Open Studio Potter Handbook
Studio Potter Etiquette
Becoming a Studio Potter means working on your own, without help or guidance and at your own pace. Other Studio Potters will often gladly help you out or guide you but keep in mind that, same as you, they are using their session to work on their own projects. Please be mindful of other studio potters space and time.
Studio time includes clearing and cleaning your space. Allow 15 minutes of your session time for that purpose. See End of Session for more details.
If you have any comments and or complaints about the studio please address them directly to the owner.
Studio time hours are non-transferable and expire after 1 year from the date of purchase.
You can pre-book online or drop-in for Open Studio. If you are not booked in advance you risk the studio being full or closed when you arrive. Online booking must be made at least one hour before your session starts. You may cancel an advanced booking up to one hour before the session starts free of charge.
Most Open Studio sessions have a capacity of 10 potters at a time. If there is a class, workshop or private class the number of Open Studio potters that the studio can accommodate will vary. With classes there is room for 3 on the wheel or 3 handbuilding only, depending if the class in progress is wheel or handbuilding. For workshops and private classes the number of spaces available will vary depending on the type and size of the class/workshop. You can see the availability and capacity online.
If you would like a locker please contact us to ckeck for availability. Lockers cost $10/month and must be paid in advance.
Purchases at LOAM
It is possible to have your credit card stored in our system (your LOAM account) or you can keep a balance on your LOAM account.
Selling at LOAM
If you would like to sell your work in our gallery please email us and we can fill you in on the details.
We have a kitchenette that you may use while you’re in the studio: fridge, microwave oven, kettle and a selection of teas & coffees. Tea and coffee are available. You may also bring your own beverages to the studio.
We carry a selection of clay types (white, red, black, speckle, Raku and porcelain), all cone 6. The price of the clay bought to use at LOAM includes firing and glazes.
LOAM Clay Studio will charge separately for firing any work made outside the studio regardless of where the clay was purchased.
Open studio potters must bring their own tools. We suggest you label your tools with a sharpie or nail polish as they are often forgotten in the studio.
Some tools and supplies are available to open studio potters. This includes newspaper, plastic for wrapping, batts/boards, batt pins, brushes, carving tools, wax, textures, rolling pins, stamps, moulds, banding wheels, glaze rugs, bisque wash, scissors, tape, sandpaper, glaze tongs, pens/pencils, pot lifters.
Work in Progress
Name and date all work in progress stored on the Open Studio shelves with one of the post-it’s attached on the shelves. The shelves are not for storing clay or tools, only work in progress. Clay and tools left on these shelves will be removed and absorbed into the studio resources. If you need a locker, please ask.
Boards with red trims are not to be used to store your work. These boards are used for classes and need to remain available. You can use them to work on but not to store work on. If any such boards are seen being used for storage, your work will be removed and put on a different board. We will not be responsible if your work is damaged in this process.
If you need to use a throwing batt please make sure that you will be able to remove your work from that batt within the next couple of day. These batts are used for classes as well. Do not use them to store your work on.
Work in progress shelves are limited. Please do not use them as long-term storage for your bisqued ware.
In the past we asked people to label their work with tape. We found that the tape was ripping the plastic so that it could not then be re-used, so please use the post-its. Post-it notes are stored on the shared studio tool shelf.
Pots that are left on the “open studio” work in progress shelves for over 3 months will be thrown away. Pots that are left in the studio unlabeled will also be thrown away.
Sanding & Dust
Dust is the most serious potential health hazard in any clay studio. We aim to keep the studio dust free.
Please do all sanding of greenware and bisqued ware OUTSIDE.
Glaze dust is also hazardous so please be aware when glazing not to blow glaze dust into the air.
We mop the floors rather than sweep to avoid putting dust into the air.
Clean your work areas thoroughly when you are finished.
Ready to Fire
- ‘Greenware’, from wet to bone dry, can be placed on the ‘greenware’ shelves outside the kiln room, we will fire your work when it is bone dry.
- When your work has been bisque fired it will be ready to be picked up on the designated shelves in the studio.
- When your bisqued pieces have been glazed put them on the ‘glazed’ shelves outside the kiln room.
- When your work has been glaze fired it will be ready to be picked up on the designated shelves in the studio. Your work might be photographed and posted on our Facebook page.
DO NOT GO INTO THE KILN ROOM. THE KILN ROOM IS FOR STAFF ONLY.
Re-firing glazed work is NOT recommended as it usually produces worse results. If you wish to re-fire anyway you will be charged $2/pound.
There is a finite amount of space in the studio so please pick up your work promptly.
Work left longer than 1 month on either the bisque or finished pick-up areas will be packed and put into boxes on the top shelves. If they are left unclaimed for a further 3 months they will be thrown away or given to St-Vincent-de-Paul.
Mini Kiln Firing
The mini kiln is available for firing, at any time at the cost of $20.
Using Bead Racks
There are two bead racks available to open studio potters. Two bead racks fit in the mini kiln. If you wish to fire a beadrack in one of the big kilns, there is a charge of $10 per rack. We recommend you buy your own bead racks if you use them regularly.
Using the Glazes
After using the glazes please wipe the bucket and put them back with the tiles facing out so the next person can easily see the glaze colour. Persons found leaving test tiles facing inwards will be executed.
Please rinse glaze off (tongs, stir sticks, hands, pots etc.) in the bucket beside the sink labeled ‘glaze rinse’. We try to avoid getting any glaze in the city water system.
The glaze mix that accumulates in this bucket will be recycled.
If you have a lot of pieces to glaze it may be easier to fill an empty bucket with water and put it near your workspace for rinsing. This bucket can then be emptied into the main glaze rinse bucket when you are finished.
If there is anything unusual about the glazes, eg. thinner or thicker than ‘normal’, hard panning or anything else, please let us know.
On average, work takes about one week to fire from the time it is left on the shelf.
Texts or emails inquiring about the date of the next firing will not be answered so please do not text us.
Keep in mind that when loading a kiln, priority will be given to classes and workshop pieces.
Large work either tall or flat will take longer to get fired.
End of Session
A reminder will be given 15 minutes before a session is going to end (every hour). You are expected to be packed up and ready to go at the end of the session. If you run overtime more than 10 minutes you will be charged for an extra hour.
Please thoroughly clean your work area and any communal tools you might have used. Put away tools/ plastic/ batts/ newspaper when your session is finished.
If you wish to keep your own slop and trimmings to recycle you should put it in an empty clay bag and leave it in your locker or take it home.
There are 3 communal clay slop buckets on the floor in the sink area. One is for white clay only and the other 2 for all other clays including speckled.
The slop buckets are for your wheel slop, trimmings or other clay either too dry or too wet to use that you do not wish to recycle yourself. All clay left in these buckets will be recycled and kept by the studio.
There is also a Glaze rinse bucket which should be used to rinse glaze tools (stir sticks, tongs etc.). The glaze that accumulates in this bucket gets recycled.
Avoid washing clay directly down the drain. Please rinse everything first in the slop buck then in the in the bucket that is in the sink. All the clay is then recycled.
If you want to recycle your own clay you can leave your wet clay to dry in one of the plaster batts under the wedging table when one is available. You should put your name on a piece of paper or tape on the clay we will bag it up when it is ready to come out and leave it labeled in your locker.