Kingston Potters ’ Guild Handbook

Current Executive can be found on the KPG website.


Published September 2007 Revised May 2017




  1. Rules and procedures
  2. Cleanup


  1. Rules pertaining to use of electric kilns
  2. Kiln booking/firing
  3. Rules pertaining to use of reduction kiln and gas kiln fire safety


Emergency Procedures

  1. Fire Safety

Supply Room



Guild Shows and Sales

Important information

Welcome to the Kingston Potters' Guild. We hope you will find this booklet helpful in finding your way around the Guild. Please don't hesitate to ask questions. Our goal is to make your time at the Guild a positive, exciting and productive experience.

The Kingston Potters' Guild is a not for profit corporation, hereinafter referred to as the Guild.

The purpose of the Guild shall be:

  1. to encourage the growth and development of ceramics as an art.
  2. to create and maintain a high standard of artistic expression and technical skill.
  3. to act as a medium for the exchange of ideas and technical information.
  4. to promote ceramic exhibitions and demonstrations.
  5. to showcase members ’ work at twice yearly sales.
  6. to do community service for other non for profit organizations (such as Martha ’ s Table by donating bowls for their major fund raising event, “ Empty bowls ” ).

The Kingston Potters Guild is a cooperative guild existing for the support and use of its members: to showcase their work at twice yearly sales; to arrange workshops for their instruction; and to do community outreach through teaching clay classes or open house events such as Culture Day s and Arts Expo within the Tett umbrella.

General Meetings are held at 7 PM on the third Wednesday of every month, except June, July, and August. Should a meeting be cancelled for any reason, the contact person will try to inform members, but, as it is no t always possible to reach everyone in time, please use your judgment in inclement winter weather.

The Annual General Meeting is held in April of each year .The Executive will be elected at this meeting which is a two year term.

Members are expected to adhere to the rules contained in this handbook; rules which have been developed over time to assist in the safe and smooth functioning of the Guild for the enjoyment of all. It is required of members that they treat Guild property, and other potters’ work, as carefully as if it were their own, and leave equipment and work surfaces in a clean, safe condition for others who come in after them. In this way it is hoped all members may enjoy their time spent at the Kingston Potters Guild.

Refer to the Guild website for the schedule of membership fees and the due dates. Annual receipts for income tax purposes are available in January to anyone who requests one.


a. Rules and Procedures

1. Work clothes are be too kept in personal areas. Outdoor clothing can be hung behind studio door. Please use studio shoes as it helps keep the studio clean and wet footwear is a possible slip hazard due to the studio floors being very slippery when wet.

2. Studio equipment must remain in the studio. No equipment is to be removed from the Guild at any time unless for Guild purposes authorized by the Executive.

3. There are separate canvasses for the slab roller marked for red and white clays. When you have finished using the canvas please hang to dry on the rack in the glaze room. Your effort to use the correct canvas and keep it clean is appreciated by all who use the roller. Clay must not be cut on the canvas.

4. Wedging slabs are also clearly marked for white and red clays.

5. Guild members are required to provide their own batts if you want to leave your work on them for any length of time after throwing. Guild batts need to be available for classes.

6. Aisles are to be kept clear at all times for general safety. Stools are to re main in the floor and not left on the tables or wheels.

7. Cubbies must be emptied of all contents when a Studio Membership is terminated, i.e. when a class finishes and the student does not wish to continue with studio privileges.

8. Pots may remain in the drying cupboard for a maximum of 2 - 3 days. Dry pots are to be taken to the kiln room. The shelves in the kiln room are marked to indicate class space and member space. The carts can also be used to hold your work if soon to be loaded in the kiln. Fill in t he card attached with your firing date and name when using a cart. Studio space is at a premium, therefore do not use the kiln room as a storage area. Please store work in your personal space if you know it will be a while before you are ready to fire.

9. If you are the last one to leave, please check to make sure that all doors are securely locked and lights are turned off. The light in the annex has no switch, it has motion sensor and will shut off automatically.

