2024 Pre-Session

This May 20 – 30th Watershed’s annual Pre-Session is back!

During this beloved tradition, six to ten Pre-Session residents work side-by-side with our permanent and seasonal staff to prepare the facilities, equipment and grounds for the summer season. Pre-Session Residents will work on Watershed projects for six six-hour days, one three-hour day and have two full  days with no work requirement. Residents will have full access to the Watershed Studio to focus on their own studio practice outside of the work shifts and be provided with housing and three meals a day each day except Saturday & Sunday – these days residents may access left-overs, cook for themselves or dine out. The arrival and departure days will have some preparation and clean-up duties.

Projects include repairing and cleaning studios and equipment, landscape and grounds maintenance, and cleaning residential building interiors and exteriors.  

Watershed assigns projects to Pre-Session residents that are appropriate for their skill level and experience. Teamwork and collegiality are extremely important to the success of Pre-Session. Pre-Session residents should be aware that most tasks require physical exertion and/or exposure to nature and the elements. Attendees should come prepared to work outdoors in all kinds of weather and get dirty. Specialized skills such as carpentry and general building maintenance, grounds keeping, and cleaning are highly desirable.

Applications due April 12th, applicants will be notified by April 19th and a non-refundable commitment fee of $200 is due April 26th. 

APPLY HERE

Itinerary

Pre-Session occurs Monday May 20-May 30, 2024. Detailed below is the itinerary for those 10 days:

  • Monday Arrival Day: Check-in 12pm-4pm,  Campus Orientation 4pm-6pm, Dinner 6pm
  • Tues – Fri: Work 9am-4pm, Lunch 12pm-1pm
  • Sat – Sun: Off / Studio Day
  • Mon -Tues: Work 9am-4pm, Lunch 12pm-1pm
  • Wednesday 1/2 Day: Work 9am-12pm, Off
  • Thursday Departure Day: Cleanup and Breakfast

Additional Information

MEALS

During the Residency, meals are prepared and served Monday through Friday in the Commons building. Breakfast is served at 8:30 a.m.; lunch at 12:00 p.m.; and dinner at 6:30 p.m. Artists generally frequent local restaurants off campus for food on weekends, and always have 24/7 access to a shared refrigerator, coffee, tea, and snacks. 

The kitchen can accommodate vegetarian and gluten-free diets. Abundant salads and non-meat protein sources are made available as well. Artists with additional dietary needs are welcome to store supplemental food in the resident fridge and the pantry. Applicants with questions about dietary needs can contact us to discuss their specific situation.

STUDIO

Watershed’s state-of-the-art, fully accessible Windgate Studio is tucked into a wooded dale that is accessed via a sloping gravel road from the cabins. The studio, spread over a single story with polished concrete floors and an open plan, accommodates and encourages all manner and scale of ceramic production while fostering interaction and communication between artists.

Resident artists have access to the studio 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is equipped with slab rollers, pottery wheels, an extruder, clay mixers, sturdy canvas-covered work tables, and plentiful shelving. Generous banks of windows provide both natural light and views of the surrounding woods. All work spaces have access to electrical outlets and the building is internet friendly.

A large glaze room provides ample, clean, organized, and ventilated work space and features a floor-to-ceiling spray booth with water-curtain filtration. Work may be rolled directly from the `studio’s glaze area to the exterior Kiln Pad by a covered breezeway.

Also located in the studio building are a dedicated plaster room, clay mixing area, galley kitchenette, and a seating area. Just across the dooryard at the Studio Annex is a wood and metal shop available for use by permission.

HEALTH & SAFETY

Watershed prioritizes the health of all members of our community. Please refer to our COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for additional up-to-date information.

ACCESSIBILITY

Watershed’s campus is located on uneven terrain that includes fields, forests, paths, and gravel roads. The Windgate Studio, the upper campus Commons, and one bedroom with adjoining bath are fully accessible, with accessible parking available. The studio is located approximately one-quarter mile away from the cabins on a sloped, gravel road and participants must navigate levels and unmodified, natural paths to reach most cabins.

