Hello fellow potters!
Myself and a few other artists are interested in starting a cooperative clay and glass studio. We are currently looking for other creative types who may be interested in making this concept a reality.
The idea is:
- Production studio spaces for artists interested in producing wares to sell. These spaces would be in an open warehouse area. There is room for 4-6 spaces with a kiln and glaze area. The costs of a production space would be no more than $300 a month. Hopefully less if there is strong interest.
- There is also an area that could be used as a shared area for people interested in getting their clay fix through drop in or regular studio access. The concept is that this area would have 3-4 wheels and a hand building area and studio glazes available. This studio space could be accessed at drop-in times (2-3 a week) or by purchasing a monthly drop in membership around $75 to access the space at your convenience (available to experienced potters). The Glenn Eagles drop in fees would be used as a guide. You can find them online by googling Glenn Eagles Pottery Studio.
- A monthly membership in the space would also buy use of a shelf for storing wares and tools. Those not purchasing a membership for the space would have a communal shelf space similar to the current drop in arrangement and no tool storage.
We have found a building that would work really well and is ‘potentially’ affordable (depending on interest), it is the front part of the Re-Build It building approximately 1200 square feet. It has two large areas: a large warehouse sized room with washroom, sink hook up, 3 phase power and natural gas hook up for kilns and a large front room that would work as a communal space.
The landlord is willing to try us out on a month by month lease rather than signing a long term contract while we are establishing ourselves, making the venture less risky. The space has large windows at the front for light, and is located at a bus stop for those taking transit. It also has some parking available.
As a cooperative studio those who join would contribute something such as equipment, sweat equity, etc., to make it work. We have a few wheels, a kiln glaze supplies, tools etc. to get us started.
There is the potential that we could expand to include some lessons and maybe regular clay nights where we could get together and have someone demonstrate a clay technique, work on a group project like empty bowls, etc.
The space would not be operated by the Whistler Pottery Club, but could potentially be rented by the club for a workshop or event like a show and sale.
I have asked WAC to include this information in the monthly newsletter , it may be that artists working in other mediums may be interested. At this point we have 2 potters and a glass artist interested in production spaces.
Sorry I can’t provide more detail at this point, we need to know the number of interested people to pull together a more formal co-op business plan, we will then review the plan with Coop experts to make sure we are on the right track and to get their advice. If you are interested in being part of the space or want more information please send me an email or give me a call 604.902.3647. And if you want to assist with the planning and putting together the plan your input would be very welcome 🙂
If you have any suggestions, feedback or ideas please share them, all input is welcome at this point.