connecting through clay 02 6241 1670 [email protected]

COVID-19 Update

25 May 2020 - We're coming back!

Background 

COVIDSafe Update Monday 25 May 2020

Great news – we’re back! (In COVIDSafe form of course)

We are excited to be returning to teaching pottery classes and seeing our students again.

There are new processes and protocols to observe in order to keep our staff, teachers and students COVIDSafe.

Our first priority is completing the classes you missed in Term 1. This will occur over the five weeks from June 8 2020.

Classes have been divided in half to meet occupancy and physical distancing requirements. You will receive details shortly about your attendance dates.

On return all students must observe the following requirements –

  • There will be COVIDSafe processes and protocols to keep you, our teachers and staff safe and to ensure we can remain open. Please follow these at all times.
  • There will be a COVIDSafe video to explain the new processes fully. You will need to watch this before you come to class. A link will be emailed to you prior to class commencement.
  • If you are unwell stay at home.
  • A physical distance of 1.5 metres must be observed at all times while on the premises.
  • You should leave immediately if you begin to feel unwell in class. Notify your Teacher and sign out prior to leaving
  • There will be no make-up classes. Strict maximum occupancy numbers have been set for the workshops. There is no room to accommodate additional people. If you miss a class the normal cancellation policy will apply.
  • We need you to arrive and leave promptly. We are asking you to wait outside the classroom until the teacher lets you in. Once you have signed in, the teacher will assign you a designated workspace. The kitchen and library are closed, please bring any refreshments you need, bearing in mind that you should not eat and drink in the workshop.
  • In order to maintain a COVIDSafe workspace we have ramped up our cleaning regime. Teachers and staff will be undertaking additional cleaning to keep our work areas clean. Students are responsible for cleaning all tools, equipment and the workspace they use.

We are asking you to take on some extra responsibilities to help us stay COVIDSafe.

  • Shared cleaning sponges are potentially hazardous. We are asking each student to bring their own cleaning sponge.
  • Each student will have a bucket provided in class to fill with hot soapy water to clean their equipment and work area.
  • Some shared tools will still be available – These must be cleaned in hot soapy water and disinfectant after use.
  • You will need to bring
    • Your own tools, and batts if possible (Does not apply to children)
    • Sponges and or microfibre cloths for cleaning (some microfibre cloths will be available for sale at a small cost if you forget)
    • 2 x hand towels for drying your hands
    • 2 X old towels for dry wiping surfaces as you clean up
    • The last 10 minutes of class is set aside to clean the equipment and work areas properly. All students are responsible for cleaning their work area and any equipment they have used.

Working together we can provide a COVIDSafe environment so we can get back to doing what we enjoy, connecting through clay.

We are looking forward to having you back at Canberra Potters.

Richard Thomas

CEO 

Canberra Potters I Watson Arts Centre

Update Friday 15 May 2020

A message to members and participants at the Canberra Potters and Watson Arts Centre.

Dear Members and Friends,

As we gradually move toward reopening from a long hiatus I wanted to inform you of some planning and consideration that needs to take place. Utmost is our concern for the health and safety of our staff, teachers, artists, members and facility users. By the nature of our work potters and ceramicists are a close knit community and the new rules of social engagement present unique circumstances for our organisation. We need to be fully across all matters to ensure we maintain a safe and healthy work environment.

Capacity will need to be closely monitored and our onsite numbers will depend on advice we receive from the Chief Medical Officer and ACT Government. Social distancing guidelines will be strict and follow current health directives. Each area of our facility will have signs indicating the number of people allowed in the space at one time. Cleaning, already an essential part of our practice, will have additional requirements from the staff, class participants and increased general cleaning schedules. We are developing a COVIDSafe class induction kit that participants will need to complete prior to attendance to ensure these protocols are understood and followed.

We are currently preparing for a staged reopening commencing with Stage 1, the completion of Term 1 classes over a five week period. Stage 2 will allow for the commencement of small group classes and access to the gallery and shop for limited times during this period. Member access will be reintroduced as part of Stage 3 but will need to be booked and available at set times.

While we eagerly await the time when we may return to full operating capacity we must await appropriate health directions. Rest assured, we continue to work in the best interests of our community to make this happen as soon as possible. Stay tuned to our website and social media channels for current updates.

Kind regards,
Richard

Richard Thomas

CEO

Canberra Potters | Watson Arts Centre

Update Tuesday 14 April 2020

A few questions have been coming through the emails so we thought we’d address them here as we’re sure there are others thinking the same thing.