Spray Booth and Extruder

This equipment is u sed only by those qualified and /or have apprentice under a qualified member. The Spray booth must be booked on the calendar beside it.

Pug Mill

The pug mill may be used by trained members. You need at least 2 boxes of clay for recycling for the mill to b e useful.

Glaze Room

No more than one glaze bucket per active Studio member. All glaze buckets must have (MSDS ) Ingredients listed on each bucket for fire regulations. Do not remove recipes from the class glaze buckets.

b. Studio Cleanup

Guild members and students working in the studio are expected to keep all areas as clean as possible. The studio activity calendar is on the wall beside the kiln room door. Those using the studio are expected to take a turn with weekly studio clean up (about twi ce a year), please sign up on a Sunday on the calendar for your turn. Ideally the extra cleaning should happen between Thursday night and Monday night classes.

1. Always use a damp or wet sponge or mop in cleaning up. Silica and other dusts are a health haza rd so do everything you can to avoid stirring up the dust. Sweeping is not recommended.

2. After use, all working surfaces must be cleared and wiped clean with a wet sponge or mop. Be sure to put away all your tools and materials so that others have a clean and tidy area to work in after you are gone.

3. Wheels must be wiped clean after use with special attention paid to cleaning up the slop or trimmings from the floor around and under the wheels. Clean switch area when it is in the off position. Leave stools on the floor near the wheel.

4. Ceramic products and materials can be handled very safely if we keep in mind that materials should not be ingested, or dust inhaled. Always wash hands thoroughly when you are through, even after removing gloves. Do not, eat or dr ink when working with potentially hazardous ceramic materials.

5. Guild tools, water buckets, glazing buckets, sieves, etc. are to be thoroughly cleaned after use and replaced neatly in their respective storage areas.

6. Plaster molds are to be washed clean after recycled clay is removed.

7. When finished working in the studio, glaze room, or kiln room, take a look around and be sure that you have left all working areas (including the floor) cleaner than you found them. It is very disturbing and unfair for the next member to have to clean up after you.


a. Rules for use of Electric Kilns

1. Members who fire the kiln have passed their approved apprenticeship. This ensures safe firings and the proper care and use of the k ilns.

2. To be approved for firing alone, a member must apprentice under the supervision of members already authorized to use the kilns. A list of those willing to supervise these firings, with their contact information, is posted in the kiln room.

3. Supervised firings include (at least one bisque and two glaze) are the minimum before a member can be authorized to fire alone. Supervised firings are noted in the “ Apprentice Firing ” log book, dated and initialed by the supervisor. An apprentice member m ust be involved in all aspects of every firing, from start to finish that is entered in the log book. A maximum of two apprentices can be involved with these supervised firings.

4. Following the supervised firings, the apprentice will have to successfully com plete one glaze firing on their own, under supervision. The apprentice will be responsible for all aspects of this firing; their competency to fire on their own will be based on this glaze firing.

5. A newly authorized member will be expected to have another authorized member on call for help with difficulties for at least four more firings.

b. Kiln Bookings, Firing

1. Kilns must be booked ahead of the firing date. An individual potter can only have two firings booked on the calendar at any time. Once the first firing is completed another firing can be booked. Six weeks prior to a sale the booking of firings for that period will be done online in conjunction with the sale meeting. Anyone wanting to book a kiln for firing must advise the sale convener that they wi sh to be in the kiln draw. This applies to all potters, whether in the sale or not.

2. Booking consists of a 72 hour period, from 6PM the evening before the firing to 6PM the evening of the day after the firing. Enter your name and type of fire (bisque or gl aze) on the calendar for the kiln to be used. Mark the three days Load, Fire and Unload.

3. Kilns are fired overnight. This will help prevent exposure to noxious fumes by members using the studio as well as other occupants of the building. Also firing at nigh t helps keep electrical costs down.

4. Do not fire electric kilns above Cone 7. This will help preserve the elements and other electrical components.

5. You MUST attend the final hour of the firing of the electric kiln.

6. Please notify the Electric Kiln Supervisor when there are fewer than a dozen cones left in a box.

7. The bottoms of all pots must be clean and free of glaze before loading. Use bisque tiles under test glaze pieces when possible. The use of silica sand or alumina hydrate on the waxed bottoms of large r pieces can help prevent damage to the pot when it expands and contracts over the kiln shelf.

