COVID-19: A message for our communities

A plaster head bathes in sunlight with tools surrounding it.Work by 2019 Summer Residency artist Sally Rickett. Photo: SSW

This message was posted in March 2020. Read our May update here.

A message for our communities:

Due to COVID-19 we have made some changes to our planning and activity over the coming months in order to protect each other’s health while at SSW and more widely.

Epidemics such as COVID-19 ask us to not only think about those we know, but also those we don’t know. We all have diverse circumstances, health and duties of care, and this situation will undoubtedly increase the precarity of many. As there is no remedy or vaccine yet, limiting physical contact is the only way to protect each other and our wider communities.

This decision is taken out of care for the people we work and live with. We understand that this might make some of us sad or worried, but we see this situation as a chance for greater solidarity. Social distancing does not mean social isolation. Let’s respect our communities and find alternative ways to cooperate and support each other.

The rapidly changing nature of information, advice and legislation indicates that we will need to be responsive to what is happening around us. We will seek to update you as we react to the developing situation and will be evaluating what we are doing every week.

Based on the information available to us at this time, we have decided to postpone or cancel our planned activity for the next three months, up until Monday 1 June 2020. We have reached out to everyone who will be directly affected by this change via email and are working remotely on other ways in which we can support our communities during this time.

This week our site will be closed, however you can continue to contact us via email and phone.


We are continuing as usual with plans for the Summer Residency (starting in June) and will be in touch with applicants this week with a response to their applications and queries. We will also share specific information about our contingency planning with successful applicants soon.

All courses between now and Monday 1 June will be postponed. This includes Bronze Casting Intensive, Introduction to Blacksmithing, Alternative Firings and Introduction to Ceramics and Raku. If you are booked on any of the affected courses we will be in touch directly via email.

We are cancelling all Clay Group and Ceramics Open Access from today until Monday 1 June. If you would like to purchase some clay or tools for use at home this week please phone us this week on 01464 861372 and we will make arrangements where possible depending on stock.

Student groups
We are postponing all student group visits between now and Monday 1 June 2020. We are in contact with universities and colleges directly and will work on a case-by-case basis to find solutions for each group.

Networks and partnerships
We will continue to communicate closely through digital means with our partners to react to developments in the COVID-19 outbreak in this country and in our partners’ contexts also. We will seek to reschedule face-to-face activity where possible.

Throughout this situation the people most affected by COVID-19 are at the forefront of our minds and hearts, and are central to our planning for the coming months. We are in contact with Creative Scotland and will share their updates and guidance via social media in the coming days. In the meantime, if you are local to SSW and need support (anything that is needed), please get in touch via phone on 01464 861372 and we can help.

Please take care of each other and get in touch if there is anything we can support you with.

All at SSW

Thank you to Globe Aroma for their succinct ‘A Love Letter to a Caring Community’, which helped us write the above message explaining our feelings and approach here at SSW.

  • Share