Student Handbook

Welcome to Turning Earth! This is your Student Handbook. Print it out and keep it with you! It has lots of important information that will make your experience as a student at the studio even better!

What to bring:

We recommend you come to class at least 5 minutes earlier than the start time so you can settle in and be ready to start with the group. These are our current start times:

Weekday & Saturday Mornings: 10.30 am

Weekday Evenings: 7 pm

Monday throwing classes: 6.30 pm

Please tie back long hair and trim long nails - this will make throwing on the wheel much easier. You will get messy so bring a change of shoes - at least if you are coming from work.

If you have an extra apron bring it in to wear at the studio and keep it with you. It’s preferable if this is made of synthetic materials as it won’t trap as much clay dust (which is bad for your lungs). We do have aprons in the studio if you don’t have one, but it will have been used by other students and may not be as clean as using your own.

Clay dust and cleaning:

Clay dust is a health and safety issue. Exposure to clay dust can cause a lung condition called silicosis and all ceramic artists want to avoid this. Keep your work area cleaned down with a damp sponge. Wipe down your apron with a damp sponge to remove as much clay as you can. Clean all your tools after use and mop the floor around the work area.

Keeping the studio as clean as possible is a primary goal, and is good studio practice. All students are expected to clear up as part of their session.


Please be careful to ensure you check the dates before you register for your class.

Unfortunately as our classes tend to be at full capacity, we cannot move you into another slot should you miss a class. Communicate with your teacher if you are going to be missing a session. This will have an impact on you if you are only taking a four week course. For longer courses you will be able to catch up if you do miss one, but try to avoid missing the first two sessions in particular - that is when your teacher will be laying down the groundwork for the course.

Clearly label your work

There are over 100 people in Turning Earth classes each week, which makes keeping track of your work particularly important. You can make it easier by clearly labeling your work with your name/initials and the class number that corresponds with the session you are taking. You will store your work in progress in a specified area for the length of the course.

Look on the class shelves and confirm with your teacher that you are labelling work correctly -  this will make it easier to find.

Paying for your ceramic work

We charge a small amount for your finished pieces to cover the cost of clay and glaze materials and firing. This is  £1.75 per 500 grams of unfired (greenware) clay. You will sign up in a notebook your name, the amount of work you are firing, brief description, weight and cost and the number of the raffle ticket.

So, for example, your payment entry would look like this:

NAME:  Joe Bloggs  QUANTITY: 6   DESCRIPTION small bowls with spots WEIGHT 500g COST £1.75 TICKET #343

The teacher will issue a raffle ticket to you to keep from the raffle book keep it to track your work and the other ticket will be kept with your work so that we know it has been paid for. This is very important. If you don’t have a raffle ticket with your work it will not be fired.

Picking up your work during the class sessions and at the end of class

While you are enrolled in class the teacher will let you know where to put your class work and pick it up for the next class. At the end of the class session your teacher will estimate when you can come and pick up finished work from the community glaze shelves. This is usually about a week. We can keep work on these shelves for 2 weeks only. If you do not pick it up or make arrangements for its storage with your teacher it will be removed from the studio. We are sorry we can’t hold them for longer - we just can’t store all those lost and forgotten pots.

On this note: please don’t fire anything you don’t think you want to keep - it’s a waste of clay - once fired it cannot be reclaimed and may end up in a landfill.

Class Clay

All the clay for your class will be stored under your bank of class shelves. Please don’t use clay from other classes - make sure you have picked up clay from your class area. Check in with your teacher if you are not sure. Always recycle class clay and put it back in securely closed plastic bag to keep it wet and ready for your next class.

Bank Holidays:

Please note that Turning Earth is open for class on ALL bank holidays except between Christmas eve and New Year’s Day and Easter Sunday and Monday.

Fire evacuation procedure

In the event of fire your teacher will escort you out of the building. The fire assembly point is just across the road. Please leave quickly and don’t attempt to pick up your belongings. If you have a disability and require assistance please let the teacher know at the beginning of your course.

Thanks for your attention!

Have a great class at Turning Earth! We hope you will be inspired to continue!