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CIY Pottery

Studio Policies & Terms and Conditions

As of July 1, 2023

The following is a necessarily sternly worded list of dos and don’ts for the studio. For the culture in the studio to be welcoming, for the students to learn to be good clay citizens, for the safety of all and the sanity of the Potters in Charge, they need to be said and adhered to. Please take the time to read thoroughly and then let’s get down to creating!

By signing up for a class or membership, you are agreeing to abide by the following terms and conditions, and policies.

Studio Safety

The safety of staff, members, and students, as well as members of the public, is of paramount importance. The biggest threat to health in the pottery studio is airborne silica. The creation of dust is to be avoided in every step of the process, and where dust is unavoidable, ventilation, filters, and masks shall be used. All cleanup methods of ware, studio or equipment must be wet. All sanding of pieces must be done outside.  Use of a mask for sanding is recommended. No dry sweeping, sanding or similar activities are allowed inside. Safety will be covered in studio orientation and reviewed as needed. Anyone found repeatedly violating the safety rules may be banned from the studio.

Pottery studios can be slippery when water is left on floors, please mop up and towel dry wet floors when you see them.

Heat guns are very hot, use care while using and be careful where you place a hot heat gun.

In case of any injury, please notify staff immediately. 

Waiver of Risk of injury or Illness

 While working with clay is relatively safe, there are hazards and risks. You must agree and sign the  Release and Waiver Liability Form before use of the studio.

Code of Conduct

Members are expected to be respectful of staff and other potters, to share tables and equipment, and clean up after themselves.

Be kind to your fellow potters. CIY is an inclusive and respectful environment where artists come together to express their creativity and share their artistic passions with each other. Please refrain from gossiping, instead we encourage you to support each other’s artistic differences. Do not use abusive or inappropriate language. We will not tolerate discrimination, or harassment of any kind.

No Guarantees

 No guarantee is offered, explicit or implied, regarding the quality or service ability of fired work. Every precaution will be taken to ensure the best possible outcome for every firing. You agree that you will not hold the studio, its staff, volunteers, or any other person associated with the studio responsible for work that is damaged or defective in any way while in the studio at any stage of process.

Studio Use

 Except for the showroom area, the studio may be used by current members or enrolled students who have attended a studio orientation. Applicable fees must be paid, and members must be in good standing to use the studio.

Students and members may not bring friends, family, other persons, or pets into the studio during class or open studio hours without the express consent of staff. Minor children must always be under adult supervision and any damage to studio materials, fired or unfired ware, fixtures or equipment are the responsibility of the parent or guardian. Anyone who has not completed studio orientation is prohibited from using any of the equipment or materials until orientation is completed and waivers signed.

There are no shared memberships without permission (one person per shelf space, per membership).

Wheels and hand building tables are reserved during their respective class times. Members are expected to be respectful of teachers and students in the space and understand that these are busier times in the studio. Class times are posted in the studio and on the website.

Work may not be stored on tables or shelves that is not your assigned space. Be respectful and cautious of other’s pieces. If something needs to be moved, ask for assistance from a staff member.

First Class

Please arrive about 15 minutes before the class begins allowing time for check-in. At the first class, you will receive your student class code, which will be used to check in and out of the open studio.  In addition, you will complete the studio orientation, sign the waiver and student agreement and be assigned a storage space.   The class fee will be collected at this time. 


Members and students are expected to have their own basic tools, however a limited number of tool sets for wheel throwing and hand building are available for use at the studio.  Instructors will send an e-mail prior to the first class with options for basic supplies needed for class.  All borrowed tools must be cleaned and returned after use. Missing wheel throwing tools often end up in the reclaim and slop buckets and pose a risk of injury to staff and/or damage to equipment. If you realize you are missing a tool, please ask staff for assistance in finding it.  

Studio Equipment and Supplies

Glazes, tools, and supplies are for studio use only and should not be taken out of the studio. All supplies, including throwing bats, need to be cleaned and put back at the end of your class or studio time.

Use of studio equipment is for those that have completed the studio orientation. Do not operate any equipment that you have not been trained to operate.  The staff is here to assist and train you, please ask for assistance.

