Apprenticeship Program

The Saint John’s Pottery Apprenticeship Program

The Apprenticeship Program provides formal training to post-undergraduate artists in sustainable resource development, ceramic production, and contemporary art theory. Working closely with Richard Bresnahan, apprentices take part in a learning methodology that has informed generations of artists.

From 1981 to the present, dozens of art graduates from colleges around the country received stipends funded through the Grotto and McGlynn Foundations to apprentice at the studio. The program is currently supported by Saint John’s University and individual donors who are committed to offering this unique approach to education.

The success of the Apprenticeship Program is demonstrated by the fact that all former apprentices are still involved in the creative process working with clay either in a teaching environment or in their own studios. A selection of former apprentices are highlighted in the national exhibition tour and catalogue Stoked: Five Artists of Fire and Clay.

The Saint John’s Pottery Apprenticeship Program is an immersive experience based on traditional models of generational learning. Apprentices participate in all aspects of material preparation, develop self-discipline in their training, and take part in advanced research and journaling.

The program welcomes candidates with a wide range of experience in clay, from near beginner to advanced. Apprenticeships generally last for one to three years. Apprenticeship arrangements are dependent upon availability, the specific developmental goals of the applicant, and compatibility with the mission of the studio.

When possible, interviews for apprenticeship are held during community firings of the Johanna Kiln. Studio staff and former apprentices play a key role in helping each applicant understand if a formal apprenticeship is a good match for their needs. For more information on the Apprenticeship Program, please contact The Saint John’s Pottery.