COVID-19 - November lockdown update

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England)(No. 4) Regulations 2020 for the November lockdown have now been voted into law. Following these regulations we will be closing our studios to hobby members until December 2nd. Following the exemption on bans on gathering for the purposes of education, classes will continue to run as scheduled. Professional makers can continue to use their membership to manufacture work to sell, although only one studio (Turning Earth Hoxton in Whiston Road) will be open to accommodate this and only for a limited number of hours.

Hobby makers
All Turning Earth memberships will be automatically suspended for a month from November 5th, when the new regulations come into place. They will automatically restart again on December 2nd unless further changes to regulations are announced before then. In this event the studio will contact members explaining next steps, and if necessary giving new membership options (for example, in the event of partial ‘take-away’ firing and glazing version opening in the future) and giving a new restart date as necessary.

A limited number of wheels are available for hire from the Leyton studios by hobby makers, subject to signing a liability contract and putting down a damage deposit. These will be allocated by Friday 6th November. A delivery and pick up service is available for a fee each way.

We will be operating a click and collect system for people who wish to purchase clay from the Hoxton studio during our limited opening hours (see below) or from Turning Earth Leyton at prearranged times (to be confirmed). Please email in advance with your order, which will be given to you outside the studio. Please note that hobby members cannot come in and out of the studio during the lockdown period and will not be able to collect items from their shelves. If you need something urgently please email and we can arrange to have it brought outside for collection.

Classes
According to the new Health Protection Regulations, educational facilities are exempted from the ban on gathering. Ceramics courses from adult education providers and community colleges across the country will stay open under this exemption, which means that classes in Turning Earth’s Learning Hubs in Argall Avenue and Cremer St will continue as scheduled, with the most stringent measures in place to ensure they can do so in a Covid Secure way. To ensure Covid Secure learning we have:

- moved all classes to rooms large enough to accommodate full social distancing
- carried out Covid Secure inspections
- created stringent cleaning protocols for high contact areas and shared equipment
- implemented temperature checks
- implemented visors for teachers
- require all students to regularly wash hands
- require mask wearing
- eliminated bottlenecks by installing more cleaning facilities
- open windows for ventilation throughout and ventilate thoroughly after classes
- carry out deep cleaning after classes.

Please note: if you have class work to pick up please do so after December 2nd. We will hold all work for an extra month.

Christmas ceramics sales

We have had to cancel this year’s Christmas market, and will instead be promoting our makers who sell online on our social media channels under the hashtag #turningearthlockdownmarket. Please follow us on Instagram and support our makers by purchasing your Christmas presents from their online stores.

Professional making in Hoxton
Professional makers can contact us to continue their membership at the studio in Hoxton on the limited days when it will remain open for their use. Please note that in the current circumstances we have been forced to close the Leyton studios, but we have reserved spaces for professional makers from the Leyton studios in the Hoxton site. The studio will be open for a limited number of hours to reflect the steep reduction in paying members, which means we will be running at a substantial loss throughout the lockdown. For this reason we have to limit our staffing hours to a minimum to take advantage of the government furlough support, which will place severe pressure on our technical systems. It’s particularly critical at this time that all members ensure they stay within the studio limits, including limits on hours and limits on firing. Professional makers should continue to use the booking system below.

Hoxton opening hours for professionals:
Tuesday 10-5pm
Wednesday 10-5pm
Saturday 10-5pm

In Production membership
To further support professional members, In Production membership has reduced in price to £250 per month, with firing fees of £40 per glaze kiln (bisque included). The reduced price will be valid for November and December, with a reduced minimum commitment of two months. Support will be provided to help makers new to studio management pack their kilns and fire them, and to mix glazes (although they will also have access to premixed Turning Earth glazes during this time). We also have a gas kiln, and help on hand to learn to use it. In addition, In Production membership gives makers independent 24-hour unlimited access. Please see the In Production website to learn more about the facilities. Covid Secure measures are in place in the studio and will be made more stringent to reflect use by a greater number of members.

Supporting the studio
The studio would have not survived the second lockdown if it had not been for the support of members throughout the pandemic, many of whom have been exceptionally generous. We are projected to lose many thousands of pounds during the next month, even if this lockdown only lasts as long as currently projected, and government support is more limited this time. If you are a hobbyist and can continue to support us by paying a membership fee even when you cannot come into the studio we would obviously hugely appreciate it. Please email us and let us know if you would like to make a contribution.

Please let us express our warmest gratitude for everything our community has done to keep us alive. We love you.

Turning Earth Team

Hoxton Studio Booking
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