Watershed will make every effort to provide appropriate housing and program access to people with known disabilities to the degree possible without posing an undue hardship for the organization. People with disabilities are responsible for contacting Watershed to request appropriate accommodations and help Watershed assess how to best support them. Please contact us to discuss any accessibility questions or needs, including accommodations for registered service animals. We are unable to host therapy pets or companion animals.

MATERIALS

Watershed’s glaze room is well stocked with dry materials and equipment for mixing slips and glazes. Click here for the current list of stocked commercial clay and dry materials at Watershed. Artists pay material fees incurred through Watershed on a per-use basis at the end of the session.

Additionally, our clay-mixing area is equipped for mixing white or iron-rich clays and is stocked with standard, commercially mined ingredients. We suggest that resident artists who anticipate making large batches of clay or glazes contact us prior to arrival to ensure sufficient quantities of material will be available.

Many artists also choose to work with commercial clay and glazes while in residence. If bringing your own materials isn’t feasible, you can order what you need from Portland Pottery, our local supplier. Watershed’s studio staff will pick up your order and have it waiting when you arrive.

How to order:

  1. Visit Portland Pottery’s website to view their inventory.
  2. Contact their Portland, Maine store to place an order.
    Phone: 207-772-4334 or 800-539-4301
  3. Pay for your order at the time you place it.
  4. Inform Portland Pottery that Watershed will pick up your order. Provide them with the start date of your session, which is the day Watershed retrieves all supplies for your cohort.
  5. Make sure to obtain an itemized digital receipt for your order.
  6. Watershed staff will pick up resident artists’ orders. Your materials will be available for use by the first morning of your session.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • We strongly encourage artists to place orders 2 – 3 weeks prior to their residency. Portland Pottery rarely has everything in stock and supply chain delays are common.
  • Portland Pottery is located 50 miles south of Watershed. Watershed will only pick up supplies on the first day of each session. Resident artists who place orders after arriving at Watershed are responsible for retrieving their own supplies.

FIRING

Firing facilities include a wide range of electric, gas, and wood kilns. Firing fees are divided among artists using the kilns. Click here for the current list of kilns and firing fees (prices subject to change).

Resident artists load and fire their own kilns during a residency. Studio staff are available to answer questions and provide support but they do not fire work for artists. Please note that wood kilns require advanced planning with studio staff, as well as considerable knowledge, time, and labor to fire.  

SHIPPING

Materials and supplies may be shipped to Watershed ahead of your arrival date. Please ship all items to yourself c/o: Watershed, 19 Brick Hill Rd, Newcastle, ME 04553.

Artists who are unable to take their work home with them must make their own shipping arrangements. The Watershed staff does not pack or ship work.

LOCATION

Watershed’s campus straddles the small towns of Newcastle and Edgecomb, Maine about 50 miles northeast of Portland. We are located in a rural area, approximately 1.5 miles northeast of Wiscasset, Maine (population 3,700). The main campus address is 19 Brick Hill Rd., Newcastle, ME.

Nestled in a valley surrounded by organic farms, Watershed’s 54-acre campus includes rolling hillsides, sprawling meadows, and groves of evergreen and deciduous trees. Sheep from neighboring farms often graze in our fields and artists often cross paths with tractors, pigs, and cows on the winding walk to the studio.

Watershed encourages artists attending the summer residency who live within driving distance to travel to Watershed in their own vehicle, if possible. While artists are provided everything they need to function on campus during their session, many artists find it helpful to be able to venture off campus. While there are cabs and shuttle services artists can take from the nearest airport, train station, or bus station to campus, Midcoast Maine does not have a robust public transportation system and arranging local cab rides throughout the course of a session can be expensive.

DIRECTIONS BY CAR

From the South:

  • Take I-95 (Maine Turnpike) North to I-295, exit 44. This takes you through Portland. Note that this is NOT the Maine Turnpike at this point.
  • Follow I-295 North to exit 28 for Brunswick. As you exit I-295 at Brunswick you will be on U.S. Route 1 North.
  • Follow Route 1 through Brunswick, Bath, and Wiscasset.
  • After crossing the Wiscasset bridge, continue one mile to Cochran Road on your left- at the top of a hill, just past the Route 27 turn-off to Boothbay.
  • Turn left onto Cochran Rd., just past the turn off to Rt 27 South.*


From the North:

  • Watershed is about 8 miles South of Damariscotta/Newcastle via Rt. 1.
  • Turn on Cochran Road, at the top of the hill across from the turn off to Rt. 27 South.

