Apply to the Summer 2024 Residency at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts

Watershed’s summer residency sessions offer artists uninterrupted time to focus on their practices in our state-of-the-art ceramics studio. During a session, up to sixteen artists form a creative community while living and working on campus. Participants enjoy 24-hour studio access, comfortable accommodations, and delicious meals.


photo courtesy: Watershed Center for Ceramic Art

Enclosed by lush, densely rich Maine forests and the Sheepscot River lining the serene campus, the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts offers an idyllic escape from everyday busyness—an ideal haven for artists to focus on creating works and cultivating a stronger, more intimate creative relationship with themselves and others.

In Henry Miller’s Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch, the author elaborates on the significance of quietude and departure from "the senseless grind which daily threatens to annihilate all incentive." Miller contends that 'the immature artist seldom thrives in idyllic surroundings," emphasizing that it's the "mature artist who feels the need to break with the clique surrounding [them]."

In this vein, Watershed epitomizes the ideal landscape for an artist to mature: The rural land by the coastline transports you into a tranquil realm sans distractions, and the campus is infused with an infectious energy of wild and imaginative exploration. Offering ample studio space, state-of-the-art facilities, networking opportunities, and non-hierarchical communal support, the residency forces artists—whether born in the early aughts or the previous century—to confront their creative selves, overcome blocks and boundaries, and contemplate their artistic intentions.

“It [has] been two weeks that passed like two hours. Pure bliss, a constant smile, and green views that seep deep into my bones. I am truly grateful for this gift I received. I feel like this time apart from my studio, from my family and friends, and my country  […] gave me the opportunity to focus all my energy and my creativity only on clay!”

- Shay Gerassy, 2023 Resident

Watershed is ideally situated close to many of the attractions that make Maine “Vacationland”.
The campus has many wooded walking trails filled with ceramic sculptures left by past Watershed artists, creating an ever-changing sculpture trail.

Watershed's new Windgate studio has 7,500 square feet of space with abundant windows for beautiful views and natural light.

Watershed’s studio has recently undergone incredible renovations. The decrepit barn that once acted as the studio space has transformed into a modern and sophisticated 7,500-square-foot building. The Windgate Studio—lit by overhead LED and natural sunlight seeping through the rows of windows—is equipped with electric and kick wheels, a variety of standard ceramic equipment (e.g., slab-rollers, mixers, pug mill, wheels, extruder, and dry box); a large glaze room with ventilated workspace; a floor-to-ceiling spray booth; a dedicated plaster room; and a clay mixing space, galley kitchenette, and a seating area—the ceramicist’s dream studio.

The campus also offers firing facilities, including a wide range of electric, gas, and wood kilns, and a wood and metal shop available for use (permission required in advance). Residents enjoy 24-hour studio access, accommodating the artists’ creative flow and promoting art-making at any time of the day.

Residents select from a large inventory of dry materials in the well-ventilated glaze room.
2023 Residents in Studio
It houses two wood kilns, two gas kilns, a soda kiln and multiple electric kilns.
Many sessions involve group firings organized by session participants.

"I had never been with so many other ceramicists all at once! It was such a special experience to all have that in common. I loved that there was such an age range and we were all at different points in our ceramic careers/journeys. There wasn't ever any judgment of where we were at in our creative process or what we spent our time doing at the residency."

- Adriana Lemus, 2023 Resident


Watershed’s unique self-directed residency program is divided into six two-week sessions, which are centered around a specific theme, directed by an organizer, and anchored by established artists. The sessions are designed to stimulate intellectual discussions and provide a safe space for artists to explore ideas, techniques, and processes, and build long-lasting friendships with participating residents. For more details about the sessions, click here.

Tasha Lewis, organizer of Session 2: Digital Clay, expresses her excitement about the opportunity to share research and learn from other artists. She describes the unique structure of the residency as the optimal space for exploration:

"[It] is so much deeper and messier than a conference presentation or Instagram story, and my hope for this particular residency is that every participant will have the opportunity to act as both a teacher and a student and benefit from the in-person co-mingling of our individual studio practices.

