The goal of the Pottery Studio is to educate students and artists in the philosophy and practices of sustainable resource development, to involve them in a totally indigenous artistic environment in an academic setting and to assist local communities with the sustainable development of indigenous resources. Saint John's Pottery operates a variety of programs to achieve these goals including: the Apprenticeship Program for undergraduate and post-graduate art students; the Visiting Artist Program for emerging artists; and research and consulting services for local communities seeking to use indigenous natural resources for economic and community development.
The largest wood burning kiln in the United States was dedicated on October 12, 1994. Located across the road from the Pottery Studio, the new kiln is unique in size, design and function. Composed of three chambers, the kiln is 87 feet long, 6 feet 8 inches high, 6 feet wide and has a capacity of 1,600 cubic feet.
The Pottery Studio has been directed by Richard Bresnahan, a 1976 graduate of Saint John's University, since 1979. The artist in residence at Saint John's and the College of Saint Benedict, Bresnahan spent four years studying with Nakazato Takashi Pottery in Japan, whereupon he was declared a master potter.