FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are your opening hours?
Our opening hours vary; we tend to have sessions and appointments on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Mondays are for class bookings, school trips, outside events and we try to squeeze in some 1 to 1 appointments. Friday evenings are our once or twice a month Prosecco & Paint evenings or parties, and Saturday evenings are for private parties or large group bookings. If you'd like to ensure we're here, book a table or appointment here on our website and that way we know you're coming, you know we're here and you won't waste a journey if we're closed. We do not open on bank holidays, Wednesdays or Sundays, but this may change during school holidays.
Do you have a café?
We do! We serve coffee, speciality teas, soft drinks, toasties, sandwiches, cakes, crisps, biscuits, chocolate and more. We do our best to stock a variety of alternative milks and only use dairy free spread in our sandwiches. If you'd like to check anything before you visit, please pop us a message and we'll be more than happy to help. You can find our current menus under the 'Café' tab of our website menu above.
Do you have a soft play?
We do! We have a small soft play for under 5s only, which is ideal for keeping little ones entertained in between brush strokes!
Where can I park?
There is lots of free parking just outside the studio. The Pottery Loft is sign posted from the car park, down the alley beside Lotus Express.
Where are you?
We're upstairs, above our wonderful neighbours at the Spar, Lotus Express Chinese Restaurant and next door to Suzanne Wilson Hair & Beauty - The Pottery Loft, Unit 5, High Grange Avenue, Billingham, TS23 3XR.
COLLECTIONS & TIMESCALES
When can I collect?
Once you've received your text to say your item(s) are complete, you can book a collection slot right here on our website. Choose 'Collect' from the menu. Collection slots allows us the chance to have your items ready before you come, and means you won't be waiting around too long. It also means you're only visiting the studio to pick up when we're here, so avoids you wasting time and fuel travelling to us to find we're closed. P.S - hope you love them!
I was told my item would be ready in 7 days but it's been 10, are they ready?
Sorry for the delay - due to the nature of the firing process, sometimes some items need a little longer, or a re-fire, or sometimes everything doesn't fit in one kiln load and has to wait for the next. Times are always approximate and while we do our best to guarantee items for a specific date, this isn't always possible. We'll be in touch as soon as they're ready, promise!
I'd like to check on the progress of my child's ______, how do I do this?
While we'd love to send everyone their own personal updates for their baby prints, there just aren't enough hours in the day. If it's been more than 8 weeks since you visited us, feel free to pop us a message, otherwise, please wait for your confirmation text and remember... when it comes to prints, no news is good news!
How long do ________ take?
Imprints and outprints take approximately 8 weeks. Pottery takes approximately 7-14 days. 3D casts take approximately 8 weeks.
I need my pot for _______ date! Can you get it ready for then?
Aww we totally understand! The answer to this all depends on our firing schedule and how busy our firing queue is. If we have lots of other people waiting for their pots, we can't bump people down the queue, but if we can squeeze yours in without affecting other customers' pots we will. We will always do our very best to have your pots ready for your specified date, but please bear in mind we also can't fire our kiln if it isn't due to go on as firings are extremely expensive, so we will only fire a full load! In short, the answer is maybe - get in touch to check.
How do I book?
You can book anything and everything right here on our website! Choose from the headings in our menu for more information, and links to book.
Can I book a party?
Yes! We'd love to have you! Read through all of the information & packages under our 'party' heading on the menu here on our website, and you can then book your party. £25 deposit secures your booking, with the remaining payable on the day of your visit. Let us know if you need any more help!
How do I book for the Tots Deal?
Easy! Choose 'Book a Table' and let us know you'd like to do the tots deal when you come and we'll point out the correct pots for you.
I've booked 3 people for Prosecco & Paint but I'd like to add another on, is that ok?
Yes, no problem at all, just get in touch! We can squeeze 6 people around each table (or 10 around 2, 14 around 3 etc.) so let us know, we'll take the additional deposit and add them to your table. Just so you know, due to limited chairs, some may need to use stools.
What is the best way to get in touch?
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 01642 566675, send us a message through our website or message us on Facebook. The only place we ask you to avoid is Instagram - the messages there are just too difficult to keep track of with all of the different hidden folders and story reactions, it's impossible!
I can't get through on the phone, how can I speak to you?
We can only answer the phone during opening hours and when we're not rushed off our feet in the studio. Keep trying, we'll get to you! Please remember we're closed Wednesdays & Sundays, and bank holidays, and opening hours and days vary, especially during school holidays.
I've messaged you but I'm still waiting for a reply?
So sorry - there's just 2 of us that do EVERYTHING, and we often find ourselves sat at 11PM at night trying to reply to all of our messages and emails at home as we've not had a minute to spare during the day in the studio. Please bear with us - we will get back to you asap! Please bear in mind that we always reply to messages oldest first.
Can I check if you have a ______ in stock for my table booking?
Absolutely! Please pop us a message or email and we'll be able to advise current stock levels.
Can I reserve a _________ for my visit?
Yes of course - pre-orders and reservations require a 50% deposit to secure, and we'll then keep hold of these for you for up to 3 months. After this time items will be placed back onto the shelves for other people and your deposit will be lost.
Do you do aprons?
We don't offer aprons to customers, no. The paint we use for pottery painting is all non toxic and does not stain, so aprons aren't required. For Messy Makers and Slime Time, we ask that children attend in old clothes, please! It's gonna get Messy!
Can I do slime making at my table booking?
Unfortunately not, we only offer slime making during specific workshops, not during everyday opening as it's just too messy!
Do you still offer deco patch?
I'm sorry, we don't offer deco patch in the studio any more.
Can my toddler paint on a piece of paper rather than a pot?
We don't offer this - our pottery paints cannot be used on paper, or anywhere except on our pottery. The paints are simply way too expensive to waste. If you'd like something to keep your little one busy, we have A4 paper and felt tips they can draw away on.
How much is it?
Price varies depending on what you choose to do. We have more information on each activity under the headings in our menu. Pottery starts from £4, prints on pottery from £12.50, build-a-buddy from £19.95, imprints and outprints from £30, 3D casts from £55 and workshops from £6.
How much will I need to pay for you to finish my pottery for me?
Our commission fee ranges from £2.50 to £7.50 for us to add writing & decoration to your pottery for you. If you'd like us to paint you a large and detailed themed design from scratch, we'd need to discuss, so get in touch!
How much are prints?
We can help you take prints for absolutely free! However, please bear in mind that unless you've booked a private, one to one Prints appointment, you may have to wait for our help.
How long will it be before I receive my order?
Each item on our website has it's own timescale; personalised items take 7-14 days depending on what they are and what is involved. Pottery takes longer as it's made from scratch using clay and fired in our kiln twice!