Also, I think even in the world of computer-aided ceramic design, there can be specializations that may not overlap. For example, some of the artists I am bringing together are experts in 3D printed clay and others in slip-casting digitally fabricated originals; collaborating across those areas of expertise is what most excites me about this opportunity."

Trisha Kyner, the organizer of Session 4: Beautiful Community and resident alumni of Watershed, shares a similar sentiment to Lewis. She prioritizes sharing and communal support while navigating new models of mentorship, honoring history and memory with the common thread of accessibility, social practice, and community building:

"We want to take this time to make work, acknowledging that those of us who are artist/teachers or artist/community workers need time to focus on work and bounce ideas off others in the field. We are a multi-generational group that includes immigrants, indigenous, Black American, and first generation college voices. Throughout the session we will discuss the themes that animate our art and inspire our teaching. A common thread in many of our practices is polyvocality: the desire to communicate more than one thing, including multiple aspects of being and responsibility."

2023 Summer Residents
2023 Summer Residents

"The highlight of my experience was 100% the people. We had an incredible group of artists that really bonded quite quickly. I also got to tackle some ideas that have been filtering around in my brain that would have taken a bit of time to get to in my own studio practice."

- Katie Coughlin, 2023 Resident

Watershed is renowned not only for its state-of-the-art facilities and intellectually invigorating sessions but also for its meals, all meticulously prepared by the Watershed kitchen and sourced from local organic farms. Healthy, seasonal, and delicious meals are impeccably cooked and served to residents three times a day from Monday through Friday. On Saturdays, the kitchen is closed, and on Sundays, residents enjoy brunch and dinner.

For those with dietary restrictions, the Watershed kitchen can prepare vegetarian and gluten-free meals with advance notice.

Artists occassionally organize outdoor banquets
Exchange handmade tableware after the meal

Various scholarships are available to subsidize Watershed’s residency fees (including room and board charges). All applicants are eligible to apply for the Kiln God Awards, and full scholarships are specifically available for artists of color, international and multi-cultural artists, underrepresented populations in the ceramic field, artists whose work addresses political, social, cultural, or environmental issues, and emerging artists. Watershed also provides a work exchange opportunity. Click here for more information about residency fees and scholarships.

Judith Schwartz, the President of MoCA/NY, past President of Watershed, and the honoree of the 2021 Watershed Legend Award, made it her mission to provide scholarships at Watershed: one award that supports artists whose work is unconventional and another to support diversity and international exchange.

"I am proud to be associated with this special environment where creativity, experimentation, and love for clay abounds and is collectively shared."

- Judith S. Schwartz

2023 Summer Residents in the Windgate Studio
2023 Summer Residents in the Windgate Studio

Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts
103 Cochran Road, Edgecomb, ME 04556   

For more information about Watershed's 2024 Summer Residency, click here.    

See Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts and other ceramic destinations in Maine on our Ceramic World Destinations Map!

Peter Lane



The team starts at 10 AM. A group of eight artists lay stoneware clay on the concrete floor of the sun-bathed Bushwick studio in Brooklyn, New York. The air is fragrant with freshly sliced cilantro and simmering veggies in a stewy base of yellow lentils. The sound of the team chatting and laughing and Björk quavering from the speakers echoes throughout the 10,000-square-foot space. 

Peter Lane comes out of his office—he’s wearing a black hoodie, blue jeans, and sneakers all layered with a veil of clay dust. His inviting blue eyes greet me as he takes my coat and introduces me to everyone on his team. “This is Tracy, the chef, and a painter. River has worked here for three years, Trevor and Derek for six…” 

Like a symphonic ritual, the team knows their places and cues—kneeling on foam pieces and wooden rolling plinths—massaging, stepping, slapping, and kneading the clay in harmony. As the conductor, Peter walks around, directing, listening, and tracing the clay with a stick.

Peter gives me a tour: In the front of the studio, there’s an open space for the production of his large wall installations. Mementos of the past, including tiles from his Hôtel de Crillon project in Paris, are displayed everywhere like a gallery. Cardboard crates are filled with plastic-wrapped clay; tables are piled with test glazes and drying clay; shelves are crowded with ceramics by artists including those created by his team; and on a clean surface, there’s a stack of his recently published monograph Peter Lane: Clay.


