Prospective Student Questions
Q. Do you offer any options for walk ins or paint your own pottery?
A. Unfortunately, no. Because of our tight space and small staff you must be enrolled as a student to work in the studio. If you want to give wheel throwing a try, consider signing up for one of our one-time workshops.
Q. Do you offer birthday parties or private events?
A. We do not anymore. This was a service that we had very limited scheduling options for and found it difficult to maintain from a staffing / operational perspective.
Q. I checked the classes page but all of the classes are listed as full. How do I sign up for a class?
A. If there are no available spots in a particular class or if a class session has already started it will be listed as full. We no longer have a waitlist for classes. To be notified when the next round of classes will be posted please sign up for our newsletter on the contact page.
Q. When will new classes be posted?
A. We do not have specific dates for when new classes are posted. Generally, we post new classes about 6 weeks into the current class session. For example, the registration for the Spring session will be released mid-way through the Winter session (i.e. mid-February). Registration is released in a Newsletter email - be sure to sign up quickly as demand is high!
Q. Can I schedule a private lesson for a # people at a particular time?
A. We offer private lessons during specific windows of time only for 1-4 people. Please visit the Private Lessons page on our website for availability on specific days. You must click the ‘book it’ button for the availability calendar to pop up.
Q. Do you offer firing or glazing services?
A. Unfortunately, no. We do not have the space to accommodate more pottery in our kilns at this time.
Q. I took a workshop, when will my pots be ready for pickup?
A. Your pots will be ready for pick up one month from the date of your workshop.
Q. I took a workshop and forgot to pick up my pottery. Is it still there?
A. If it is within 3 months from the date of your workshop, we should still have your pots. If it has been longer than 3 months we cannot guarantee we still have your pottery.
Q. I don’t have any pottery experience. Which class should I take?
A. Unless a class specifically states an experience level, it will be suitable for all levels. Our awesome teachers will accommodate any skill level and answer your questions during class.
Q. I have pottery experience and would like to sign up for your independent study program, how do I do this?
Our independent study program is currently full, but we do have a waitlist. To sign up for the waitlist, please fill out this form. As an alternative, consider signing up for a semester class. Class students get the same studio privileges as independent study students with the exception of getting your own shelf.
Q. Do you take commissions?
A. No, we are a learning studio and do not facilitate commissions.
Q. Do you do pottery repairs?
A. No, we do not. There's not a practical way to refire and repair pottery. We recommend using E6000. It is a rubber cement-type glue that is easy to work with. The most permanent way to fix pottery is with epoxy.
Current Student Questions
Q. I have to miss one of my classes, what should I do?
A. We have a very flexible class makeup policy. Students may join any other class happening that week. It's nice to send us an email as a heads up, but it's not required. A schedule for both studios is available here: Make-up Class Schedule
Q. Can I bring in my own Clay?
A. No. This is in part due to the risk of firing a clay body at the wrong temperature. More so, it is because classes/independent study etc. are priced out in a way that includes a specific clay allotment. When it comes to producing a piece of pottery, the clay is a small cost in comparison to studio use, kiln firing and glaze materials.
Q. Can I buy cone 6 glazes online and use them at the studio?
A. No. We highly regulate our glazes and cannot account for outside commercial glazes.
Q. Can I buy underglazes and use them at Indigo Fire?
A. Yes, students are welcome to purchase and use their own underglazes.
Q. I'm a class or Independent Study student. When will my pottery be fired?
A. Please allow 2-3 weeks for pottery to come out of the kiln.
Q. Are students allowed to make many small pots/sculptures, like beads for example?
A. While we don't have a limit on how small a pot can be, we ask that students don't put many small objects through the kiln. It's difficult to fire and keep track of many small pieces. Custom beads in small numbers are fine. We don't have bead racks so the bead must sit safely on one side that is glaze-free.
Q. Is there a limit on how large pots can be?
A. Yes, any student firing a pot that is larger than 10.5" in height or diameter must pay a $10 firing fee per pot. To pay the fee, you can find a QR code taped to the studio desk and a receipt printer. Once you pay the fee through the QR code application a receipt will automatically print. Please place this receipt in your pot when you put it on the cart to be fired. A pot larger than 10.5" that does not have a receipt will not be fired.
Pots may not be larger than 15". We are a teaching studio and simply don't have the kiln capacity to process large pots.
