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ksasser

Pottery Studio Etiquette

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We have a studio that is open to individuals who take classes. They are free to come in and use the space outside of class. I am trying to put together a list of "Studio Rules of Etiquette" just as a reminder to students (they range in age from teen to adult). This is what I have so far:

#1 Do not touch anyone else's work unless you have permission (This seems to be a big one that we have a problem with)

#2 Clean up after yourself. Leave your space cleaner than when you arrived.

#3 If you borrow someone else's tools, templates, etc. put them back where you borrowed them from.

#4 Watch your elbows, arms, bats, boards, etc. when placing items on the shelf. Please be aware of the other masterpieces on the shelf.

 

 

Anyone have any more etiquette rules I can add for an open studio? Thanks for any info!

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Perhaps some gentle guidelines promoting helpful *ways forward* comments on other peoples' work only if asked, of course. Weighing in with unhelpful and unasked for comments are so defeating in a big open studio atmosphere where folks are learning, taking some risks with techniques, and perhaps are only there to get comments and criticism from class leader(s).

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At the risk of being called a smarty pants, I've pasted a copy of the 'Ten Commandments' we have posted in the studio at school. Not really earth shattering and I know there are other things that need to be addressed, but it does make everyone stop and think for a bit.

 

 

************************************************

 

 

 

The Ten Commandments for Potters

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Thou shalt not make dust.

2. Thou shalt not pick up greenware by the lip, handle or other fragile area.

3. Thou shalt not touch projects that do not belong to thee.

4. Thou shalt put all supplies back WHERE THEY BELONG AND CLEAN THE AREA (Refer to Rule #1) before departing.

5. Thou shalt let stain dry thoroughly before glazing.

 

 

 

6. Thou shalt practice on the wheel at least once a week for more than 10 minutes and start projects at least 2 weeks before thou needeth them.

7. Thou shalt CARVE THY INITIALS OR MARK in the bottom of thy projects.

8. Thou shalt place glazed ware in kiln room on the proper shelf.

9. Thou shalt believe thy teacher that the silly pink glaze or stain on thy pot will fire blue.

10. Thou shalt trust thy teacher.

 

 

 

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I think it's really important to spell out the expectations in writing, you can never assume that people understand how to share a space. Making it funny and smart (like the Ten Commandments) is a great idea.

 

Having worked in a few group settings, it really matters that the person in charge sets a good example! If the person in charge is respectful, hard-working, and disciplined, then everyone else will try hard to match that. If the person in charge is lazy, sloppy, and disrespectful of others, everyone will conclude that this is ok.

 

In the community center where I teach classes, our studio guidelines are 6 pages long, and every word of it matters. We also have a studio manager who is amazing, we try hard to be worthy!

 

Just one suggestion for your etiquette list: No eating in the studio.

 

Mea

Lori likes this

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I think it's really important to spell out the expectations in writing, you can never assume that people understand how to share a space. Making it funny and smart (like the Ten Commandments) is a great idea.

 

Having worked in a few group settings, it really matters that the person in charge sets a good example! If the person in charge is respectful, hard-working, and disciplined, then everyone else will try hard to match that. If the person in charge is lazy, sloppy, and disrespectful of others, everyone will conclude that this is ok.

 

In the community center where I teach classes, our studio guidelines are 6 pages long, and every word of it matters. We also have a studio manager who is amazing, we try hard to be worthy!

 

Just one suggestion for your etiquette list: No eating in the studio.

 

Mea

 

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Hate to be a pessimist, but it is my experience that people who need signs telling them to clean up after themselves are the same people who won't clean up after themselves unless forced in some manner, if signs and friendly suggestions worked, they wouldn't be leaving the mess in the first place.

The best method we have found in the group studio where I work is a chart of all studio clean up jobs that rotates each month. Everyone has a job to do on that chart, once a week. That way if an area is a mess, you know who to fuss at. Repeated efforts to get adults to clean up after themselves have failed, but the boss isn't a hard a$ so people may just ignore all polite requests.

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i like to emphasize that "cleaning up after yourself" is not enough. clay dirt travels, whether it is through the air, on shoes, on tools/towels, etc. if each person cleans their own space then the studio will eventually become a disaster zone, because nobody wants to claim ownership of common areas. i tell my classes that the cleanliness of the entire studio is the responsibility of every student. if he/she sees something that can be made a little bit better then do it!

