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Studio Internship Program

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Updated February, 2015

Applications are accepted at any time.

Internship to begin September 2016

Description of the Internship Program - One year studio internship residency -

The internship is for a period of one year, with the possibility for an invitation to continue for a second year. One internship is available for the 2015/16 year. An on-site interview is required if you are selected as a finalist in the application process. Internship start date is flexible.

A number of years ago I began an internship program at my studio. I saw a need to offer young potters the opportunity to work in a studio that moves between both gallery and production work. The Studio Internship Program offers a residency for two qualified potters to live and work at my studio while assisting me in my pot, sculpture and tile production studios. My purpose is to offer young clay artists just out of school the opportunity to work and grow in an non-academic environment that teaches the skills necessary to survive as a ceramic artist.

This is an intensive work internship, not a studio residency. It is also not a job. It is an immersion into what it takes to make work on a grand scale, one that incorporates numerous aspects of the ceramic field. My goals are to expose young artists to an environment where production and gallery oriented work is made under real conditions.

The life of the working artist extends beyond the studio and into the community, so it is important for the young artist to become acquainted with the economic, social and community factors that affect ones work. Interns are exposed to the choices that I must make as an artist on a daily basis, and are involved with the outcome of those choices. Since by necessity there is a close working relationship between the interns, myself and my family, each intern must become an integral part of my studio, engaged with the daily life of both studio and family. Consequently, strong people skills and a willingness to be part of something larger than self are a must.

In exchange for assisting me in both my tile and sculpture studios twenty hours per week, I offer each intern an apartment for living (shared with the other resident and located above the studio), all utilities, a semi-private studio work space, and a fully equipped ceramic studio, with wood, gas and electric kilns for firing. I also offer Individual critiques at the request of the intern..

I expect that each intern will continue to be committed to their own studio clay work, to set personal goals and to develop a body of work while in residence. This is critical for the success of each assistant and for the Internship program. To learn to balance the responsibilities of the internship and the pursuit of one's own art is core to the success of the residency. This is what one can not learn in school, and is the driving force behind the idea of the program.

The interns that I have selected over the years have all worked incredibly hard while in residency, and have shown great commitment in their desire to learn. All have left knowing a lot more than when they came. That being said, this is not a residency for everyone, as I demand a lot from those chosen which can be difficult at times. But this is part of what this residency is about. It's a reality check on the work ethic of a studio artist and the commitment needed for success.


Responsibilities of Gustin Ceramics

It It is my responsibility to offer a mentoring environment that teaches the practical and creative skills of running a studio. I work closely with the interns on a daily basis and I include them in many aspects of my work. We work together as a team and the information covering all aspects of both the tile and the sculpture studios is freely shared. My intention is to allow the interns to take on added responsibilities as their skills grow and to make use of the intern's skills in a structured studio environment. Since everyone has the opportunity to effect the outcome of what we do we are all equally invested in the work that is created.

Since It is my expectation that the interns in the program eventually want to become independent artists working in their own studio, I am looking for young artists who are energetic and possess a strong work ethic. It is expected that each intern is engaged in the artistic process and interested in learning about the ins and outs of running a studio. The interns will be working in both my sculpture and tile studios and each intern will move between the two studios depending on the time of year, exhibition schedules, tile orders, et cetera.

The tile studio offers the intern the opportunity to learn the production methodology in the manufacture of the ceramic art tile. Interns will be involved with every step in the production process which includes Ram pressing the tile, loading, unloading and firing kilns; mixing glazes, preparing tile for glazing, and glazing tile; keeping inventories, processing, packing and shipping orders,computer work, et cetera.

The sculpture studio is a working atelier, with numerous projects going on at any given time. The interns will be assisting me with all aspects of my studio/gallery work. This might include preparing clay; mixing glazes, assisting in the building and glazing of pieces; loading, unloading and firing kilns (including the preparation and firing of the anagama wood kiln which is fired in the spring and the fall of each year); building and packing crates; organization and renovation of the studio spaces as needed, the delivery of work to galleries and exhibitions, setting up shows, travel, computer work, slide organization, et cetera.

