Residency Frequently Asked Questions

Who comes to a Watershed residency?

Watershed is a place that brings together artists with diverse approaches and backgrounds in a unique collective experience. Watershed has something to offer all artists working in clay—from students to established professionals.

What happens during a residency?

Watershed residencies offer extended time in an open-studio setting with other artists, providing space to explore, experiment and reflect. The only schedule to keep in mind is meal time! Residents often collaborate on projects, explore new approaches to making, and take time to read, reflect, and engage fellow residents in dialogue.

Is there formal instruction during the residency?

Watershed does not provide formal instruction during our summer and fall residency sessions.  Artists who attend a residency need to be comfortable working independently in the studio. However, we do offer workshops that include instruction in the spring and fall.

Do you offer workshops?

Watershed offers weekend workshops in the spring and fall that provide formal instruction. Watershed staff lead firing workshops in our gas and wood kilns and guest artist instructors lead weekend workshops that pertain to their areas of expertise. 

What is an Artists-Invite-Artists (AIA) group?

One artist may initiate an AIA group by proposing a session theme and inviting 4 to 8 other artists to one of Watershed’s summer sessions. Up to seven additional spaces in the session will be filled by artists who apply to attend through Watershed’s regular application process. Click here to learn more about AIA groups.

Can I participate in the residency if I am not an AIA group member?

Yes! AIA groups and regular artists-in-residence work side-be-side at Watershed. Participants may choose to engage in the AIA theme or pursue their own path.

Do you offer financial aid?

We offer merit-based scholarships, and work-exchange scholarships  for those demonstrating financial need. In exchange for 3 hours of work per weekday, assistants pay a discounted residency fee.

Several colleges and universities collaborate with Watershed to offer their students funded assistantships. The school pays the assistantship residency fee and the student participates in the residency free of charge in exchange for 15 hours of work per week. Please contact Watershed (link to info@watershedceramics.org) if you are a faculty member interested in setting up a funded assistantship.

Who can apply for a Kiln God scholarship award?

Any artist is welcome to apply for a scholarship award (and may receive a total of two fully funded Kiln God Awards). Those who have received Kiln Gods in the past may not reapply for three years after receiving their award.

What are the studios like?

Watershed studios are housed in a 16,000-square-foot building that was once used as a barn. The open-concept space is ideal for interaction or self-directed exploration at a variety of scales. Studios are equipped with electric and kick wheels, as well as a variety of standard ceramic equipment (e.g., slab-rollers, mixers, pug mill, wheels, extruder and hotbox). The 32-acre rural campus offer many possibilities for site-specific (temporary) installations.

What kinds of kilns are available?

Electric:

  • Nabertherm Top-loading: 3.5 cu ft
  • Nabertherm Top-loading: 4.9 cu ft
  • Nabertherm Front-loading: 9.8 cu ft
  • Front-loading Fredrickson: 14 cu ft
  • Skutt KM1027 Top-loading: 7 cu ft
  • Skutt KM818 Top-loading: 2.6 cu ft
  • Test Kiln: .22 cu ft
  • China Kiln: .45 cu ft

Gas:

  • Salt/Soda down-draft: 18 cu ft
  • Down-draft: 18 cu ft
  • Car down-draft: 55 cu ft
  • Raku: 7.5 cu ft

Wood:

  • Train Kiln: 45 cu ft
  • Salt/Soda Catenary Kiln: 48 cu ft

Is it possible to work with plaster at Watershed?

There is a designated area for plaster work, but Watershed does not routinely stock plaster due to its short shelf life. If you anticipate working with plaster, please contact us in advance so we can stock the appropriate supplies.

What are housing accommodations like?

Artists are housed in simple, modern cabins on Watershed’s campus and can choose from single or double occupancy rooms and shared or private bathrooms. Read about Watershed’s housing options  in more detail.

Can I bring my pet?

We love animals, but please leave your pets at home.

Can I have overnight guests during my residency?

If you have a private room during your stay, you are welcome to have overnight guests for $35 per night. There is also a per-meal charge for guests eating group meals on campus.

May I arrive a day early for my residency or stay a day late after it ends?

Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate early arrivals or late departures.  If your travel plans require you arrive in Maine prior to the start of your session or leave later than the end of the session, we can recommend local accommodations. 

How do I get to Watershed?

The Center is easily accessible via car, bus, or plane.  We are about a 3-hour drive from Boston.  Concord Coach lines offers bus service up the Maine Coast from Boston and NYC, with a stop in Wiscasset, ME.  If you let us know your arrival time in advance, a Watershed staff person can meet you at the bus stop.

Artists-in-residence often fly into the Portland, ME jetport or Logan airport in Boston and either use a taxi/limo service or the Concord Coach bus to make their way here. 

Click here for directions to Watershed.

Can I buy art supplies at Watershed?

A large inventory of raw materials to make clay and glaze is available for purchase. We also do regular supply orders through Portland Pottery for those who are traveling long distances and are unable to bring materials with them. Please call Watershed in advance if you require commercial clay or materials, including plaster.

If I live locally, can I rent studio space or kilns at Watershed?

We occasionally have studio space available for rent in the spring through fall months.  Kilns can be rented for personal or group use as well. Please contact the office about these opportunities at (207) 882-6075.