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It has been my experience that there are students who are extra considerate and really clean up their area...... and there are those that, at the most, give a cursory swipe and call it quits. Whichever type student, it is important to have the cleaning supplies (several bottles, sponges, towels, etc) readily available. If a student has to search for the supplies, or someone else is using the only bottle available, the space isn't going to be cleaned. A good inexpensive all-purpose cleaner....... put 1/4 cup vinegar, a tablespoon of Dawn dish soap in a quart spray bottle....fill with water.

 

Another 'etiquette rule'.....apply soap to brush before dipping in wax resist, then wash out well when finished. And, again, make sure there is soap handy to be able to do it. For the most part, students are more than willing to keep the studio clean ..... well, as clean as a pottery studio can be rolleyes.gif ....... but it's up to the studio managers to make sure the supplies are readily available.

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Just one suggestion for your etiquette list: No eating in the studio.

 

Mea

 

 

 

Amen to this one! Mess aside, you never know what particles you could be ingesting. That may sound like the Disney elephant-child afraid of germs (except with me, chemicals!), but you can't be too safe.

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If you want the 'students' to comply don't make light of the studio rules. If at the beginning of your workshops or courses you take the time to go over the rules with the students step by step explaining as you go down the list why and how it must be done, it will show the seriousness of the rules. Give everyone a copy of the rules so they can follow along. Point out the areas that you are talking about. Don’t make it funny, because it isn’t. If you don’t take it lightly they will hesitate to take the rules lightly also. While working in the studio they will check and tell the rules to each other. Students will actually do the cleaning jobs for other students if the need arises.

 

Post the rules around the studio in areas that apply. Correct the students if you see a rule being broken tell them the correct way to do it. Also set the example and let the students see you follow the rules.

 

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I'm the clock watcher and call time on students--30 minutes before class ends. They know to get their work to a stopping point and clean up before heading home. Once a month everyone gets in on a FULL clean (vacuum; wet wipe down on shelves and horizontal surfaces; thoroughly brush scrub (wet) wedging and work table canvases). All spills are cleaned up immediately so mud doesn't become dust, and get tracked to other spaces--dust is a fact of studio life and an inherent liability if not handled properly. No food allowed, and water only is allowed in closed containers.

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Thanks for all the great responses!

 

 

The students should be taught how to clean at the end of each class, so they will have the skills to clean up after their free time. Idaho Potter and Lucille Oka comments reminded me of a grad student teacher I had that taught cleaning like a drill sargent. Several years later I stopped by the school and found the studio a clay covered mess with a over flowing sink, no one was teaching care, cleaning or maintenance. I suddenly felt grateful to my drill sargent teacher. Denice (Wichita, KS)

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Thanks for all the great responses!

 

 

The students should be taught how to clean at the end of each class, so they will have the skills to clean up after their free time. Idaho Potter and Lucille Oka comments reminded me of a grad student teacher I had that taught cleaning like a drill sargent. Several years later I stopped by the school and found the studio a clay covered mess with a over flowing sink, no one was teaching care, cleaning or maintenance. I suddenly felt grateful to my drill sargent teacher. Denice (Wichita, KS)

 

 

 

'Drill sergeant'? I like the sound of that. Yes it is how I run all of my classes from ‘K’ to Senior citizen and oddly enough one senior called me that once, but she cleaned up her space and made sure others did the same. Got stripes???

 

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How about. Use studio approved clays. I've seen classmates bring in clays that were the wrong cone, melted into puddles that took out both shelves and peoples pieces.

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At the risk of being called a smarty pants, I've pasted a copy of the 'Ten Commandments' we have posted in the studio at school. Not really earth shattering and I know there are other things that need to be addressed, but it does make everyone stop and think for a bit.

 

 

************************************************

 

 

 

The Ten Commandments for Potters

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Thou shalt not make dust.

2. Thou shalt not pick up greenware by the lip, handle or other fragile area.

3. Thou shalt not touch projects that do not belong to thee.

4. Thou shalt put all supplies back WHERE THEY BELONG AND CLEAN THE AREA (Refer to Rule #1) before departing.

5. Thou shalt let stain dry thoroughly before glazing.

 

 

 

6. Thou shalt practice on the wheel at least once a week for more than 10 minutes and start projects at least 2 weeks before thou needeth them.

7. Thou shalt CARVE THY INITIALS OR MARK in the bottom of thy projects.

8. Thou shalt place glazed ware in kiln room on the proper shelf.

9. Thou shalt believe thy teacher that the silly pink glaze or stain on thy pot will fire blue.

10. Thou shalt trust thy teacher.

 

 

 

 

 

I love it except it should be titled Pottery students. Potters don't have to obey teachers. Students do.