Can I still come to Canberra Potters and pick up my fired work?

Yes you can. You will need to park offsite and we ask that you only come onto the Kiln Shed verandah. All fired work is there. Please observe social distancing and remember that only two people can be there at a time. Please be patient if others are already there.

I came down but I couldn’t find my work or it was there but I don’t think its been fired. How do I know?

All work that has been fired is on the verandah. We are still firing kilns so it may be that work hasn’t come out. You may need to check back the following week.

I can’t get there. Will my work be safe?

We will do our best and we will not be throwing anything that’s been fired out. All the usual issues apply so we cannot make this guarantee 100%.

I didn’t get a chance to pick up my work from the workshops. Can I still collect it?

Unfortunately, no. We are unable to grant access to the workshops.

I have left some items in my locker. Can I get them?

Sorry, as above we are unable to grant access. All alarm codes have been suspended and you will be unable to access the building until we have the all clear to reopen.

When will you reopen?

We are keeping a close eye on developments and we are in regular contact with other Arts organisations in the ACT. We will be keeping in touch with you and as soon as we are advised it is safe we will let you know via emails and our social media channels.

How am I going to get my clay fix?!

We’re working on it. Over the next few weeks we are rolling out some Clay Kits,  a members bisque firing and clay purchasing service and a new Canberra Potters Blog. We are also working hard on some more frequent social media posts to keep you in touch with the world of clay. Check out the April Newsletter for more details.

More soon.

 

Update Friday 27 March 2020

 

Dear Members and Friends,

Thank you for all your support and understanding during this health emergency. I would also like to thank you for the courtesy you have given our staff and your fellow ceramics community when interacting with us or visiting the facility.

Unfortunately, from close of business today Friday 27 March we will be further limiting our contact with the public. We have decided to do this in the interests of community health and reducing the spread of the virus.

The facility gates will be locked from 4pm.

We ask that you don’t visit the facility without prior arrangement or unless you are invited to do so.

We are taking this opportunity to update our security protocols. Member access codes will be suspended until further notice.

Clay & Gallery Purchases

Today is your last opportunity to collect gallery or clay purchases today please call the office and confirm that we have your clay in stock.

Once confirmed we can take payment over the phone or you may tap pay on arrival. For collection please call us when you have arrived in the carpark and we will deliver you purchase to your vehicle.

Unfortunately, two of our kilns are out of order so some items may not yet be fired.

We will continue to fire if we can. All kilns have been unpacked today and work is outside on the shelves. There will be no further firing until further notice.

You will be able to park outside the premises and walk in to collect your work from the verandah. We ask that you do not walk around the facility when you collect work.

Access

Key holders and Teachers can no longer use their keys and alarm codes to access the premises during the shutdown. The alarm codes have been changed to allow access for authorised personnel only.

Responding to enquiries during temporary shutdown

During the shutdown we will be unable to manage calls regularly. The best way to contact us is via email.

We will be continuing to communicate with you through this period. Stay tuned to our website and social media channels for updates, activities and items of interest to our ceramics community.

We will continue to provide information via mailouts, the website and our social media channels please check in regularly for updates. canberrapotters.com.au/covid-19 .

Be patient with our communication channels. Most staff are working remotely, and it may take a little while to respond to your individual enquiries.

Next week

For the next week staff will be taking a short break to restore our energy and adjust to working from home.

From the following week we will be busy planning our courses, exhibitions and events for when we reopen.

We wish you all the best. Stay well and please observe all the health information from the Federal and ACT governments so we can fight this disease effectively.

Health-related information may be obtained from ACT Health https://www.health.act.gov.au/about-our-health-system/novel-coronavirus-covid-19

We look forward to opening the doors in the not too distant future.

Sincerely,

Richard Thomas

CEO, Canberra Potters

 

Update Wednesday 25 March 2020

Dear Members and Friends,

Thank you to everyone who has sent messages of support and best wishes over the last few days. These mean a great deal to the staff and teachers. We feel very grateful to have such a strong and supportive community at this time.

Our thanks also to members, students and teachers who have complied with our advice so quickly and efficiently to ensure Canberra Potters is well organised and prepared for this period of closure.

Further changes announced by the Government last night particularly those pertaining to social distancing and gatherings, means we will have to refine our interaction with you before our eventual full suspension of services this week on Friday at 4pm.