Only authorized personnel are permitted in the supply room. 

The porcelain side of the wedging table is for Porcelain only.

Only authorized personnel are permitted to use the pugmill. If you are not going to recycle your clay, place unused clay in reclaiming buckets. 

If you see that supplies are running low, please alert staff.

Kiln and Firing Requirements

CIY bisque fires at Cone 04 and glaze fires at Cone 5 and 6. We do our best to fire work in an excellent and efficient manner; however, things can happen in the kilns, and we are not responsible for unexpected results or kiln variations, and we do not take financial liability for the work, or for production timelines.

Only authorized persons will be loading, unloading, or otherwise using the kiln. The kiln and designated kiln area are off limits to non-staff.

A firing schedule may be posted, and every attempt will be made to adhere to it, but factors such as volume of work to be fired, kiln repairs or scheduling conflicts may alter the firing schedule without notice.

CIY is not for production potters.  If you produce a high number of pieces for firing, we reserve the right to discontinue firing the excess pieces.  If you have a special event you are creating pieces for, please inform us ahead of time.  We will do our best to work with you to complete the firing. Pieces that do not fit on your shelf space will not fit in the kiln.  Please be aware of the size limitations of the kilns.

The kiln is not routinely for hire. The kiln is for firing work made in house, using studio materials, by students, members, and staff. 

All items to be fired must have a legible and identifiable name, stamp, or mark, usually on the bottom, that will be visible after glaze firing.

Items that will not be fired:

  1. Clay not originating in the studio. Different clay bodies can react differently to glazes and firing temperatures. Only clay purchased from CIY may be used in the studio.
  2. items with glazes not originating in the studio unless approved by staff, bring the bottle(s) with legible label,
  3. any glaze containing lead,
  4. previously fired items from outside the studio,
  5. any item with additives or inclusions not cleared ahead of time by staff,
  6. any item with an armature, or anything inside it, not cleared ahead of time by staff,
  7. cracked ware,
  8. ware with walls or areas thicker than ½ inch unless approved by staff,
  9. ware with flaking or too thick glaze,
  10. ware that does not have an identifiable, name, stamp, or mark,
  11. ware with glaze on the foot or shelf contact area of the piece,
  12. ware that is at risk of breaking, falling over or damaging other ware or the kiln,
  13. and prohibited items per studio policies.

Glazes marked as, “Runner” shall not to used on the bottom half of the outside of a ware. Use caution when applying runners with other glazes.

Limits of use

Creative use of the materials is encouraged, but there are some things that will not be made or fired in the studio. If found in any stage of production, the studio reserves the right to mitigate harm, up to and including destroying prohibited work without notice and without compensation to the artist. Communication is key, obtaining permission from staff before starting work that could be borderline.

Pornographic or sexually explicit items are not allowed, the benchmark will be whether a person under 18 years old would be permitted to legally see/buy the work. There is a long history of nudity in art, nudity alone is not pornographic. Discuss with staff ahead of time if you are concerned that your artistic expression may cross the line.

Cannabis smoking ware can only be made by students/members over the age of 21. Ware in progress may be kept in a secure location if younger people are using the studio at other times. Please be considerate.

Any work that doesn’t fall into the categories, but which does not exhibit any artistic or cultural merit and/or demeans another person, group, nationality, sexuality, religion, or is in any way promoting violence, at the discretion of staff, may be removed from the studio or destroyed without compensation to the artist without notice.

We will endeavor to work with every artist who comes to the studio, we do not want to unnecessarily limit anyone’s expression. There will be, on occasion, artists whose work and style are incompatible with the studio, and we wish to be very clear with our criteria for making that determination.


 Please come wearing comfortable clothes, you are okay getting clay on. Some darker clays may stain, but our class clay typically comes out in the wash.  It is highly recommended to bring a towel and an apron.  CIY towels and aprons are for sale at the studio, if needed. 

 No bare feet allowed in the studio.

Clean Work area

 Bats are required to be used on the wheels.