8. Check kiln shelves after use and scrape, sand to remove glaze and apply kiln wash as required. Kiln wash should be applied in two or three thin applications. For severe drips, the grinding tool may be required. Be sure to do this outside and wear a mask and safety goggles. Please do not leave shelves for someone else to clean. Should a shelf be damaged beyond normal repair, the user is obligated to replace or pay for the replacement of the shelf. Failure to replace a shelf may result in the loss of kiln privileges.

9. Never run fingers or hands over kiln shelves; use a brush or scraping stone.

10. Vacuum kilns after each use, especially removing any silica sand that has been used.

11. Concerns about equipment malfunctions must be reported promptly to the Studio Supervisor or the Electric Kiln Technician. The Electric Kiln Technician is the only person authorized to make repairs to the kilns.

12. Each firing must be recorded in th e log book for the kiln used. This information can be very helpful for subsequent firings if it is complete and accurate. Also, include the number of each shelf used.

13. To ensure a safe firing and the safety of others using the studio make sure the downdraft fan is on for the duration of the firing.

14. Do not operate kilns if there is or has been any evidence of water damage or leaking within the immediate areas surrounding the kilns.

15. Do not leave papers or other combustibles around the kiln, or place objects on or leaning against the kiln while firing. Never touch the outside of a kiln, other than the control panel, when it is turned on. The kiln surface temperature may be very hot.

16. Dark shaded glasses from a safety supply house (shade number 1.7 to 3.0) are r ecommended when looking into the peepholes. You will find a pair in the kiln room. Normal sunglasses are inadequate for this purpose. Using proper glasses will protect your eyes from the heat and brightness within the kiln but also allow you to see witness cones more clearly.

17. Kilns have been installed in accordance with electrical and fire safety codes as well as the manufacturer ’ s suggested installation instructions. It is possible to receive a shock or be burned if you misuse or abuse the kilns.

18. Proper fi ring of food safe glazes is critical. Pyro metric witness cones should be used to ensure your pieces have been fired high enough, even though the kiln is electronically controlled as electronics are not always accurate. Always fire in accordance with any glaze instructions. Crazed or under fired glazes may not be food safe.

19. Do not try to unload the kiln until the outside of the kiln is cool to the touch and the pieces can be easily touched with a gloved hand. The Kiln should be no more than 100 degrees before opening the lid. Removing pieces that have not adequately cooled ca n result in burns, fires or crazing of the glazed surface.

20. Keep the lid to the kiln closed when not in use, and never place anything on the kiln lid.

c. Rules for use of Reduction Kiln

The Reduction Kiln Group operates with the same house rules as the rest of the Kingston Potters Guild. Reduction Group members follow an apprenticeship as outlined below:

1. The applicant must be a member in good standing with Guild. This must include a full Studio Membership, or a Kiln/Glaze Membership.

2. The KP G member wishing to join the Reduction Group will submit an application to the Reduction Group Committee.

3. The potential apprentice must be well - experienced in oxidization firing, be qualified to fire the electric kilns alone, and have completed at least six glaze oxidization firings on his or her own.

4. The apprentice should not plan to occupy more than two to four kiln shelves per firing unless fire master makes an exception.

5. The apprentice may not book a firing.

6. The training period will be at least seven firings.

7. At the end of the training period the Reduction Group Committee will review the apprentice’s capability and decide whether the apprentice qualifies as an authorized fire master. If the Reduction Group Committee thinks the apprentice is not ready, she/he ma y extend the training period as necessary.

8. The last two firings will be completely directed by the apprentice under supervision. If the Reduction Group Committee thinks the apprentice is not ready, she/he may extend the training period as necessary.

Gas Kiln Fire Safety

1. It is mandatory that at least two persons participate in each firing of the kiln, one of whom is a Fire Master.

2. Under no circumstances during the firing process is the kiln to be l eft unattended, i.e. someone must be on the property at all times to regularly check the kiln.

