When each of the areas was asked to update our wiki pages last year we removed the old specific detail about age and standardized with the overall MakeICT policy of children under the age of 16 being accompanied by an adult. This made the access policy simpler.
When it comes to kids working with tools, and in particular power tools that can quickly cause injury, it’s hard to set a single age rule. So much depends on the experience and temperament of the child, and perhaps more importantly the experience of the adult supervising them. We don’t know how to make a rule that respects that without seeming like we’re being arbitrary or judging the parent / child.
When it comes to using the wheel, we want to be sure that everybody using the wheel has had some instruction in properly using it. We have Ceramics Tuesdays for this reason. It gives folks a chance to try it out and see if they want to do more on their own, or take one of our classes. Having a supervised introduction to the wheel will give you a chance to understand the amount of strength and dexterity involved and allow you to make a personal judgement about whether or not the wheel is a good fit for you. Folks of all ages are welcome on Ceramics Tuesday.
So… having said much, and little, we’ll propose this:
- For children under the age of 16 who wish to use the wheel, we will need to approve on a case-by-case basis.
- We expect the member who will be supervising the child to be experienced using the wheel at a level where they feel comfortable that they can objectively judge whether or not the child demonstrates the necessary strength, dexterity, and temperament to safely operate the wheel.
- We would want to meet with the parent / guardian and child the first time they are in to supervise and help to make sure there are no issues.
Safety is our first concern. We want people making safely so they can have a great experience in the studio!