Changes to make our studio Covid-Secure
Ding ding! Round 427 of the Covid rules / restrictions but this time the Government have bounced it back onto the individual business to be sensible and cautious with the health of the nation, whilst all legal restrictions are withdrawn. Cheers Boris. Really helpful. Not.
FROM 19th JULY 2021 - NOT A LOT WILL CHANGE. WITH INFECTION AND TRANSMISSION RATES STILL HIGH, WE'LL KEEP WITH WHAT WE KNOW WORKS!
We are keeping almost all of our Covid-safe precautions in place. The only things that will change are that checking in with the QR code is optional (we'll still need the contact details for one member of the group so you can get your pottery back) and we can accept groups larger than 6 again, hoorah for that! So what are we keeping in place to keep you and us safe?
*Staggered start times so each group has 10 minutes at the pottery shelves by themselves to select their pots
*Limited capacity in the studio. We have 9 tables where we used to have 22.
*2m high screens around each table. You have your own paint pod to paint and chat and relax without coming into contact with anyone else.
*Hand sanitiser at the door. There are also sanitising points in the kitchen, in the coffee shop prep area and outside the toilets.
*Masks to be worn (if you are able to) whilst choosing your pottery or going to the toilet. We have 3 young members of staff who have only been single jabbed. Out of respect to them and others in the studio, we'll ask you to wear a mask until you are seated. Once seated, you are welcome to remove your mask if you would like to. Staff will be wearing masks / visors for all interactions with the public. If you object to wearing a mask, you are welcome to have a conversation with Jeanette and we'll see what we can do for you. Exemptions are obviously welcome but please be patient as Jeanette or Eddie will need to look after you to protect the younger staff.
*Table Service will continue to reduce movement around the studio. We will happily take orders at the table and bring everything you need to you including food and drink.
*Ventilation - front and back doors will be open as will the windows. In addition we have a heavy-duty air purifier that is on 24hrs a day.
*Separate toilets for staff and customers. Customer toilet will be cleaned as often as possible through the day. It has automatic lights and an automatic tap to reduce touch points and hand sanitiser outside the door for use before returning to your table.
*Every item on your table is fresh for your group. At the end of your time, every item is removed, cleaned and sanitised. The table and chairs are cleaned and a brand new set of paints/ brushes/ tiles etc is set out for the next group.
*Staff will test every other day. Close contact work (baby prints) - Jeanette will test every morning before working with your precious little ones.
We have always done everything possible to keep both you and our staff safe. We will keep these measures in place for as long as it takes, despite the financial cost. We ask for your patience, kindness and a sense of humour in return.
Please arrive on time. Tables are booked at 10 minute intervals to have a chat and show you to your table. If you arrive late, you will have less time to paint. Bookings are for a specific time period to give us time to clear away everything used in that session, sanitise every surface and put out all new paints, brushes, instructions etc for the next family. Your painting time cannot be extended at busy times. We will check on you 15 minutes before the end of your session, take payment and if necessary we can pack up a takeaway kit so you can finish your pottery at home. Obviously, if we have vacant tables and we have the option, we will let you stay longer - but this is often not possible so please plan on 2 hours of painting. Some of the tables starting around 2pm will not have another booking that afternoon so you're welcome to stay until closing on those tables, giving you another hour or so.
You can pre-order your pottery in advance of your visit by looking on the website and letting us know your choice by email or a facebook message. If you add a note with the date and time of your booking that will help us hugely.
If you'd like to select your pottery in the studio, we will ask you to only handle the pottery you have chosen. If you have children with you, an adult should pick the pottery off the shelf. You will have to choose within your 10 minutes and before the next family arrives.
We would ask that parents of pre-school age children please consider whether their children will sit still for the entire painting session as we can't allow children to run around the studio. I miss the good old days of playing with everyone's little ones, but many people are still nervous about being close to others and we need to respect this. I had one son who would sit for hours and another that had ants in his pants after 5 minutes. You know your own children best! If you have a young child with ants in his/her pants, perhaps consider a paint at home kit instead and save yourself the stress of keeping them at the table. That said, we had a 3 year old last week who sat quite happily painting for 2 hours. All children are different!
Please get in touch in advance of booking if you have a pushchair or a wheelchair in your group. We're keen to maintain social distance and some tables are much better than others for the extra space you'll need.
One toilet is open for use but obviously we would prefer if it is only used for emergencies. Please do not use the toilets for hand-washing - there will be a pack of baby wipes on your table for cleaning your hands. We will monitor toilet use and clean as often as possible but we would ask that you are all responsible and use common sense. Children must be accompanied to ensure there's no touching anything on the way. There is a sanitiser dispenser outside the toilet for your use going in and coming out. If the toilet is occupied, please do not queue. Staff will use the second toilet.
Everything will be table service. Food and drink can be ordered at the table and will be brought to you. If you need any additional colours etc, just ask and we'll bring them to you - we would ask that these extras are kept to a minimum to avoid unnecessary contact. Payment will be at the table. At all times we will be consciously minimising movement in the studio.
The doors and windows will be open as much as possible. Please bear this in mind and dress accordingly (layers). If it's too windy, we might have to close the front door but the windows and the back door will remain open for ventilation. We have invested in a large commercial air purifier that will filter the air for any nasties. It's so effective, those of us with hayfever have had zero symptoms in the studio! Bonus!
Deposits - we are really sorry to have to ask for a deposit. We have only 9 tables instead of the usual 22. Bookings that don't turn up were relatively common before the pandemic. We simply can't afford no-shows now.
The £20 deposit covers 4 seats with a minimum of 3 painters please. £15 covers a table for 2 people. We will allow one non-painter per table. The deposit will be deducted against pottery spend only.
With so few tables, every seat matters. We can no longer afford to have one painter with lots of spectators. You would not book a table for 6 in a restaurant but say that only 1 person is eating, the rest are watching. The same applies here. There is a cost to you sitting at a table, even if you don't paint. The chair needs to be cleaned and sanitised when you leave. So does the table and everything else on it. The screen behind you must be sprayed and wiped down. If you paint, we can recoup some of these costs. If you don't, we can't. So sorry to be so blunt about it but we just can't afford pottery painting to be a spectator sport any more.
If this offends you in any way, I'm really sorry. I'm hoping that honesty will get us through. If you'd like to paint just one piece of pottery but have the rest of the family watch, maybe consider a takeaway kit? Same pottery, same glazes (paints), same glazing and firing but no deposit and no limited session time and you can all watch for as long as you'd like!
All of the above have been put in place to make you feel safe and comfortable and confident so you can relax and enjoy your painting. We can weather this Covid storm together if we are all patient and kind and respectful of each other.
Well that was a marathon typing session, if you've read all the way to here - I'm super-impressed! Thank you so much!