*The entrance to Watershed’s campus is seven-tenths of a mile along Cochran Rd. Drive past our administrative office/gallery in the yellow house.  Turn right onto Brick Hill Road at the Watershed/Straw Farm sign. The first building on the right is the Commons. The studio is 1/4 mile further down the gravel road to the right. The farm and property on the opposite side of Brick Hill Road is not part of Watershed.

DIRECTIONS BY AIR/BUS

The Portland International Jetport is about an hour’s drive from Watershed. You can get from the Portland airport to Watershed via the taxi services listed below.  You must reserve ahead of time, so please call ahead with your flight details! Please note that the costs listed below are estimates given by the companies, prices are subject to change and you should call for more information. Oftentimes, it is less expensive to share a taxi, shuttle, or car service.

Some artists prefer to fly into Boston/Logan Airport (BOS) and catch a bus from there to Wiscasset, Maine, which is the town next to Watershed. Be sure to leave plenty of time between your flight’s arrival and the bus’ airport departure. We recommend you schedule at least 1.5 hours between your arrival and the bus’ departure. The Concord Coach Bus leaves Logan airport at 10:35 a.m. and arrives in Wiscasset at 2:25 p.m. From the bus stop, artists can arrange a pickup from a local taxi (options below) to Watershed or catch a ride from another incoming artist.

Twin Village Taxi | 207-380-0050
Towncar accommodates up to 3 people, approximately $156 including gratuity
They also have minivans that can accommodate up to 5 people
Sterling Elite | 207-785-3100
See website for airport shuttle times.  Also offers a private, chauffeured car service.
Airport shuttle NOT including gratuity – for 1 person approx. $138, for 2 people approx. $153
Atlantic Limousine | 207-856-6400
Sedan accommodates up to 2 people, approx. $213 including gratuity
SUV accommodates 4 – 5 people, approx $250 including gratuity
Maine Limo | 207-883-0222
Sedan accommodates up to 2 people, approx. $230 including gratuity
SUV accommodates up to 5 people, approx. $275 including gratuity
Additional $20 flat fee if they need to leave the office between midnight and 6am

GUESTS

Watershed’s main campus is closed to guests and visitors except during special events.

PETS

Watershed does not allow residents to have pets; please leave them at home. Artists with registered service animals should contact us in advance of applying to make sure that Watershed can provide proper support and accommodations for them and their service animal during a residency. Watershed does not accommodate therapy animals and/or companion animals.

UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR

Watershed reserves the right to dismiss any program participant, without refund, for behavior that is unsafe or disruptive to the community. The use of illegal drugs while at Watershed is prohibited. Watershed may refuse admission to program participants with a history of unacceptable behavior.

If a participating artist is routinely and/or knowingly not complying with Watershed’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines, Watershed reserves the right to terminate their stay without refund. 

PHONE AND INTERNET

Wireless internet is available in the Commons and Windgate Studio, with a weaker signal in the residential cabins. Cell service on campus varies by provider. The office phone number is (207) 882-6075 and may be used by residents with permission. 

WHAT TO BRING

  • N95/KN95/KF94 equivalent face mask
  • Twin-size sheet set, pillowcase, and blankets
  • Towel and toiletries (e.g. soap, shampoo)
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen!
  • Sturdy, closed-toe shoes for walking the gravel road (i.e. sneakers or boots)
  • Flashlight and/or headlamp! (No streetlights = walking in pitch black darkness at night.)
  • Clothing for ALL weather (Maine can be hot AND cold, humid, windy, rainy – all in the same day!)
  • Umbrella and/or raincoat

  • Bathing suit

  • Digital images of your work
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Technology: headphones, laptop, chargers, etc
  • Respirator, safety glasses, work gloves 
  • Clay and studio tools

PERSONAL PROPERTY

Watershed is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Please speak with staff if you have valuables that you would like to keep in a secure place. 

LOCAL FACILITIES

Wiscasset and Damariscotta are both a ~10 minute drive where artists can find a variety of businesses, including a hardware store, lumber yard, discount department store, grocery store, restaurants, post office, shipping supply store, etc.