Old Ottawa South Community Association

OSCA Pottery Studio Mission Statement & Rules

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  • To offer a safe physical and educational environment to foster work in clay.
  • To offer a cooperative and supportive work environment conducive to creative development
  • To allow studio members and students to develop at their own pace, and at an affordable cost.
  • To provide materials, clay, glazes and firing of work for successful end products.



The most basic rule is cleanliness: a clean studio is a healthy studio.

  1. Always clean with a wet sponge or wet broom/mop - never dry sweep!
  2. All spaces used must be washed clean, free of clay & glaze by the participant. This includes the worktable, wheels, counters, floor, etc. Most surfaces will need to be wiped a few times to remove clay or glaze residue. When glazing, glaze buckets and floors must be wiped down. There is a small mop available in the studio.
  3. Wipe down ware boards and bats. Do not soak bats and boards in water as this will cause them to warp.
  4. Replace all tools in original storage containers, washed and free of clay. Do not leave tools in the sponge strainer.
  5. Clay water from throwing is to be emptied into the Slurry Bucket. Only clay goes into the bucket, no garbage or sweepings. There is a clay trap for the sink, for light use.
  6. Recycle your own clay and trimmings or offer them to the studio for use in the children’s classes
  7. Sanding of pots must be done outside to eliminate dust particles.
  8. No food or drink in the pottery studio.

Please be aware there is a risk of contamination of food by chemical particles in glaze the materials. 


We have 2 computerized electric kilns which can only be fired by an experienced technician.

The firing schedule depends on the quantity of work ready for firing.

  1. All clay must be purchased at the Firehall. Cost includes studio glazes and firing.
  2. All studio glazes are made by the technician.
  3. All work must be made in the studio during assigned hours.
  4. The technician will not fire any work made from clay purchased outside the studio.
  5. Please place pots ready for bisque or glaze firing on the designated shelves.
  6. Do not move or touch any pots other than your own.
  7. If there is no space, leave the technician a note on the board adjacent to the ware shelves, and leave your pot on your shelf.
  8. Special requests for timely firing are needed at least 2 weeks in advance.



The most common hazard in the studio is CLAY DUST. Clay contains silica and inhalation of silica dust can lead in the long term to silicosis, a disease of the lungs which causes shortness of breath, greater susceptibility to pulmonary infections and scarring of the lung tissue.

The best means of preventing this disease is to eliminate clay dust. Silica is found in clay and glazes, and is most dangerous in a dried dust form.

In addition, some glazes contain toxic materials and metallic oxides, which may cause irritation to skin, especially if there are open sores, cracks or splits. Do not put your hands in the glaze. Bring and use rubber gloves if you need to get glaze on your hands. However, inhalation of metal dusts can lead to poisoning. Spills should be wiped up while wet to prevent them from drying out and causing dust.

Listings of chemicals in each glaze are included in the WHIMIS binder in the OSCA office.

Pottery is a rewarding creative experience, keeping a safe studio is all part of the process.



  1. Members must have experience working in clay (min. 2 classes) and be able to function independently in the studio.
  2. Members are expected to share and respect the studio space, other studio members and their work.
  3. New members must meet with the technician for an orientation.
  4. Hours of use will be posted each session relative to class registration.
  5. Each member will be assigned a shelf for storage and a space under the member’s shelves/worktable for a box. Please store your clay and supplies in the box to leave room to place pots on your shelf. The technician needs to place pots from the kiln back onto your shelves, as space is limited.

There are 4 sessions:

  • Fall: September - December 
  • Winter: January - March 
  • Spring: April - June
  • Summer: July - August.



Commercial or other glazes: Glazes other than studio glazes may be used only with permission from the technician and after detailed testing has been completed. The technician needs to know what is going into the kiln to protect all the ware.


We are not a production studio. If a member is advancing and chooses to sell their work, firings will be done respecting the work of classes and members equally. If a member wishes to rent a kiln load as a separate firing please contact the technician.

Other Concerns

Please address any concerns directly to the technician,by email or in person, so that issues may be mediated appropriately.

Looking forward to assisting you on your clay journey.

Last modified on Friday, 02 March 2018 10:57

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