Marcia

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At the risk of being called a smarty pants, I've pasted a copy of the 'Ten Commandments' we have posted in the studio at school. Not really earth shattering and I know there are other things that need to be addressed, but it does make everyone stop and think for a bit.

 

 

************************************************

 

 

 

The Ten Commandments for Potters

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Thou shalt not make dust.

2. Thou shalt not pick up greenware by the lip, handle or other fragile area.

3. Thou shalt not touch projects that do not belong to thee.

4. Thou shalt put all supplies back WHERE THEY BELONG AND CLEAN THE AREA (Refer to Rule #1) before departing.

5. Thou shalt let stain dry thoroughly before glazing.

 

 

 

6. Thou shalt practice on the wheel at least once a week for more than 10 minutes and start projects at least 2 weeks before thou needeth them.

7. Thou shalt CARVE THY INITIALS OR MARK in the bottom of thy projects.

8. Thou shalt place glazed ware in kiln room on the proper shelf.

9. Thou shalt believe thy teacher that the silly pink glaze or stain on thy pot will fire blue.

10. Thou shalt trust thy teacher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For years I used the attachment for all of my studio classes-it was placed on the back of the syllabus. This was a generic set of rules for my Art studio, Animation studio and Ceramics studio so many of the terms are "generic" some of the rules may not make complete sense for Ceramics, but worked well when explained in the opening lectures.

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This has been an interesting thread and is linked to another about studio expectations.

Lori's rule number 3 is always a huge challenge and so difficult for people to 'get'. Where in 'do not touch others work' is there any difficulty to understand?? I've seen so many items damaged because of others, moving, peeking etc

Gep's comments that the studio teacher should teach by example is spot on. When students see the mentor doing the right thing in all aspects of studio etiquette it rubs off on students.

In the other post I commented about my home based studio, but reading this thread made me think about uni. We are in a shared studio space with 8 students per 3 rooms- all aged from early 20's to late 60's - and part of our marks are about how we work as a team eg kiln sharing, help others load and unload, seniors advising juniors, seniors reminding juniors of glaze room rules with gloves and respirators etc.

But out of all the places I have worked this is the place where there are so many heated discussions about 'who should have done something' and 'it wasnt me' etc.

It has amazed me the disrespect for equipment and resources that a group of adults have displayed. So much talking, signs and reminders and still there are issues.

Last year a group of students took their frustrations to a department head and a couple of students were 'suspended' from using certain areas.

People can be a strange bunch

a great thread with some strong ideas

cheers Lyn

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Wow. You know, we had a studios and never thought about rule 3. People accidentally touching other people's pieces with their painted hands. I'm glad it never happened! But I hated when people poured out so much paint and only needed a drop.

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This has been an interesting thread and is linked to another about studio expectations.

Lori's rule number 3 is always a huge challenge and so difficult for people to 'get'. Where in 'do not touch others work' is there any difficulty to understand?? I've seen so many items damaged because of others, moving, peeking etc

Gep's comments that the studio teacher should teach by example is spot on. When students see the mentor doing the right thing in all aspects of studio etiquette it rubs off on students.

In the other post I commented about my home based studio, but reading this thread made me think about uni. We are in a shared studio space with 8 students per 3 rooms- all aged from early 20's to late 60's - and part of our marks are about how we work as a team eg kiln sharing, help others load and unload, seniors advising juniors, seniors reminding juniors of glaze room rules with gloves and respirators etc.

But out of all the places I have worked this is the place where there are so many heated discussions about 'who should have done something' and 'it wasnt me' etc.

It has amazed me the disrespect for equipment and resources that a group of adults have displayed. So much talking, signs and reminders and still there are issues.

Last year a group of students took their frustrations to a department head and a couple of students were 'suspended' from using certain areas.

People can be a strange bunch

a great thread with some strong ideas

cheers Lyn

 

 

There is a strain of thought in education that a teacher that makes his own pottery in class is grandstanding, and shouldn't do it for several reasons-one that it encourages the student to copy the work in interest of a good grade-two that it takes the teacher away from the students while he is working on his work. I myself found that a project started as a demonstration, and worked through the entire time students were making their work helped to do several things: 1) the students would see how I approached the creation of the pot through the various stages, I could model good practices for them in the use of surface embellishments, joining process, handling and storage of work, bottom treatments and signing, finishing of work in the leather hard and bone dry stages, and so many other things all the way through the final firing and clean up of the bottom of the pot. Since I taught several classes a day, the work on this project would maybe take 5 to 10 minutes out of each class. Once projects are started and on firm footing, it is best not to hover over them while they work, but to wander around making comments or adjustments when needed. Some days that is all period, some days maybe not at all. The big thing is a watchful eye. For me modeling the process was a great teaching tool and helped to establish classroom etiquette.

