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All About Sold-Out Classes

Saltstone Ceramics

Updated Friday November 5th, 2021: Classes for the Winter 2022 session sold out very quickly today, so we thought it might be good to bump up this blog post with a few updates.


Original Post (with some updates):

We released all the classes for our Winter Session today, and they quickly sold out. That left lots of our customers feeling frustrated, so we wanted to address some concerns and questions people are bringing up.

I must give someone a pottery class! What can I do?

We sell gift cards that can be used for future classes and workshops, private lessons, beautiful artisanal goods, and everything else we sell.

Classes are only sold out for now, not forever. We open registration for new classes and workshops every month or so. Your next opportunity to register for classes is Friday, December 3rd at noon, when we'll start offering spots in our January Clay Curious classes and new workshops for 2022. The next session of eight-week classes will become available in mid-winter 2022. Subscribe to our newsletter (at the bottom of this page) to stay up to date on all our class schedules.

You can also book a private lesson with our fabulous instructors at a time that is mutually convenient. Or, check the bottom of this post for other studios that regularly offer pottery classes.

I have a gift card for an eight-week class, and I can't use it!

Gift cards can be used for anything we sell, which also means they're not guaranteed for any specific purpose. It's not possible for us to set aside classes just for people who have gift cards; that would just lead to more management headaches and people trying to game the system.

Remember that we have the best selection of handmade fine ceramics in Seattle: stop by our gallery and we're sure you'll find something to love. Plus we offer new one-night classes every month, in addition to new workshops and private lessons.

I was ready right at noon! Why didn't I get a spot in a class?

All our Winter 2022 classes sold out in less than 5 minutes. We have a limited number of spots, and demand for pottery classes is very high, especially around the holiday season. We also had more returning students than usual this session. While that's good news for us (we're keeping our students happy!) it means spots were even more limited than usual.

I'm on the wait list. Am I going to get into a class?

We typically have one or two cancellations for each class, and we process the wait list in the order that folks sign up. There are usually many more people on the wait list than are likely to get in to our eight-week classes.

Why don't you add more spots?

We wish we could! When we moved into our new Wallingford location, we more than tripled the number of spots in each class–and added workshops and one-night classes to the mix of opportunities.

But with that expansion, we're at maximum capacity in three areas:

  • We can't expand each class, because there isn't room for more wheels in the classroom;
  • The kiln is running at full capacity, and there's isn't space in the electricity panel to add another one;
  • Every student needs space on a shelf; with close to a hundred students in each quarter, that adds up to a lot of shelf space, and we've run out of that too.

Why don't you open an even bigger studio?

Believe me, we'd love to. But that's a huge risk and investment for our us and our community–personally and financially. We want to make sure that everyone who is involved as an investor, employee, contractor, artist, and/or student can expect stability in our community, and that we'll be around for a long, long time. So... we're thinking about it. But nothing will happen soon.

How do I get onto the presale list?

We allow currently-registered students to pre-register for the next round of classes so that they can have continuity in their practice and we can maintain some stability in our community.

We're also continuing to honor our commitments to the BIPOC community by offering a very limited number of spaces to people of color in our classes.

These are the only people who are allowed to pre-register; there's no secret insider way to get early access to the classes. 

Why don't you come up with a fairer way to sell spots in your classes?

We work hard to make this system as fair as possible. We know it's not perfect, and we're continually looking at ways to make the registration process go smoother. If you have ideas, please send them right to me: steve@saltstoneceramics.com

No matter how we set up the sale, there are always going to be folks who can't get in–whether it's a lottery, alphabetical, or first-come, first-served. We know that it's frustrating, and we hate disappointing folks. We wish we could teach you all.

Why don't you do a reserved queued timer shopping cart thing like those big ticket-selling sites?

We wish we could offer more advanced purchasing tools, like your (least) favorite ticketing company, but we sell hundreds of spots per year–not millions. We'd rather invest our limited resources so that our students have a great experience at the studio. And hey–at least we don't charge exorbitant non-sensical "convenience" fees or $20 for a cup of light beer. 

Can you recommend somewhere else I can learn pottery?

Yes! Seattle is home to a vibrant pottery scene, and we're happy to enthusiastically recommend these other pottery studios:

  • Natasha Alphonse Ceramics
  • Yu Tang Ceramics
  • Sean's Clay Corner
  • Barbara Dunshee Ceramics
  • Rat City Studios
  • Pottery Northwest
  • Seward Park Clay Center
  • And don't forget to check your local community college or community center.

How else can I support you?

Remember that all our pottery classes are taught by professional potters–people who make and sell pottery for a living. By purchasing ceramics from local potters, you help ensure that our instructors have the means to continue growing as artists and teachers.


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