Frequently Asked Questions Answered by The Clay Teacher
Q. Do we come to you or do you come to us?
A. The Clay Teacher® brings the pottery studio to your classroom or school. No arranging transportation or other field trip concerns.
Q. Who will instruct at the workshop?
A. Cindy Clarke is The Clay Teacher. Cindy (Mrs. Clay) will be accompanied by her husband Jim Willett(Mr.Clay) who assists with instruction and aids in smooth transitions between sessions. When you book The Clay Teacher, you get The Clay Teacher. We are a small Edmonton family business, not a franchise. Cindy is, and has been for over forty years, a clay worker and clay teacher. Jim has worked in clay for 20 years.
Q. What does it cost?
A. Our prices remain the same for the fourth year. Pricing for projects is as follows:$7.50 air dry or $9.00 kiln fired per student with a minimum charge of $130 or $160 per session.(Plus GST), based on the finishing method used. If you have fewer than 18 students, you may combine with another class or grade level to reduce the costs. Outside a 35 kilometer radius of Edmonton we will bill round trip travel at 25 cents per km of travel. If you choose kiln fired projects we will charge the same 25 cents per km round trip to deliver. Other companies charge fifty five cents per km! and then because they insist on firing your projects needlessly, they will bill you the same again to deliver your projects! If overnight lodging is required that will be factored in, just to cover our expenses.
Pricing for our fifth year beginning in September of 2013 will be as follows: $8.00 air dry or $10.00 kiln fired per student with a minimum charge of $140 or $180 per session.(Plus GST), based on the finishing method used.
Q. What does the cost include?
A. Set up, clay, all tools and supplies including paper towels, toothpicks, and water containers, classroom cleanup, 90 minutes of step by step instruction, with painting suggestions, techniques, finishing instructions and final spray finish. If you choose kiln fired finishing that is included, as well as delivery of the fired projects within a 35km radius of the city of Edmonton. Project delivery outside the 35 km radius will be billed at 25 cents per km round trip. No extra charges.
Don't be mislead! Clay projects do not need to be kiln fired to create a durable finished project as thousands of students can attest, however we do still offer bisque firing and return of projects for those who remain unconvinced or do not have the facilities to allow the projects to remain at the school.
Please note we don't offer any special deals for "favourite" clients but believe all clients should be treated equally. Whether you are brand new or a returning client you pay the same price and the same professional treatment.
Q. Do you teach pre-school or special needs students?
A. Yes. Please discuss your requirements ahead of time with The Clay Teacher®.
Q. Are there minimum class size requirements?
A. No, however the minimum charge per class is $130 or $160 plus GST. (Beginning in September 2013 the minimum charge will increase to $140 and $180) Of course the more you can combine with others, the more economical it is. If you have a very small class and/or special requirements call The Clay Teacher and see what special arrangements can be made.
Q. Does your instruction allow for different aptitudes and creativity?
A. Yes. All projects are hand built by the students.They receive step by step instruction from The Clay Teacher covering many aspects of the curriculum along the way. From conception to the final detail, students apply their own creativity.
Q. Is basic curriculum covered?
A.Elementary projects are designed for various components of the curriculum from K - 6 with all of them delivering the basic methods required by the Alberta Elementary Art Program of Study. Special projects are always available by request, and junior high and high school curriculum subjects can be demonstrated and discussed as well.
Q. Is my classroom suitable for instruction?
A.It can be, but if more than one class instruction is being done at your school on the same day ,it is much more efficient to use the same room for all classes. During the class desk tops will get clay on them. Cindy, Jim, and the volunteers will wipe the desks clean following the class. A flat surface for the completed projects to wait for painting will be required in the case of air dry projects.
Q. What preparation is required?
A. A room with enough tables and chairs for all students, name tags to assist with communication, a sink or bucket of water, and a few volunteers. We bring everything else and clean up after. (See "Preparing for Class", a pdf file.)
Q. Do I need parent volunteers or assistance?
A. Yes, it is preferred for the younger students (under grade three.). Parent help aids with time issues, as well as allowing more actual instruction time from The Clay Teacher. The older children do not typically require as much assistance, but parents and volunteers are always welcome!. Having said that, if you are unable to get parent volunteers, don't worry! We are a two person team and with the teacher to assist we can always manage! Q. What is the maximum / minimum class size?
A.The maximum class size should be 45 students at a time. Smaller classes, and/or two different grade levels may be combined, providing the different classes are doing the same project.
Q. How long does a class last?
A. Usually 90 minutes. Some projects are adaptable to shorter time frames. The wheel demonstration which is optional makes up about 15 minutes of that time. Please let us know if time is a concern.
Q. What projects are available? Can I request my own?
A. Project offerings will change and/or increase annually, depending on the department of education's curriculum focus or the project's popularity. Various projects are available to accommodate most special occasions such as Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Christmas, Halloween, Family Day, etc. You can see examples of some of the most popular projects here. Of course you may request a special project and The Clay Teacher will design one to suit your request.
Q. What happens to the projects after the class is completed?
A.The projects are left in the classroom or designated space until they are ready to paint and complete (usually about a week) for the air dry method (detailed instructions are provided) or they are taken back to the studio where they dry and are kiln fired to be returned within three weeks.
Q. When and how do you get paid?
A. A copy of the invoice will be emailed to you approximately two weeks before the class and a second copy will be left with you on the day of the instruction. The cheque can be mailed to the indicated address or we can be paid by direct deposit if your school system prefers. We also accept Visa® , MasterCard®, and American Express®.
Q. Do you come back to do the painting and finishing?
A. No. Detailed finishing instructions will be given to each teacher and are available for download. The Clay Teacher is always available to answer any questions by email or by phone at 780-218-9974 or toll free at 1-855-218-9974. The Clay Teacher® low odour brush on gloss finish is provided with each workshop and more may be purchased for just $2.00 per 2 oz. bottle.
Q. How far in advance should I book a session?
A.With the number of schools in the Edmonton area, and the popularity of The Clay Teacher, special occasions tend to fill up quickly. Remember, your project classroom date should be at least two weeks prior to the date you actually require them for the air dry method. This allows time for drying and painting. Kiln fired projects are returned within three weeks so you should allow four weeks to have them ready to send home.
Q. How many class sessions can be done in a day?
A. We recommend three, with two in the morning and one in the afternoon. Each session can have as many as 45 students (single classes or classes / grade levels grouped together) . Cindy and Jim both participate in the workshops so you receive two Clay Teachers for the price of one, and we work together to make the class to class transition as smooth as possible!
Q. How do I book a session?
A. Book online or print and fax.
Q. What is your cancellation policy?
A. If you have to cancel a booking please let us know as soon as possible so we can try and reschedule you and open the date for someone on the waiting list. We realize things happen between the time you book and our scheduled workshop. At the present time we do not charge a cancellation fee.