Clay & Gallery Purchases

  • To collect gallery or clay purchases on Thursday and Friday this week please call the office and confirm that we have your clay in stock. Once confirmed we can take payment over the phone or you may tap pay on arrival. For collection please call us when you have arrived in the carpark and we will deliver you purchase to your vehicle. Please do not enter the premises.

Access

  • Key holders and Teachers are not permitted to use their keys to access the premises. The alarm codes have been changed to allow access for authorised personnel only.

Responding to Enquiries

  • We ask for your patience. Most staff are now working remotely and it may take longer to process requests and answer your enquiries while we streamline our processes.
  • Please contact staff by email. They will prioritise and manage enquiries as quickly as possible. We will be unable to monitor phone messages regularly after Friday.

More information

  • We will continue to provide information via mailouts, the website and our social media channels please check in regularly for updates. canberrapotters.com.au/covid-19

Closure 4pm Friday 27 March

  • As of 4pm on Friday 27 March Canberra Potters will be closed to all members, students and teachers until we are advised it is safe to recommence services. Please do not come on site.

Thank you

Richard Thomas

CEO Canberra Potters

Update  Tuesday 24 March 2020

Thank you for your patience as we take the next steps in managing the temporary suspension of services at Canberra Potters.

We know many members and students have questions.

An email has been forwarded to all class participants today outlining the next steps.

We will be responding to all your questions over the next few weeks and we will continue to provide updates as we move through this period of closure.

If you are not receiving emails please ensure that your spam filter is not sending them to your junk email box before contacting us. The best way to resolve this is to add us to your contacts list.

[email protected]

[email protected]

Shop

The shop will be open this Thursday and Friday 26 and 27 March between 10am and 4pm to purchase clay and collect gallery purchases. We ask that you observe social distancing and wash your hands on arrival or use hand santiser before you come in.

If possible please do not bring any extra people when you come. We are attempting to limit the number of people onsite to reduce risk to our staff and others.

You can call and pay over the phone and we can leave your purchase outside on the steps for a quick pick up or to reduce contact if you would prefer. We won’t leave items out after 4pm.

Collecting work

All students have received the following information;

  • We know that many of you will be concerned to pick up work any work you have completed.
  • We are still firing work that is complete and on the shelves.
  • All fired work will be put on the trolleys outside the kiln shed for you to collect.
  • Your teacher will go through the work in that is on your class shelf in the workshop.
  • They will take any trimmed and finished work up to the kiln shed for bisque firing.
  • Any fired work that was stored to be glazed later, will also be moved to the trolleys.
  • All other unfinished work will be recycled.
  • This will allow us to thoroughly clean the workshops, kiln shed and members’ workshop.

Please do not come onsite if you are unwell, meet the requirements for social isolation or quarantine.  We ask that you maintain social distancing, wash your hands or use sanitiser before you enter and not spend any longer than necessary onsite or in the workshops.

Member’s Workshop and Thursday Drop In

All members with work stored in the member’s workshop or in lockers are asked to remove these by Friday 4.00pm.

Please ensure you take everything you need, as members will not have access to the facilities until we reopen. Any work remaining on the shelves will be recycled as we undertake a deep clean of the premises.

If you have prepaid sessions these will still be valid when we reopen.

Important Information for Key Holders

To ensure the safety and wellbeing of members and staff you will not be able to access the facilities after Friday 4pm.

Gift Certificates

All Gift Certificate will still be honoured once we reopen for business

Thank you

Richard Thomas CEO

Update - Monday 23 March 2020

Temporary Suspension of Services

Dear Members and Friends,

Due to current events relating to the COVID-19 emergency the Board and Management of Canberra Potters’ Society and Watson Arts Centre have taken the decision to suspend all activities until further notice.

As of today Monday 23 March 2020 the following areas of operation are suspended:

  • Classes
  • Workshop Access
  • Member Drop In
  • Gallery
  • Kiln & Glaze Room
  • Members Library

The Shop will be open between 10am and 4.00pm on Thursday 26 and Friday 27 March for clay sales and collection of gallery purchases. Bag limits on clay have been lifted.

Detailed information on how this closure will affect your area of interaction with CPS/WAC will be communicated to you via email, website and social media channels.

Action we have taken to date has been in the best interests of our members, students, artists and staff.

We must now act on behalf of these important and dedicated people to protect the long term future of CPS/WAC. We must play our role in keeping our colleagues and ceramic arts community healthy and safe.

We will be using this period of hiatus to refine our operations and will be ready to deliver activities and services to our ceramics community as soon as this health emergency is over.

