Clay Policies

Welcome to the Hartzell Family Clay Center at White Bear Center for the Arts.

We're thrilled to have you join our clay community. Before you get your hands dirty, here are some friendly reminders to keep things running smoothly. Please review this guide at the beginning of your first class, and don't hesitate to ask your instructor or WBCA staff if you have any questions.


  • Only enrolled students or those attending open studio sessions are permitted to work in the clay area. Please avoid arriving more than 15 minutes before your class and ensure you leave no later than 15 minutes after it ends.
  • Handle other students' work with care, and if you need assistance, don't hesitate to ask an instructor or WBCA staff member.
  • Due to increased enrollment, firing times may be longer, up to two weeks. We'll do our best to accommodate everyone.
  • We do encourage our students to sell their work at craft shows and art center sales, but please keep your work at hobby levels. As the pottery program at WBCA is an educational and recreational program, we cannot allow production work to take place in our facility. All work created outside WBCA must go through our Clay Services program.


  • Kiln firings occur every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • Pots can vary in drying times and they may not always be done by the next class period.
  • Larger work will take longer to get through the process, and may not be done by the end of your class session.
  • Throughout the firing process, unforeseen circumstances may arise. This includes potential issues with the kilns, glaze complications, or even unexpected explosions that could impact your work. Additionally, larger pieces may present challenges in finding adequate space within the kiln. While these situations are rare, it's important to remain patient and mindful of the possibilities.
  • Due to the very nature of clay and the firing process, WBCA is not responsible for any damage to work caused by poor construction or the firing/glazing processes.
  • Students planning to make work larger than 14 inches in any direction are required to pay an extra $10 per piece. A large piece form will need to be filled out before construction. There is a max of 20 inches allowed to fit in the kiln.


  • We offer a variety of dipping and brush-on glazes. While we work hard to
    maintain our stock, some glazes may occasionally be unavailable.
  • Students should be instructed in the general use of our glazes before glazing any pieces, even if they have prior experience.
  • Students should not alter or add water to the glazes. If there are any issues with consistency, please contact the clay studio staff.
  • Any glaze purchases must be approved by the Clay Coordinator or Clay Studio Manager.
  • Pots that have flaws in the raw glazing such as messy feet, not enough clearance, or flaking glazes will be placed on a separate cart outside of the kiln room and will not be fired until the flaw is addressed.
  • Pieces that need extra kiln furniture or wadding should be placed on that furniture (kiln stilts, cookies, and wadding respectively) on the glaze shelves.
  • Re-fires can be done with staff permission.


  • We provide four types of clays from MN Clay: MB White Stoneware, Iron Range,
    Split Rock, and reclaimed clay (a mix of all three). Additional clay is available for
    purchase if needed.
  • Occasionally, certain clay bodies may become temporarily unavailable.
  • Students throwing more than 25 pounds of clay in one month are required to pay an extra $20.


  • Open studio sessions are intended for independent work time. Clay, glazes, and firing is included for projects completed during open studio hours.
  • Work created outside of WBCA must go through our Clay Services program.
  • Instructors and staff will be present for limited assistance.
  • Open studio times vary from month to month and will be posted online.


  • With our Clay Services, you can purchase firing services, clay, and
    glazes from WBCA to use at home. These resources are perfect for hobby potters who don’t have access to kilns or supplies. Register for Clay Services or purchase a Clay at Home Kit through the Clay Services form. We are unable to accept production pottery.


  • WBCA offers a variety of equipment, including pottery wheels, a wheelchair-
    accessible wheel, kick wheel, extruder, molds, slab roller, griffin grip, heat guns, spray booth, and upon request, a standing wheel.
  • Basic studio tools are available for student use. Please ensure your personal tools are clearly labeled and stored appropriately to avoid misplacement.
  • Students are responsible for seeking out information from an instructor or staff on how to properly use and clean these tools and equipment.


Silica dust can be harmful when inhaled into your lungs. Staff works hard to minimize airborne silica dust in the studio. There are various stages where silica dust can become airborne, students should follow the below procedures to keep the dust to a minimum.

  • Clean up any slip, glaze splatters, and trimmings before they dry, especially from the floor and any horizontal work surface.
  • Sanding of greenware, bisqueware, or glazed items should be kept to a
    minimum. When necessary, sanding should be done either outside or in the sink. Avoid 'blowing' dust while sanding and use a damp sponge to wipe up any residual dust.
  • For more information on silica safety, visit


  • Students should concentrate on trimming and glazing during the second-to-last week of class.
  • Please keep your ‘footprint’ as small as possible. Consolidate your work and move it through the process as efficiently as possible.
  • Work will be marked with the month it was removed from the kiln.
  • Students have one month from the end of their class to complete glazing and pick up their pieces. After that, it will be put on our ‘Last Chance’ cart for an additional month. Even if you are enrolled in another class, it will be discarded after that point.
  • Please do not take any pottery from the ‘Last Chance’ cart that does not belong to you without permission.
  • Make your mark on your work! Consider adding a memorable signature or mark to help identify your pieces on the shelves.


  • Please reserve 15 minutes at the end of class or your Open Studio time for
  • Clean all parts of the studio you have used, including counters and stools.
  • Please place clay chunks in any small green buckets or large reclaim bins.
  • Before you leave, your clay must be put away properly. Work must be
    consolidated, and any equipment and tools must be thoroughly cleaned and put away.

We're proud of our clay community, and with everyone's cooperation, we'll continue to grow and improve our facility and offerings.

Clay Policies