[Please also read our March 11th update.]
COVID-19 is on everyone's mind in the Seattle area. Here are some quick notes about how we are addressing this issue at Saltstone Ceramics.
We are a "third place"–a social gathering place outside of home and work–and we take pride in the important role we fill in our wider community. The COVID-19 outbreak is challenging everyone to find balance when protecting their economic, cultural, social, and physical health.
To that end, we appreciate the patience and support of everyone in our pottery community. It can be hard to be helpful and understanding in times of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. We encourage you to be thoughtful and diligent in doing what you can to keep yourself, your family, and your community healthy.
Remember that many working artists, such as those whose work we sell in our gallery, operate as independent small businesses. That means they generally don't get paid sick leave. And many of them supplement their income with jobs in the service industry. This combination means that many of them will see their livelihoods directly impacted by COVID-19. Please reach out to local artists and artisans in your community and ask what you can do to support them.
Are You Open?
We are keeping regular business hours (11am - 6pm every day but Tuesdays) and all classes, workshops, and private lessons are continuing as scheduled. Open Studio for 8-week students is also continuing as scheduled (and with more of our students' employers asking them to "work from home", we're seeing more people coming in for Open Studio).
Are There Any COVID-19 Risks that are Unique To A Pottery Studio?
First, please note that we are not epidemiologists or medical professionals. It is our understanding that COVID-19 is spreading through the community via undiagnosed individuals, and it is possible to contract the virus from any person, in any environment.
There are many shared tools and materials in a pottery studio–including wheels, ribs, glazes, and sponges–and it is not feasible (or possible) to sterilize these items.
We have dozens of folks coming in and out of the studio every week. It is not possible to know who may be undiagnosed virus carriers.
What Precautions Are You Taking?
Hand sanitizer is provided for everyone who comes into the studio. Regular hand-washing is strongly encouraged. We are also doing deeper cleaning on common surfaces such as door knobs.
We provide paid sick leave to our staff. We're strongly encouraging everyone–staff, instructors, assistants, and students–to stay home if they're not feeling well. This is a good idea whether it's COVID-19 or just the common cold.
Can I Get A Refund?
As stated in our refund policies, we do not offer refunds for classes that you are unable to attend. You are always welcome to give your registration to another person if you can't make it to a class or workshop.
Under What Circumstances Will You Close?
We're monitoring recommendations from national, state, and county authorities, and will follow appropriate guidelines and recommendations as they are issued. At the moment, we do not have plans to cancel or postpone any of our current classes or workshops.
If we do need to postpone or cancel a class, we'll notify all registered students by email. We'll also make announcements here on our website.
I have questions!
Great! Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our contact page.