Stonington Independent Potters

Stonington Independent Potters have found their home at the COMO studio for the past 35 years. Over the decades our studio has become a center for all things pottery in Stonington. Members of the Independent Pottery Program have full access to our studio, glazes, equipment and programming as well as fostering friendships with other members. Interested in becoming an independent potter? We require that all potential independent potters participate in one of our adult pottery classes to familiarize themselves with our studio and to demonstrate proficiency with the medium. Please Note: At this time we are not accepting any new independent potters. Thank you for your understanding! 

Fee:  $40 per month for COMO Members

         $60 per month for Non COMO Members

Independent Pottery Invoicing Policy:  Payment is due on or before the first day of the first month of the chosen period. Quarterly or Semi-Annual Payments are due at the 1st of the month to maintain independent status. Payments not received by the 5th of the month will result in a loss of studio privileges. Should payment not be made by the 10th of the month, items left for firing will be removed to storage as is. A storage fee of $10 will be invoiced to retrieved stored items.  Cancelation of your Independent Status must be submitted in writing to the COMO’s main office.

COMO Independent Pottery Guidelines

-Revised and Implemented March 1st 2013-

The COMO welcomes all levels of interest, from the beginner to the experienced potter ages 3 and up. The goals of the Pottery are educational and recreational. We aim to foster creative experiences which are experimental, aesthetic, and encourage the development of community in Southeastern Connecticut.

Our Studio provides an opportunity for you to create pottery in a clean, safe, and pleasant environment. Each person's work is equally important and is treated as such. You are asked to maintain the helpful community environment which has been developed for the last 20 years. A good working motto to remember is to leave the Studio somewhat better than you found it.  For your questions or suggestions, please contact our Studio Manager. You may also contact the COMO at 860.535.2476

POTTERY STUDIO RULES: For Pottery Students and Independents
 Visiting the studio:  
1. Classes: Classes begin promptly at the appointed hour.  Please respect the progress of your class by arriving on time.  The final 20 minutes of each class are spent cleaning up the wedging boards, potters' wheels, throwing bats, tools, tables, and glazing areas.  All trimmings and droppings need to be damp-mopped from the floor. Focused attention to the clean-up process is very important. 
2. Missed classes:  A class which is canceled due to weather problems or instructor's illness will be rescheduled.  There are no make-up classes for individual student absences                                                
3.  Limit to visits by students:  Students may not use the Studio beyond or outside of class time or Bench Time without permission from the Studio Manager.
4.  Studio visitors:  Only paying Studio Members (students and Independents) are allowed in the Studio.  Other visitors are not permitted due to liability reasons as well as for the potential danger to existing pottery pieces.  Hence, family members and friends, children, dogs or other pets, are not allowed to remain on site.  Please report any unauthorized persons or unauthorized Studio use to the Studio Manager.
5.   Clay:  All clay used in the Studio is to be purchased from the Studio.  This insures thatpieces will be uniformly fired.  This rule is for students, Independents, and instructors, with no exceptions.  Clay charges help to pay for glazes and kiln use.
6.   No touching:  Students may not handle works other than their own which are on the shelves. This includes: works-in-progress, greenware, bisqueware, and glazeware.
7.   Sign your work:  All works-in-progress must be be clearly marked with your name and all pieces to be fired must be signed as well. Unidentified pieces may be held back from the firing process.
8.   Abandoned work:  Greenware and fired work which has been left in the Studio for more than one month will become the property of the COMO.                                                                                                                     
9.  Altering glazes:  Water may not be added to or removed from any glaze without permission from the Studio Manager.  A glaze which has been altered in any way may be removed from the
Studio for 3 months.
10.  Conserving shelf space.  If you have several bisque-fired pieces, they should be taken home until you can glaze them.  The Studio Manager may set aside the pieces of any member who crowds the shelves with an unreasonable amount of work and may choose to fire those pieces at a later time.
11.  Production pottery work.  Making quantities of identical items for sale, is not consistent with the goals of The COMO, a non-profit organization (see beginning paragraph, p.1.)  There is a limit of 12 pieces of any one type to be fired in a 4-week period (with the exception of glaze tiles).  
12.  Space in the kiln is provided for active Studio members only.  Non-paying persons may not use Studio members' clay, nor do glazing, nor fire in our Studio.
13.  Student work comes first in firings with priority for youth work, then that of adult students, then, instructors.
14. Limits on size, placement and quantity of work to be fired. Any oversized pieces (9 or more inches tall or wide), any awkwardly shaped pieces, or those to be re-fired, will take last priority.  If you have a set (say, of mugs or bowls), an effort will be made to fire those pieces together, but placement in the kiln or firing dates are at the discretion of the Studio Manager.
15.  A personal firing of items made with our clay is unusual, but may be arranged with the Studio Manager if there is room in the firing schedule. The charge is $50.
16.  The loading and unloading of the kiln is only done by the Studio Manager, or by a designated instructor.
17.  Technical difficulties sometimes occur during firings.  Consequently, the outcome of fired work cannot be guaranteed.

If the above rules are neglected, a warning letter will be sent to the person involved.  Further infractions will be followed by the loss of all Studio privileges.

Guidelines For Independent Potters:

1.  Independents are selected capable potters who work on their own in our Studio with access to many of the facilities at a wide variety of times during the week and weekends.
2.  To become one of our Independents, a potter must have completed at least one 7-week course in our Studio within the last 3 years.  At least 6 of those 7 class meetings must be attended.  The potter must show competence in the use of a variety of clay-forming skills(use of the potters wheel, hand-building, glazing), and must demonstrate a good working knowledge of the Studio (organization, machinery and equipment), and show an ability to carefully maintain the facilities.  In addition, a cooperative and helpful community spirit is a welcome asset in an Independent.  After a potter asks to be invited, the class instructor along with the Studio Manager will determine eligibility.
3.  Limits for independents:

  • (a)  Visits. Times when the Studio is not open to Independents are when scheduled classes are occurring, glazes are being made, or during the 1st several hours of a kiln firing.
  • (b)  There are also limits to pottery production. See above, #10, #11 and #14.

4.  Independents pay regular dues for their Studio use. Payments are made to the COMO Office and not through the Studio Manger. Quarterly or Semi-Annual Payments are due at the 1st of the month to maintain independent status. Payments not received by the 5th of the month will result in a loss of studio privileges. Should payment not be made by the 10th of the month, items left for firing will be removed to storage. A storage fee of $10 will be invoiced to retrieve items.  A late payment fee of 1% will apply on balances after 10 days. Items will become the property of the COMO after 30 days. Cancelation of Independent status must be submitted in writing to the COMO's main office. Independents that are planning on taking a leave of absence must email the Art Director to indicate the period of time in which they will not being using the studio space. 
5. The first 3000 cubic inches of pottery in any given month are free. This number is equal to two half-shelves of glaze firing 5 times per month (a half shelf holds about 3 cereal bowls, or 4 mugs, or one medium sized salad bowl). After your 3000 cubic inches limit is reached, you will be charged .04/ cubic inch. An explanation of how to figure this out for yourself is described in the rules. Fees are to be paid at the end of the month by cash or check which you should place in an envelope with your identification and put into the Studio lock-box. The honor system rules in the fulfillment of your obligations here. The Studio Manager is free to make random audits on individuals that may not be using the new measurement system correctly.
6.  Sign-in.  Independent Potters must sign in and out of the Studio at each visit.  The information gathered from these sign-in lists is important and allows the COMO to justify expansion and growth of the Pottery Studio. 

Please contact Priscilla Rouquayrol at with any questions you may have about this program.