3. The kiln must be vacuumed before each firing.

4. Untried glazes must be tested on the insides of pots only.

5. Immediately after firing, shelving must be cleaned and kiln washed as necessary.

6. Members are responsible for promptly reporting any damage to the kiln, its furniture or other equipment to the Reduction Kiln Committee Supervisor.

7. At least eight weeks before each Guild Sale, the Supervisor will arrange a meeti ng of reduction kiln users to set up the firing schedule to ensure equality and fair use of the kiln. 8, Each Reduction Group member will be permitted a maximum of ten full firings, or the equivalent, per year.


All members are required to ac tively participate in the functioning of the Guild. Members are encouraged to serve on a committee or stand for an executive position. The time commitment is usually only a few hours per month on an as - needed, or when - in - studio basis. It is an expectatio n of each member to assist with the planning and organizing an annual fund raising event to raise funds to help cover operational cost of the Guild to keep membership rates low.

Emergency Procedures

a. Fire Safety

When in the studio it is important that you are aware of all the fire exits and alarms. Please take note of map posted on the right side of the wall as you enter the kiln room. If in the event of a fire please pull the nearest fire alarm. Close all doors and exit the building using the safest ro ute. If working with a member and you are separated, exit the building and meet at the upper parking lot. Do not enter the building until you get an all clear from the Fire Marshal or designate.

Supply Room

The supply room sells basic glaze materials and tools to Guild members ; clay is purchased for students only due to space restrictions. Three or four times a year (as determined by the Supply / Materials Coordinator) a large bulk order will be placed with Pottery Supply House. Guild members will be notified in advance of these orders and may submit individual orders for larger amounts of materials and clay to tag along with the supply room order for bulk pricing benefits.

Members placing orders for supplies must be to be present, or have a proxy present, on the day of delivery to help with the unloading of delivery vehicle. Please remove your clay and supplies promptly, upon verification from the Supply Coordinator and the delivery packing slips, from the Studio/Guild facilities as storage s pace is very limited.

Throughout the year members may place small orders by leaving a completed order form and cheque on the shelf near the supply room. Specific instructions are posted in this area, along with the order forms. There is a limit of three kilograms of any one glaze material per order, and 500 grams of any oxide. Orders will be filled on a weekly basis by the volunteer committee member named on the calendar for each specific week. Orders will be placed on the shelf outside the supply room on ce completed.

The Supply room is open for business from 6:30pm to 7:00 pm before any general meeting on the third Wednesday of the month (Excluding June July and August).


The Guild maintains a library of books, videos/DVDs and periodicals, which cover most aspects of the making of pottery. Books are added to the collection from time to time, often at the request of a member. The books and videos circulate among the members. The magazines are meant to be read in house. Specifics on how to check out books, Videos and DVDs are posted in the library area of the Guild kitchen. Basically, leave one card in the file box and return that card to the book before dropping the book in t he “ return ” box. There is no specific “ due back ” policy, but in fairness to other Guild members, materials checked out of the library should be kept no longer than 2 weeks.


In the past, publicity has been handled mostly by the Publicity Coordin ator (a member of the Executive). This person makes sure that we have photographic images of our work, writes the ads and places them with local media, arranges for the design of the postcard and poster (in years that we have one), and arranges for the pri nting. A more detailed description of the Publicity Coordinator position is available in the Executive Handbook. Photographs are often taken the night of sale set - up.

KPG Public Sales and Shows

KPG potters must be members of the Guild for a minimum of s ix months before participation in Guild Sale is permitted. The percentage paid to the guild to cover sale costs and expenses will be updated from time to time . A potter wishing to enter the sale for the first time must submit at least 7 pots to the Sales Convener. A committee will jury your work and decide on your acceptance into the sale. All pots brought to the sale will be quality checked.

Specific rules and standards guidelines and suggested piece values will be given to Guild Sales participants by the Sale Convener.

Kingston Potters' Guild – January 2017


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The Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning 370 King St. West, Unit 207 K7L 2X4

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