Anti-folly fashionistas and ‘Do you really, though?!’...a little bedtime reading
Updated: Jun 17
Let’s talk safety...
We tell you all the time that decisions are made and practices are in place, with safety at the forefront...but what does that actually look like from a practical, ‘behind the scenes’ view?
Bedtime reading, surely!?
Okay...not the most interesting of posts to launch into, so bear with us while we share a little ‘anti-folly’.
Much if not most of the PPE we now wear throughout, was already part of our
workshop-wardrobe before the pandemic. We sure know how to rock a P2 and a P3 mask; often finding ourselves in a titter at the other’s expense, when goggles are steaming or when both gloves are out the box ‘thumb sides up’ (Okay, so you had to be there!)
All the equipment and materials that our customers use are super safe.
In the workshop though we work with airborne dusts and toxins; whether experimenting with powders to create new glazes, or sanding down earthenware, or handling all sort of weird and wonderful raw materials...it can be more of a science than an art at times!
To takeaway or not to takeaway!
We now need to consider every contact made with every surface or object, and how to minimise and mitigate the risk of cross contamination.
We remember all the lovely excited messages when the Goverment confirmed that take-aways were ‘a go’...and the disappointment when we explained that we wouldn’t be relaunching the Pottery Parcels at that time.
When you receive your yummy pizza delivery that’s a one way process. Pottery parcels are also collected from you, for the next stage, and this of course comes with risks. At the height of the epidemic we felt it was right for your family and our own, to choose safety over business.
So what’s different now??
Not much, from our side of things! But as a nation we are advised that the peak is behind us, that the risks are reduced to levels where the economy can start to do its best to recover.
Let’s face it...as a community we are also more alert now, be it socially or with handling of tangible goods.
BUT there are still so many practices we choose to implement to make our business as safe as we can.
72 hours...sounds like the next b movie!
Doesn’t it just!
But let’s take those returning parcels as just one example...when we collect your pottery parcel we are still rocking the PPE, changing the disposable wear such as gloves between every collection.
Once your parcel arrives at the studio it sits untouched in an isolated storage area for a minimum of 72 hours. We haven’t even opened the bag to see your wonderful painting at this point! Trust us, that’s a hard one!
Every touched pot?
You can maybe start to see why it isn’t possible at this time, to pop in and choose pottery from our shelf stock.
The only difference between ordering online and choosing from the shelf is the opportunity to touch and hold those different choices. Of course prior to the epidemic we would encourage this, as part of your choosing experience. But at the time of posting, in-person choosing means we would need to remove every touched item from stock, let it sit for 3 days and immediately manually amend the website to reflect the stock change. Every customer. Every touched pot.
Additionally, bisque (the kiln-fired blank pot that you paint) is earthenware. It is porous. There is no science available to us at this time to advise how long the virus lives on an earthenware surface.
So do YOU touch this ‘ere bisque then?!
We do...but with PPE at all times now. EVERY pottery parcel we prepare is done so with fresh gloves.
In fact, we do not handle ANY in-studio equipment or materials without gloves on right now, and we wash our hands and/or sanitise hands at every glove change.
Do you really, though?
Absolutely. We have a large brood of our own and just like the majority, we have spent months now protecting our loved ones by following every new guidance. We aren’t prepared to put you, them or the business at risk by cutting corners now.
There are times when decisions feel against our natural instincts, to go the extra mile for our customers. We know this because we have felt that already, on occasion. If accommodating a special request means relaxing a safety measure then we must pop a brake on, and that is sad for us, because we aren’t in the habit of saying “I’m sorry, we can’t”. But the bigger picture here is so much more important than our reluctance to disappoint anyone.
The short term verses the long term
Now that’s a hard one, isn’t it?!
Staying afloat and riding the storm is an emotive subject for any business owner right now. We have worked our socks off for 4 years to develop the business and were still in the process of growing that, when we closed.
It is tempting to make knee jerk decisions based on today and what needs to be done now. But in the long term we need the business to recover and sustain itself...so there will be choices along the way that may seem odd to the onlooking eye.
I guess what we are saying is to please bear with us if any of our updates seem a little left field, given the economic climate.
Whether we make the right decisions at any given time is something don’t have the answer to. We will be asking Santa for a crystal ball this year, for sure! Best get ourselves on that good list in the meantime!
I still have questions!
That’s no problem! We have tried not to bore you into submission, so there may those wanting more reassurance, and we are happy to chat to you about any of our other safety measures...just get in touch.
We would like to offer a big shout out to all of our customers - old and new - for the patience and understanding throughout it all. Your support is everything.