pm. If there is a break between class sessions, enrolled students may use or purchase Open Studio hours during that break.

Can I glaze my pots during Open Studio hours?
Because Open Studio is not an instructed session, we do not allow glazing during those hours. Glazing may only be done during a supervised class.

What is your refund policy?
Full tuition fee is refunded up to 10 days before the class start. Within 10 days of class start, full tuition less $50 will be refunded. No refunds will be issued after the class start date, but deposits may be transferred to a future class in the event of a late cancellation.

What kind of work will we do in these classes?
Our wheel, handbuilding, and sculpture classes cover techniques and skills for those at a beginner – intermediate level. Our classes sizes are small, which allows for varied skill levels among the students. Your instructor will lead beginners in all the basic skills and techniques necessary for success in creating finished pieces, and those students beyond the beginner level will be challenged with more complex projects. See the class descriptions for details, and if you’re interested in a class or time slot, you can contact the instructor for more information about what you will do in that class. Unless otherwise noted, you will be working with stoneware clay that will be fired to cone 7 in an oxidation kiln (electric kiln).

What do I need to bring for classes?
You should plan to wear comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty, and perhaps bring a small hand towel. We do require that you wear closed-toe shoes, even in the summer, so please keep a pair on hand for studio work. You are required to have your own tools, and we sell a basic, beginner tool kit for $20 (tax included), or you may purchase them elsewhere. We have other tools in the studio, but each student should have their own basic tool kit and be sure to have your name clearly marked on them for easy return if you leave them out. Note that storage is limited, and you are encouraged to carry any tools in and out for each class, leaving your shelf space for storage of works in progress.

What is included in the class fee?
Almost everything! Your fee includes instruction once a week, plus use of all Teaching Center studio equipment. It also includes your first 25 pounds of clay, and all glazes during your session. Because we are a teaching studio and want to accommodate as much student work as possible, we do limit the size of work that is glaze fired without additional fee. Any work over 8″ in any direction will be bisque-fired on a space-available basis, and these pieces will be assessed additional firing fees for glaze firing in the following increments: 8-10″ = $5 fee; 10-12″ = $10 fee; 12-14″ = $15 fee. No student work may exceed 14″ in any direction unless the specific scope of a class is to make larger work. An additional bag of clay may be purchased, but if you exceed two bags of clay in a six week session and are making large quantities of work, you will be assessed an additional studio/firing fee.

Your fee also includes six hours of Open Studio time (eight hours for handbuilding classes). Additional time may be purchased at a rate of $10/hour, but you must reserve your time in Open Studio, as space is limited. If you don’t use all of your Open Studio time, you may roll over up to four hours into the next session, if taking consecutive sessions.

I’ve never done this before – what should I expect by the end of my six or eight weeks?
First, we hope you’ll expect to have a lot of fun! We have great classes for the true beginner. Our goal is to get you comfortable with the clay so you’re free to explore and have fun with your work. Everyone learns at a different pace, but once you have that comfort level, you’ll start creating pieces. You’ll work at your own pace, regardless of what other classmates are doing, and at the end of six weeks you’ll definitely have something to show for it! If you’ve had some experience with clay before, we will give you a nurturing environment to continue your exploration, guiding and challenging you to take on more complex forms and projects as you discover new levels to your skill and technique.

I’ve taken some classes, but never really learned about glazing. Will that be included?
Yes! You’ll be glazing your own pots, and everyone will get instruction before any glazing is done. As you advance, you’ll also learn about other surface decoration and treatments, both on the clay directly and by using glazes. Our glazes are formulated to fit our clay bodies, and all clay and glaze ingredients are non-toxic and lead-free. From time to time, we will also host glazing workshops, and students will have first dibs on registration.

Can we give classes as a gift?
Yes you can! You can give a gift certificate for a specific class or with a specific teacher, with the class time to be determined. As class size is small, use of the gift certificate will be on a space-available basis, but every gift certificate will be honored as soon as room is available in a class. You may also purchase a gift certificate in the amount of the class tuition, and determine the class later (gift certificates are good for one year) or redeem the gift certificate for merchandise from our galleries.

I’ve received a gift certificate for a class – what do I do to start?
Just give us a call! If you know what class you’d like to join, we’ll sign you up as long as the class isn’t already filled for the next session. To see a list of all upcoming classes and start dates, check our Adult Classes link. If the class you want to join is filled for the next session, you’ll automatically be placed on the wait list for the following session. Your gift certificate is good for a year from the purchase date, so you’ll have plenty of time to get started!

I have a wheel at home, but no kiln. May I bring work from my home studio to be fired at The Village Potters?
Because we include all firings in our class fee, only work that is created at The Village Potters, using our clay bodies and glazes, may be fired in our kilns. At this time, Teaching Center kilns are dedicated solely to student work, and are not available for outside rental.

I think I’m ready for something beyond Intermediate – do you have advance classes?
While our classes are certainly small enough for an instructor to guide a student in advanced techniques, we recognize that some students want more than just one class a week and a few hours of Open Studio. If that sounds like you, check out our Independent Study and Mentoring Program!

Have a question not answered above? Email us at info@thevillagepotters.com and we’ll have the answer!