Peter is generous with his profuse compliments of his team (many of whom are resident artists) and their work: he speaks excitedly about Trevor King’s whimsical structures, which are displayed by the entrance of the studio, and in the back, he shows me Derek Weisberg’s figurative and painterly sculptures sitting opposite River Valadez’s tables.


The team works on multiple projects simultaneously—five presently. The big project that began today is a wall piece for the new Four Seasons Hotel in London which was formally the American Embassy. “It didn’t take long until the security needs of the American Embassy needed to be stronger. Now there’s a beautiful building that’s turned into an inviting palatial use. It's going to be very fantastic.” 

He continues, “I heard about the [American] Embassy project five years ago and reached out to people.” But it wasn’t until he heard from Chahan Minassian, a designer he frequently collaborates with, that he started sketching out the plans. “Chahan is the designer of the restaurant. He’s a big supporter of my work and I’m very appreciative. We’re a natural pairing.” The piece will be installed in the PavYllon Restaurant of the new Four Seasons which is set to open on June 1st.


Lunch is at 1 PM. The team circles around like a flock of famished pigeons, peaking their beaks, inquiring about the menu, and helping set the table. Today, Tracy prepared a kale salad, curry, rice, and a loaf of pumpernickel bread enough to feed a dozen people. The artists from the adjoined studio also come in. The conversations revolve around the kiln firing schedule and what they did over the weekend.

After lunch, the team continues working. The sizable clay slab is now unrecognizable with carved details and ruled blue lines indicating where the clay will be sliced. Shizue Imai, a ceramicist and long friend of Peter’s hands me a cup of green tea as we speak about her relationship with Peter.“I met Peter at the Greenwich House Pottery twenty years ago. He was an assistant and the next semester he was the sub-teacher and I took his class. Long time ago, long, long time ago…like twenty years ago. I was so impressed because he’s working seven days a week. Everyday. Work, work, work.”Peter fondly recounts his time at the Greenwich House Pottery, “I was lucky early on when I was a student in Greenwich House [Pottery] because I had friends who were interior designers and architects. I was making this birch bar texture and a friend asked me if I could make a pair of lamps. And I thought that’s so corny and stupid—why would I make lamps? And then he said ‘how about 300 dollars each,’ which was more than my rent at that time so I was like ‘yeah, sure.’”Peter accounts his success and longevity to his art being integrated with design: “The study of art is divorced from making a living. So my art practice is tied to interior design or architecture as opposed to an abstraction. The collectible stratus is much smaller than of interior design and there seems to be no end to the desire for lamps.” The desire for lamps is certainly abundant as Peter’s studio is filled with bases including 60 lamps commissioned by Dior that will be sent to each flagship store.


Peter stands in front of a wooden board with clay balls. He rolls the balls and slices them into halves, creating angular flowers that will be attached to the wall installation. River wheels in a table freshly out of the kiln. The team surrounds the piece. Peter wonders whether the table needs another coat of glaze as it came out darker than desired. “There’s humility with ceramics…” I note as Peter shows me another piece that needed to be recreated due to firing issues. “Well, ceramics is humiliating because it breaks and blows up, and you have to start all over again. It doesn’t always come out as you want it to and the material really guides you—you only have a certain amount of control. It’s the natural physical nature of the materials that will make you humble.”

Peter’s affinity and reverence for clay exceed beyond the material itself and into the clay community: “The openness of ceramic and ceramic culture is a very fantastic aspect of ceramic culture in America. After the Second World War, ceramic culture was built from community centers, not universities. As a result, it’s very open and generous, and free.”

Openness, generosity, and humility are also characteristics of the environment in his studio—a high contrast from other artist studios that have been described as factories or toxic or even abusive workspaces, where the ego of an artist overrides the wellness of his mentees.

“I have eight people who have done it for years. I’ve done this by myself with just one or two people doing it. I learned my lesson. It’s much easier to do it with a big group, and it’s more fun, and no one gets tired. No one gets sick of it. We get to see the results boom just like that. It’s much more enjoyable.”

“I’m so grateful to have a team who are more talented than me, younger, more beautiful. I’m just this old crust, so lucky me. Let’s keep the ball rolling.”

To explore and learn more about Peter Lane, CLICK HERE.