Like everyone in Seattle, we’ve been following coronavirus developments closely. Today, the King County Public Health Officer announced new restrictions on large and small gatherings, and Seattle public schools are closing for a minimum of two weeks.
We’re continuing to be proactive and updating our policies and procedures to ensure that our studio remains a safe place to learn and practice ceramics. We have lots of announcements in this post, so read carefully to see how these updates might affect you. And read on to the end of this post for information about how you can support our small business this spring.
Many of these changes go above and beyond the requirements and recommendations of King County and Washington State health officials; we want to do everything we can to get our community past this crisis and back to normal. We appreciate your patience, understanding, and cooperation during this challenging time.
Safety and Hygiene
If you are feeling unwell, or believe you have been exposed to the coronavirus, do not come into the studio.
We are currently cleaning and disinfecting all high-use surface, such as door knobs and table tops, three times per day. Our staff will be deep-cleaning and disinfecting the entire studio within the week, and we'll repeat that process as necessary.
We have hand-sanitizer available to everyone at the front desk, and all students are required to wash their hands before handling clay or tools.
The King County Public Health Officer has asked businesses to implement social distancing at all gatherings; this means keeping about six feet between people. In practical terms, this means that effective Saturday March 14th, we'll be reducing class sizes to give everyone more space. More about that below.
[Updated 3/16] All classes are currently postponed and will be rescheduled. Your registration is still valid, and we'll send out emails with new dates as things settle down in the coming weeks.
We are not currently offering refunds for postponed classes. Thanks for your patience.
Changes To Current Eight-Week Classes
Effective this weekend, we're temporarily reducing class size from our usual twelve to a maximum of six people. This allows us comply with the Public Health Officer’s social distancing mandates in our glaze room. Fortunately, we're coming into the last week of our winter quarter, and all that's left is glazing. Instead of your regularly-scheduled class, existing students should sign up for an Open Studio session. You may attend any Open Studio session that works for your schedule, and we've added lots of new Open Studio opportunities to the calendar for next week. Please only reserve one Open Studio slot for next week.
Currently-registered students should expect an email with more information from us in the next day or two.
Changes To Upcoming Eight-Week Classes
We are delaying the start of our Spring Eight-Week Session by two weeks, from the week of March 30th to the week of April 13th.
We are reducing enrollment in our Spring Eight-Week Session to ten people per class. This will allow us to maintain mandatory social distancing in the throwing room. Any folks who cancel their registration for Spring quarter will receive priority when we open registration for our next eight-week session.
Spring Eight-Week Sessions students should expect an email with more information from us in the next few days.
Changes to Upcoming One-Night Clay Curious Classes
To help maintain social distancing recommendations, we are reducing enrollment in all these classes from 12 people to 10 people, starting with the class on Friday March 20th. This involves re-scheduling a handful of existing Clay Curious registrations; we apologize for the inconvenience this will cause. We'll email all registered Clay Curious students in the next day or two.
Changes to Waitlists
We're expecting to see a lot of turnover in class rosters as people make adjustments. In order to reduce administrative headaches, we're going to skip waitlists and post openings immediately as they become available. Keep an eye on the listing for your favorite class if you're interested in getting a spot!
How You Can Help
First of all, we appreciate your patience. We've got more than a hundred class registrations to adjust, and not everyone is going to be happy with the changes we make. We're doing our best.
This is going to be a tough spring for Saltstone Ceramics. We’re a young business, and running a craft studio is not particularly lucrative to begin with. But that said, this will be even harder on our employees, most of whom have student debt, pay the high rents Seattle is famous for, and have not yet had the opportunity to grow a strong financial safety net.
We are committed to keeping our regular employees on the payroll and maintaining their hours as much as possible. We have a fantastic team and we want to maintain the momentum we've built over the past two years. Although we expect our core teaching business to be significantly impacted by this outbreak, we believe in the work our employees can do and we're confident our business can survive this temporary slowdown.
Our employees earn part of their income teaching private lessons to small groups; consider booking a private lesson (and tipping your instructor afterwards).
Everyone who works at Saltstone Ceramics also sells pottery or other goods with us. You don’t even need to come in to see what we have available! Nearly all of what we carry is lovingly photographed and available for purchase online. 60% of the purchase price goes directly to the artist, and the rest supports our front desk staff and keeps the doors open. Buy art!
Thank you for your support!
❤️ Sarah, Steve and all the staff at Saltstone Ceramics