Watershed’s summer sessions provide artists with time and space to step away from their daily routines, immerse themselves in their creative practice, and make new connections within the clay community. Any artist who is comfortable working independently in a clay studio is welcome to participate. During a session, you have unlimited time to work in the studio alongside other artists-in-residence, delicious farm-to-table meals prepared for you, and comfortable accommodations in shared or private housing. For more information on how a session works, visit the residencies page of our site.
Watershed residencies are filled on a first-come, first served basis. The 2019 summer session descriptions and the core group of artists anchoring each session are listed below. After selecting a session that resonates with you, simply fill out the registration form found below the session description and submit your deposit. Visit the housing and fees page to review the costs of attending a residency. For those interested in applying for merit-based or need-based financial assistance, the yearly application deadline is February 15 with awards announced in mid-March.
Session I: Ephemerality in Clay, June 2-14
Ephemerality is rarely associated with ceramics, as it is commonly assumed that a ceramic piece’s final state is fired and permanent. However, an increasing number of artists are focusing on raw clay’s physical qualities, transformative capabilities, and connection to place. During this session, participating artists will explore clay in its impermanent state through studio-based work and site-specific installations.
While the session’s theme focuses on working with raw clay, artists are also welcome to fire work in the Watershed kilns during the residency.
Session II: How Low Can You Go: Low Fire Love, June 16-28
With: Jamie Adams, Shenny Cruces, Chris Drobnock, Amy Evans, Margaret Haden, and Lynn Hobaica
During this session, a diverse cross-section of sculptors and potters will delve into all that low fire practices have to offer. Participating artists will act as a think tank, testing and compiling information on low-fire surface development. The group will experiment with glaze testing and surface methods, share demonstrations of signature techniques (optional), and learn from several low temperature atmospheric firings.
In order to best utilize the time at Watershed, participants are encouraged to bring bisque fired work to jumpstart the test-firing process. The aim is to hold three atmospheric firings – the first with pre-made bisque work, the second with bisque work created at Watershed, and a final slow single bisque/glaze firing at the end of the session.
Session III: Ceramic Sculpture Collective, July 1-16
During this session, members of Ceramic Sculpture Collective welcome a group of functional and sculptural artists to join them in the Watershed studio.
In addition to the Collective members and their invitees, Watershed will host a number of Salad Days Artist alumni, who will return to campus from July 11-14 to mark the 25th anniversary of Salad Days.
During the session, Watershed will offer several workshops and public events featuring the artists-in-residence. For updates on these events and all of Watershed’s programming, subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter.
This session is already at capacity and is not accepting additional registrants.
Session IV: Spirit of the Absurd, July 28-August 9
Drawing on art historical traditions — such as Dada and West Coast Funk Ceramics — this session will call on the power of the absurd to create community and offer a space for connection and dialogue. Participating artists from a variety of backgrounds will engage silly, humorous, unreasonable, campy, fantastical, and illogical ideas during time together in the studio. Exploring successes and challenges, artists will build a vocabulary of the absurd and answer questions regarding what it is to soberingly engage in the work of the nonsensical. Laughter, play, and general merriment will foster an inclusive community and creative work.WAIT LIST
Session V: The New Ancient, August 11-23
As one of the oldest and most widespread human activities, working with clay has a long and rich history. Arguably, no form embodies this history more than the ceramic vessel. Contemporary artists offer new approaches to working within this lineage by creating functional and sculptural vessels that give a nod to traditional forms.
During their two weeks together, participating artists in this session will focus on creating a wide variety of vessels. Potters, sculptors, and all artists interested in exploring the vessel tradition are welcome to join the residency. In addition to ample time in the studio, participants will meet for topical discussions to promote exchange and inspiration.WAIT LIST