The Saint John's Pottery is a testing ground for the use of indigenous materials in the pottery process as well as a laboratory to test natural resources from throughout the region. Saint John's has received grants from the Central Minnesota Community Foundation and the Central Minnesota Arts Council to enable apprentices to research indigenous materials.
The Saint John's Pottery has received grants from the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) to conduct research into natural materials and to provide professional consulting services. NRRI supports special projects which advocate the sustainable use of natural resources in Minnesota.
The first grant, in 1989, was to test and fire samples from more than 200 clay deposit throughout the state. This testing process resulted in the discovery of many new applications for indigenous materials from rural Minnesota and the Dakotas that present extraordinary economic opportunities for these communities.
In 1996, The Saint John's Pottery received a second grant from NRRI to assist the Cortland Clay Company in developing a line of specialty clay formulations using indigenous Minnesota clay. In addition, Richard Bresnahan and The Saint John's Pottery have provided consulting services to several other clay developers and pottery programs.
The Saint John's Pottery offers research internships exclusively to CSB/SJU students. The studio works with student projects including local clay and natural glaze material development, kiln firing efficiency, and ecological design. For more information, contact the internship office and the studio regarding opportunities to intern with The Saint John's Pottery.