Richard Thomas
CEO

Update - Friday 20 March 2020

 

Use of the Member’s Workshop

In line with new social distancing requirements of four square metres per person in an enclosed space announced today by the Federal Government we are required to limit the number of people using the Member’s Workshop at one time to a maximum of five.

From today a limit of 5 people can access the space at one time. A maximum limit of three people using wheels and a maximum of two people using the handbuilding table. If you arrive to find the spaces already in use you will not be able to use the Member’s Workshop until someone leaves.

We ask Members to be respectful of others wanting to use the space and limit their time to a reasonable period if others are waiting.

Supper Club

All Supper Club events are cancelled until we are advised by ACTHealth that it is appropriate to engage in these social activities in the future.

Orientation Sessions

All Orientation sessions have been cancelled until advised by ACTHealth that it is appropriate to engage in these activities in the future.

Shop and Gallery.

Our Shop and Gallery are open for you to visit and puchase items or supplies. To ensure we maintain adequate stocks of clay for our members and students there is a temporary purchase limit of two bags of clay per customer per day.

Please maintain social distancing practices at all times. All payments are by card. We do not accept cash. We ask that you wash your hands prior to entering the shop or gallery.

NEW INFORMATION - Term 2 start dates have been changed.

Term Two will now commence on Monday 4 May. We are working on creative solutions to provide classes and maintain our health and safety procedures. More information about class options will be available in the coming weeks.

Members and students are asked not to congregate in the Tearoom in groups and maintain social distancing practices at all times. Weather permitting, we encourage class participants to take their breaks outside.

Please visit our website to receive the latest information on classes, gallery and workshop activities.
Health-related information may be obtained from ACT Health https://www.health.act.gov.au/about-our-health-system/novel-coronavirus-covid-19

Richard Thomas
CEO Canberra Potters

Update - Thursday 19 March 2020

All our term classes are continuing until the end of term on Sunday 5 April.
If you are unwell or have a fever, cough and infection or have had exposure to anyone displaying these symptoms we ask you seek medical advice and refrain from attending the facility.

We have taken the difficult decision today to cancel our School Holiday classes for this term.
Please see Holiday Program under LEARN in our menu for more information about offsite alternatives we are offering for your child/ren. This information will be available shortly.

The Member Tea Room has been closed until further notice.

All cups, crockery and cutlery have been removed. Class participants are encouraged to bring their own mug, beverage and snacks. These must be taken home after your class and cannot be stored onsite.

Members and students are asked not to congregate in the Tearoom in groups and maintain social distancing practices at all times. Weather permitting, we encourage class participants to take their breaks outside.

Please visit our website to receive the latest information on classes, gallery and workshop activities.
Health-related information may be obtained from ACT Health https://www.health.act.gov.au/about-our-health-system/novel-coronavirus-covid-19

Richard Thomas
CEO Canberra Potters

Update - Wednesday 18 March

We are following the ACT governments guidelines to minimise the spread of COVID-19.

As of today, all our classes are running and we intend to keep them going until the end of term Sunday 5 April. We will advise on our intended Easter Workshops and School Holiday Program soon.

Like many other organisations we are trying to strike a balance between the health and safety of our community and the enjoyment that pottery and social interaction provides.

Of course, if you are unwell or have a fever, cough and infection, or exposure to anyone with these symptoms we ask you seek medical advice and refrain from attending.
We have implemented new operating protocols to help mitigate the risk of infection or transmission. We ask that visitors adhere strictly to the guidelines and advice provided. Please see the signage posted around the Centre.

Like many other galleries we have cancelled all exhibition openings and formal gatherings until further notice. We ask that you don’t congregate in the kitchen, share mugs or utensils, keep a safe distance between students or work areas, and use disinfectant sprays provided to wipe down tables and work surfaces, in the workshops. We have supplied additional buckets and detergent to assist in the cleaning of tools.

Term 2 is scheduled to start on Monday 27 April. Only Introduction classes have been opened for booking at this time. If you have booked one of these classes and they do not proceed you will be refunded. We will continue to assess the situation and determine if Term 2 dates will change. We will update our website and social media channels as decisions on classes and workshops are made.

Our staff have been rostered to minimise physical contact. Other staff members will be working remotely from home. The health and wellbeing of our members and visitors is of the highest importance. We appreciate your ongoing patience and understanding as we respond in this rapidly moving situation.

Health-related information may be obtained from ACT Health
www.health.act.gov.au/about-our-health-system/novel-coronavirus-covid-19

Richard Thomas

CEO Canberra Potters