Equipment, ware boards, bats, tables, and floors around your workspace must be cleaned thoroughly before leaving the studio. Wipe down your shelf with a damp towel or sponge at least once a month. Please clean to a standard that you would expect to find in the studio when you arrive.

If more than one person used a space, such as a table for clay prep, communicate with others using the studio to ensure the area is left clean.

Do not clean equipment in the bathroom or kitchen area. Clay traps are installed on the three studio sinks to keep clay out of the pipes.

Please take a moment before you leave, to wander with a clean damp sponge, and look for smears that you or others may have missed on door frames, counter tops, tool caddies and other surfaces. A clean studio is a safe studio and a pleasant place to create.

Except for in the kitchenette, all drinks in the studio must have lids. Do not eat while working. Wash hands thoroughly before and after eating or using the restroom. Dispose of your trash.

Please bring any substandard cleaning or unsafe situations to the attention of staff immediately.


Members and students are welcome to use the kitchen gallery.  Please refrain from bringing in food that is strong in smell.  Please clean the area after you are finished and clean any dishes used.  You may store items in the refrigerator but if items are left overnight, please put your name on them to avoid confusion.  Any items left in the refrigerator for an extended period will be removed.  The studio is not responsible for items left behind.

Work left behind in the studio

Staff are not responsible for any materials, personal items, ware, tools, or equipment left in the studio. Any items left behind by anyone who has not been active in the studio for 30 days will become the property of the studio. Items that are left behind and are not labeled with the owner’s name become studio property.

Special circumstances regarding the late pickup or storage of any items including finished and unfinished work, tools, or personal belongings will be considered in advance. Contact staff to plan for special accommodations, such as storage, delivery, or shipping.  Fees may apply.

Ware at any stage of completion can be picked up any time the studio is open (do not disturb classes in progress)

If clay was purchased from the studio by the student/member/staff, it is the responsibility of the owner of the clay to reclaim it into their own supply, no compensation is given for clay put in the studio reclaim barrel.

Age Requirement

Our classes are paced for and primarily booked for adults, we do allow ages as young as 16 and older but ask that you visit us first if booking anyone into a class under the age of 18 to ensure that it is a good fit for them.

Missing a Class

The first class is foundational to the entire series; we strongly recommend that if you are unable to attend the first class that you consider joining us for another session when you can attend them in sequence. For the other classes, if you are unable to attend or miss a week, you can make it up by attending another regularly scheduled session if there is availability. Please check with your instructor as to availability for make-up classes.


Members and students that register for memberships, classes, or workshops on our website or via email agree to full payment upon arrival at the studio on the first day of the service. 

Monthly membership is a recurring charge on the first of the month until cancelled, per our cancellation policies.

Cancellation Policy

By booking our class you will be agreeing to our cancellation policy, which is:

Monthly membership can be terminated at any time by either the member or CIY Pottery. Members may cancel by notifying us via email at Membership fees for the month in which you cancel are not refundable. 

With at least 48 hours’ notice before your class or workshop starts (your first-class session) you may:

  • Reschedule your sessions for another class if available.
  • Cancel for a refund.
  • After the 48-hour period, or if your class has started, we are unable to offer these two options, for any reason including COVID, illness, injury, or unexpected travel.

 If you need to reschedule or cancel, please contact us via email at or at the studio during open hours.  Classes are offered in 8 and 12-week blocks and we are not able to separate the individual sessions.

Termination of membership, class, or workshop participation

We reserve the right to revoke all studio privileges for prohibited behavior and no refund will be given.

You may terminate your membership by providing written notice to the CIY Pottery at least 30 days before your next bill date. At such time, you must pay in full any unpaid dues incurred prior to the cancellation date. 


About Us

CIY is a creative hub located in Ashburn, VA, where individuals can explore the world of pottery and specialty arts. The acronym stands for “Create It Yourself,” reflecting the studio’s mission to foster a collaborative environment for both beginners and seasoned artists.

Studio Hours

  • Monday – Thursday 10AM – 9PM
  • Friday 10AM – 6PM
  • Saturday 10AM – 5PM
  • Closed Sunday


CIY Pottery © Copyright 2023