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. The only prerequisite is that you are comfortable working independently in a clay studio. 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 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 Artists-Invite-Artists (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 proposals.

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

Yes. While the AIA organizer and AIA artists propose the session theme and anchor the session, all participating artists form one community while sharing studio space, ideas, meals, and housing.

Do you offer financial assistance?

Watershed offers merit-based scholarships for the Summer Residency and work-exchange scholarships for the Fall Residency.

Several colleges and universities collaborate with Watershed to offer their students funded assistantships for the summer residency. 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 if you are a faculty member interested in setting up a funded assistantship.

Who can apply for a scholarship award?

Any artist is welcome to apply for a scholarship award (and may receive a total of two full scholarships). Those who have received full scholarship awards in the past must wait three years before applying for funding again.

Full awards cover the residency fee and the housing fee, along with a $100 credit toward material expenses incurred through Watershed. Partial awards can cover up to two-thirds of the residency and housing fees.

What are the studios like?

Built in 2021, the Windgate Studio at Watershed is a 7,500 square-foot building offering artists a state-of-the-art, open concept studio space to work and connect with other makers.  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 drybox). The rural campus offer many possibilities for site-specific (temporary) installations.

Windgate Studio features: 

  • A single-level floor plan designed for ceramic work with easy access to raw materials, kilns, a glaze room, plaster room, and spray booth
  • Temperature regulation in all seasons 
  • Full accessibility and ADA compliance
  • 4800 square feet of studio space

Read more about the studio and campus accessibility.

What kinds of kilns are available?

Electric:

  • 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

Gas:

  • (2) 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. Private bedrooms and private bathrooms are limited.

Can I stay off campus during a residency?

Because the community experience is central to Watershed residencies, we require artists to live on campus during a residency session. Workshop participants may elect to stay off campus.

Can I bring my pet?

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

Can I have overnight guests during my residency?

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Watershed campus is closed to visitors during a residency.

 

Can I bring my child/family to the residency?

Because of the pandemic, Watershed’s campus is closed to visitors during residency sessions until further notice.

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

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 some local accommodations. See below.

Can you suggest any hotels/motels/bnb's in the area?

We also suggest looking at Airbnb or other vacation rentals in the nearby towns of Wiscasset, Edgecomb, Damariscotta, Newcastle, and Boothbay. Book early!  Summer rentals in Maine get reserved well in advance.

How do I get to Watershed?

Watershed’s main campus address is 19 Brick Hill Road, Newcastle, ME

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.  Local taxi services can take artists from the bus stop to Watershed.

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.

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?

Kilns can be rented for personal or group use. Please contact the office about these opportunities at (207) 882-6075.