Open Studio Member Requirements

  • All open studio members are required to have prior ceramics experience, be self-sufficient and know how to use studio equipment. 
  • Studio staff are available to answer general studio questions, but instruction is not provided during open studio hours or included in membership price. 
  • New members must first take a 4 week wheel class or pass a proficiency test. Proficiency tests must be scheduled in advance and cost $20.00. 
  • All new open studio members must meet with a studio staff member to tour the studio, review and sign our open studio policy agreement prior to working at Art Dept. Studios. 


  • Open studio members pay $50.00 monthly or $500 annually
    • Membership allows members to use pottery wheels without an instructor, and to buy clay and shelf space at a price that is significantly lower than that of walk-in artists.
  • Costs for clay, firing, and storage are as follows:
    • $.50 cents per pound for reclaimed clay 
    • $ 25.00 for a 25 lb bag of brand new clay. New clay is not sold by the pound.
    • $10.00 firing fee per shelf, up to eight inches high
      • For each additional inch in height, add $5/inch/shelf
      • Firing fee is paid for BOTH bisque firing and glaze firing
    • $20 for a personal shelf/locker (pending availability) to store work, tools, and clay. (monthly fee)
    • Members use our wide variety of glazes for FREE. 
  • Membership is not refundable or transferable. 
  • Firing fees must be prepaid. We will not fire your work until you have paid for firing. 

Open Hours

  • Open studio hours are typically as follows and may vary by studio. Check with the Studio Supervisor for availability:  
    • Wheels are usually open time during business hours.  Call ahead to make sure a wheel is reserved for you.
    • Monday - Saturday 10:30 am - 7:30 pm
    • Sunday 12:30 pm - 5:30 pm
  • The last 30 minutes of open studio is reserved for clean-up; If you arrive for open studio within 1 hour of studio closing it does not leave enough time to set up, throw / trim on the wheel and clean up. 
  • Please note open studio hours are subject to change at any time. Every effort will be made to notify members in the event of a closure or cancellation, but please check for an updated schedule in the event of any last minute cancellations.

Cleaning / Dust Policies

It is mandatory that open studio members clean up after themselves each time they use the studio. 

  • The last 30 minutes of open studio time are reserved for cleaning. Studio staff will give a 30 minute warning so members have time to finish up and do a thorough cleaning job. 
  • Wipe all wedging tables, drying tables and plaster slabs immediately after use.
  • Mop around your wheel every time after working.
  • Mop the floor around the glaze table and sponge the tabletop after each use.
  • Thoroughly rinse and return shared studio tools, bats and ware boards.
  • Art Dept. Studios has a zero dust policy; NO sweeping and absolutely NO sanding bisqueware inside.
  • Wheels are considered clean when the pans, skirt, and head are washed and have no clay residue.
  • Please use the bucket of water to rinse tools and wheel pans in order to save water.
  • Water from throwing buckets can go in the reclaim bucket.
  • Do not pour any clay or slip directly into the sink.
  • Use sink water only for a final rinse if necessary.
  • For wheels, supplies, and studio space that are not properly cleaned, artists will incur an additional fee of $30. 

Work Storage

  • Art Dept. Studios cannot store clay, tools, or work for wheel members unless they rent shelf space.
  • If open studio members wish to store clay, tools, or work, a personal/private shelf space can be rented for $20 a month. All firing fees still apply. Open studio members with shelf spaces may only access the studio during open studio hours. 
    • If a storage fee is not paid, members are required to take all of their supplies, clay, and projects with them. Supplies, clay, and projects left overnight will become the property of Art Dept. Studios.
  • Open studio member work-in-progress requirements:
    • Work must be stored on a ware board, and labeled with a full name and date.
    • Unlabeled work will be considered abandoned and discarded.
    • Work left longer than 30 days will be considered abandoned and discarded.
    • Do not leave work on studio throwing bats. If work is not transferred to a wareboard for storage, it will be discarded.
  • Shared storage for ceramic work is limited. No production pottery allowed. 
  • Art Dept. Studios is not responsible for projects, tools, clay, and personal items lost or damaged.


  • Don’t glaze too thickly. The thicker a glaze is applied, the more it will run. If you are unsure if the glaze you are using is the proper consistency, ask a studio staff member.
  • Included with membership is full use of studio glazes and tools. Members are welcome to glaze their projects during regular studio business hours.
  • Projects must be clearly marked and described for the studio staff. Please indicate if you would like your projects stilted or dry/wet-footed.



  • Art Dept. Studios does not fire work created outside the studio. 
  • Only cone 06 clay is allowed in our kilns.
  • If you wish to fire pieces made at Art Dept. Studios with clay/glazes from outside the studio, please check in with a studio supervisor to confirm that it’s compatible with Cone 06 firing.
  • All work to be fired must be prepaid before being left on the shelf. Please see a staff member to pre-pay for firings. Work that has not been prepaid will not be fired.
  • Work will be glaze fired at our discretion. Repeat problematic glazing (too thick, too close to the bottom etc.) will result in a $30 fee to replace damaged or destroyed kiln shelves.
  • We do our best to handle your work with the utmost care, but it is the nature of ceramics and working in a shared space that pieces are occasionally lost or broken.   Art Dept. Studios is not responsible for missing or broken pieces.
  • Firings for open studio work usually occur bi weekly depending on volume, but are subject to change at the studio’s discretion. Please note the holidays are an extremely busy time at the studio, so plan holiday gifts in advance as we cannot guarantee any set schedule for open studio firings due to the volume of work to be fired at this time.

Clay Reclaim

  • Trim scraps or broken greenware go into the reclaim bucket. 
  • Please break up large amounts of clay to be reclaimed. Do not put any pieces of clay larger than your finger in the reclaim buckets. Do not put any clay that has fallen on the floor in the reclaim buckets.
  • Any clay left on plaster to dry must be labeled with a name and date or it will be reclaimed by the studio staff member. Remember to wipe down plaster slabs after each use.
  • Clay cannot be left out to dry on a wedging boards  or bats overnight without consent by the studio staff.

Other General Rules

  • Minimum age for membership is 14 years old.
  • No minors allowed at open studio with the exception of approved minor members. If you wish to bring a minor please check in with the studio supervisor via phone or email.
  • Shoes must be worn at all times.
  • No saving wheels - Open studio can get busy and occasionally there is a wait for wheels, so please be courteous and be ready to work before leaving anything on a wheel.
  • Pottery wheel access is first come first serve. We cannot guarantee availability of wheels during open studio hours. 
  • Wheel membership privileges do not extend to other mediums in the studio, such as glass, mosaics, and Paint Your Own Pottery.