Q. Are there any rules on how fragile pots can be?
A. All the pottery in the Belmont and Watertown studio moves from rolling carts into the kiln room to be fired. Pottery should be stable enough so that it's not scary to move it on the carts. Keep in mind that there are creases in the concrete floor in Watertown! If the pot is particularly thin or has tiny appendages protruding from it, you can imagine whether you'd feel comfortable picking it up with a pair of light winter gloves on. If that seems risky, it's probably too fragile.
Q. I can't find my pot on the shelf. Does that mean it exploded in the kiln?
A. Almost certainly not. We are not perfect and pottery is very fragile. Pots do break periodically due to mishandling or improper firing. When this happens we try very hard to find the maker of the pot and let them know. If we can't, we will put the broken pieces out on the shelf. In 90% of cases when students can't find their pot it is either still being fired, or is hiding among the rest of the pottery.
Q. My leather hard pottery isn't where I left it on the shelves. Did someone move it?
A. If anyone were to move the pottery it would be Ned or the studio staff. We've never found a case of a student moving another student's pottery. The majority of the time that a wet/leather hard pot is lost, it is hiding on another shelf that the maker forgot about. There are many shelves here and they all look the same! Make sure to take notes about where you store your pottery and how many pots you've made.
Q. If the studio broke or damaged one of my pots, do I get compensated?
A. In this scenario, we always invite the student to remake the pot with free clay. There is not any further compensation. It's a low feeling whenever a piece of pottery is broken. It's easy to get attached to pottery, especially for folks learning. Pottery is a particularly brutal, unforgiving art and loss is unfortunately part of the process. Please know that 1) we feel bad 2) we're doing our best 3) we're always trying to improve.
Q. I did two dips of a glaze that the board doesn't specifically say is drippy. It ran on the kiln shelf, made a mess and ruined my pot. Is this my fault?
A. Mostly. This is a hard answer for students to receive. When we mix glaze, we calibrate it to a specific density that we try to maintain. As glazes get heavily used, this density changes. Some glazes can be moody and less reliable than others. There are times when glazes are significantly off and students can't reasonably glaze their piece safely. These times are very rare though.
In general students should be glazing in a way that is heavily erring on the side of caution. A 10% risk that your glaze might run off the pot is not one that you should take. There are many ways of making beautiful glaze colors and combinations that are not risky. Students should slowly test out drippier glazes and use them in bolder ways as they grow more comfortable with how the glaze behaves.
Q. I didn't finish my class/independent study clay allotment. Does it roll over?
Q. I see some people storing bisque on the middle class shelves. Is that allowed?
A. No. We ask that people only use the middle class shelves for wet/leatherhard pottery. We know that there is always a lot of pottery on the bisque shelves, and sometimes it can be difficult to find yours. Once you find your pottery, if you stack it up and put it in a specific section of the bisque shelves, it will be there for you when you come back.
Q. How long after my class ends can my work remain on the middle class shelves?
A. About one week. We always clear out the middle class shelves before a new semester begins. If your pottery is there, we may recycle it.
Q. I'm used to throwing all pottery on bats. Is this alright at Indigo Fire?
A. We have bats available here, although they're primarily for folks who are throwing plates or large pots that might be difficult to take off the wheel. In general, we ask that students learn to throw mugs, bowls, jars, vases etc. without a bat.
Q. Can I bring my hair dryer in to dry out pottery?
A. No, hair dryers are loud and cause a lot of dust around the studio. We have a quiet heat gun that is available for specific scenarios. It should not be used as a regular method to dry leatherhard pots or glaze.
Q. I did this raku workshop where we stuffed our pots with saw dust and soda wads, then we wrapped the outside with copper wire and lithium soaked hay. The results were awesome. Any of that stuff allowed here?
A. Unfortunately not. While we allow students to fire the remains of a leaf that they pressed into the clay, or some stray newspaper, we don't fire combustibles or materials that produce heavy flashing.
Q. My glazed pot didn't come out the way I expected. I'm pretty sure that it will look better if I add some more glaze and refire. Is that allowed?
A. Yes you can refire your pot for re-bisque for a fee of $5 or reglaze for a fee of $10. To pay the fee, you can find a QR code taped to the studio desk and a receipt printer. Once you pay the fee through the QR code application a receipt will automatically print. Please place this receipt in your pot when you put it on the cart to be fired. A pot without a receipt will not be fired.
Summary of COVID19 safety precautions
All of our staff and teachers are fully vaccinated. Masks are required indoors at our Belmont studio, and recommended for indoors at the Watertown studio.