Starting the week of November 10, 2015 Toledo Clayworks will begin charging a fee for firing member’s work. In an effort to best explain the details and process I’ve tried to anticipate questions that may arise and answer them as clearly as possible.
Q: Is this a fee increase?
A: Yes and no. Punch cards will remain the same. Firing is by far the biggest expense for the studio. All the costs associated with the kilns, electricity, glazes and the labor to load/unload really add up and we need to start recovering some of those costs.
Q: What work is subject to the firing fee?
A: All work going into the kiln.
Q: Do other studios charge for firing?
A: Yes. Many open studios charge for firing. If they don’t their monthly membership fee is very high.
Q: What does the fee cover?
A: The fee is calculated just once and will cover all costs of firing, bisque and glaze, including materials.
Q: How do you calculate the fee?
A: The amount to be charged is based on the size of the greenware before it goes into the kiln. The size is determined by a quick measure of the three dimensions, then multiplying these to get the volume. This is the cubic inches of the work. The fee is 5 cents per cubic inch.
Q: So we will be measuring our own stuff?
A: Yes. You will measure before placing work on the bisque shelf.
Q: Isn’t measuring each piece going to be complicated?
A: Not at all. There is a new measuring station down stairs that will make it simple and fast. Combine that with a few rules designed to make it even simpler and you won’t have any problems.
Q: What kind of rules?
A: For example, you will round the height of your piece up to the nearest inch and the width and length down to the nearest inch. There is also a minimum fee of $.50 per piece.
Q: I want to make beads. Won’t the minimum make it too expensive?
A: Nope. Beads can be handled as a single item. Some kinds of flat work can be measured as one piece.
Q: I like to make things at home, how will this be handled?
A: Right now you are required to use a punch when work is brought in for firing. You will no longer need to do that.
Q: I make a lot of stuff, isn’t this going to get expensive?
A: It always has been. Up until now the studio has been covering those costs. Keep in mind that Toledo Clayworks is designed for the hobby and art potter, not the production potter.
Q: I am a sculptor and my work requires a special firing. How will you charge for that?
A: If other work can go into the same load, then the fee will be calculated as usual. If for some reason we can’t, say you want to fire to an unusual temperature, then you will need to rent the entire kiln.
Q: When do we pay?
A: There is a clipboard located at the measuring station to record your numbers. Pay then or as soon as you can.
Q: Can I just put money on my punch card and pay my firing fees with that?
A: Absolutely. On the record sheet you can indicate you want to pay from your punch card and we will take care of it.
Q: If my piece breaks in the bisque firing, do I still have to pay?
A: No. We won’t charge for work broken in the bisque firing. We also will not charge for test tiles.
Q: What if I decide not to finish something after I’ve had it bisque fired? Do I get a refund?
Q: Can you give some pricing examples?
As an example, the tea cup I’m using while typing this measures almost 3 1/2 inches tall, by 4 1/2 inches (include the handle) by 3 1/4 inches.
Following the rule to round up the height and round down the rest we come up with 4 inches by 4 inches by 3 inches. Multiply and we get 4X4X3 = 48 cubic inches.
At 5 cents a cubic inch that gives us 48 X .05 = $2.40.
This $2.40 pays for both the bisque firing and glaze firing (and glazes).
A large bowl 10 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall will cost 10X10X4X.05 = $20.00
A 4 inch tile will cost 4X4X1(one inch minimum height)X.05 = $.80