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This has been an interesting thread and is linked to another about studio expectations.

Lori's rule number 3 is always a huge challenge and so difficult for people to 'get'. Where in 'do not touch others work' is there any difficulty to understand?? I've seen so many items damaged because of others, moving, peeking etc

Gep's comments that the studio teacher should teach by example is spot on. When students see the mentor doing the right thing in all aspects of studio etiquette it rubs off on students.

In the other post I commented about my home based studio, but reading this thread made me think about uni. We are in a shared studio space with 8 students per 3 rooms- all aged from early 20's to late 60's - and part of our marks are about how we work as a team eg kiln sharing, help others load and unload, seniors advising juniors, seniors reminding juniors of glaze room rules with gloves and respirators etc.

But out of all the places I have worked this is the place where there are so many heated discussions about 'who should have done something' and 'it wasnt me' etc.

It has amazed me the disrespect for equipment and resources that a group of adults have displayed. So much talking, signs and reminders and still there are issues.

Last year a group of students took their frustrations to a department head and a couple of students were 'suspended' from using certain areas.

People can be a strange bunch

a great thread with some strong ideas

cheers Lyn

 

 

There is a strain of thought in education that a teacher that makes his own pottery in class is grandstanding, and shouldn't do it for several reasons-one that it encourages the student to copy the work in interest of a good grade-two that it takes the teacher away from the students while he is working on his work. I myself found that a project started as a demonstration, and worked through the entire time students were making their work helped to do several things: 1) the students would see how I approached the creation of the pot through the various stages, I could model good practices for them in the use of surface embellishments, joining process, handling and storage of work, bottom treatments and signing, finishing of work in the leather hard and bone dry stages, and so many other things all the way through the final firing and clean up of the bottom of the pot. Since I taught several classes a day, the work on this project would maybe take 5 to 10 minutes out of each class. Once projects are started and on firm footing, it is best not to hover over them while they work, but to wander around making comments or adjustments when needed. Some days that is all period, some days maybe not at all. The big thing is a watchful eye. For me modeling the process was a great teaching tool and helped to establish classroom etiquette.

 

pres,

Your students were lucky to have such a great teacher.

marcia

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This has been an interesting thread and is linked to another about studio expectations.

Lori's rule number 3 is always a huge challenge and so difficult for people to 'get'. Where in 'do not touch others work' is there any difficulty to understand?? I've seen so many items damaged because of others, moving, peeking etc

Gep's comments that the studio teacher should teach by example is spot on. When students see the mentor doing the right thing in all aspects of studio etiquette it rubs off on students.

In the other post I commented about my home based studio, but reading this thread made me think about uni. We are in a shared studio space with 8 students per 3 rooms- all aged from early 20's to late 60's - and part of our marks are about how we work as a team eg kiln sharing, help others load and unload, seniors advising juniors, seniors reminding juniors of glaze room rules with gloves and respirators etc.

But out of all the places I have worked this is the place where there are so many heated discussions about 'who should have done something' and 'it wasnt me' etc.

It has amazed me the disrespect for equipment and resources that a group of adults have displayed. So much talking, signs and reminders and still there are issues.

Last year a group of students took their frustrations to a department head and a couple of students were 'suspended' from using certain areas.

People can be a strange bunch

a great thread with some strong ideas

cheers Lyn

 

 

There is a strain of thought in education that a teacher that makes his own pottery in class is grandstanding, and shouldn't do it for several reasons-one that it encourages the student to copy the work in interest of a good grade-two that it takes the teacher away from the students while he is working on his work. I myself found that a project started as a demonstration, and worked through the entire time students were making their work helped to do several things: 1) the students would see how I approached the creation of the pot through the various stages, I could model good practices for them in the use of surface embellishments, joining process, handling and storage of work, bottom treatments and signing, finishing of work in the leather hard and bone dry stages, and so many other things all the way through the final firing and clean up of the bottom of the pot. Since I taught several classes a day, the work on this project would maybe take 5 to 10 minutes out of each class. Once projects are started and on firm footing, it is best not to hover over them while they work, but to wander around making comments or adjustments when needed. Some days that is all period, some days maybe not at all. The big thing is a watchful eye. For me modeling the process was a great teaching tool and helped to establish classroom etiquette.

 

pres,

Your students were lucky to have such a great teacher.

marcia

 

 

Blushingly, Thank you-I had my days good and bad, as we all do.

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