Due to the physical nature of the work, the interns must be able to handle the lifting of heavy objects and to be facile with hand and power tools. Computer skills, with knowledge of the Mac platform, is a plus.

Intern Work Responsibilities

The internship program is intended to teach specific skills, thus the remuneration that each intern receives is in the form of my teaching and mentoring, as well as their housing, utilities, internet and studio rental costs. The current cost of housing, utilities, and studio rental in the New Bedford/Dartmouth area is $1500 per month.

Each intern is responsible for 20 hours of work per week, though during times of wood kiln firings, exhibitions, and when there is a high volume of tile orders, this figure may change. An hourly wage will be paid to each intern in the event that extra work is needed, and will be payable in weekly pay cycles. It will be up to my discretion as to when each intern goes onto an hourly pay cycle.

Due to the nature of the studio, every work day offers new challenges and responsibilities. Interns will work in the tile and production studio as needed, help me in facilitating my work, fire kilns, build crates, help with shipping and delivery of work to galleries, participate in the needs of the office and gallery, and to help maintain the grounds of the studio property.

The nature of the residency is to immerse the intern into the reality of studio work, as well as the need to make a living. It is therefore critical that interns, when not working in my studios, spend their time in their studios developing their work. Therefore, it is mandatory that when the interns are not working for my needs, they are working in their own studios, which most probably will include weekends.

While a paycheck may be earned when the studio is busy, I assume that each assistant is able to cover their personal living costs while in residency. While the studio maintains a Workman's Compensation policy, personal health insurance is the responsibility of each intern. While in residency, interns should have funds planned in advance to aid in their finances prior to the start of their stay. No outside jobs will be allowed if they interfere with the needs of the studio.

Facilities

The studio building is located between Providence, RI and Cape Cod, one mile west of the village of Russells Mills in South Dartmouth, MA. It is a couple of miles from the ocean and on the west side of the Slocums River. The studio is twenty minutes from New Bedford, MA, 75 minutes from Boston, and 45 minutes from Providence, RI. The building is an 8000 square foot facility, housing the studios on the first floor and the gallery and intern apartment on the second.

Gustin Ceramics Studio Facility

The larger studio facility consists of 4800 square feet of studio space, housing the tile studio, my working pottery and sculpture studio, the interns studio and the kiln room. Kiln facilities include two large gas fired car kilns, anagama wood kiln with two separate salt/soda chambers, one large Olympic oval kiln, and two large Scutt kilns. Other equipment includes clay mixer, sand blaster, walk in spray booth, mixing equipment, tile saw, assorted power tools, and a full stock of glaze materials.

Intern Studio Work Space

I offer the intern a shared studio space totaling 450 square feet (15' x 30') located next to my sculpture studio. The Intern Studio is equipped with one Brent wheel, a Randall wheel, sink, two electric kilns, work tables and storage racks. Interns may bring other equipment if desired. It is their responsibility to supply their studios with their own clay tools, buckets, containers, etc. Each intern has full access to the equipment and kilns of the larger facility, as long as their use does not interfere with the time schedules of the ongoing projects of the studio.

Gallery and Office

My gallery and office comprise approximately 1200 square feet of the second floor of the studio building, and is located next to the Intern Apartment. The gallery is a newly renovated space, with gallery lighting, built in cabinetry, shelving and pedestals, offering ample space for exhibitions, sales and events. Work made by the interns will be shown and exhibited at various times of the year.

The office is equipped with a Mac G4 computer for studio use, high speed wireless internet, fax, scanner, slide table, and ceramic library of books and periodicals. Interns may use the office for individual projects and research on their off hours.

Intern Apartment Description

The loft apartment is directly above the studio and next to my gallery and office. The main living space includes a newly renovated kitchen, with a large living room, dining area and a bathroom. This space is heated with a wood stove. This space at times may also be used for gallery and studio events, and is therefore a more public space. The private area, which is the housing area for the interns, is comprised of two bedrooms, as well as a laundry room and bathroom. There is cable television (available at intern's expense), wireless internet (my expense), and ample closet storage.

Due to the public/private nature of the main living room setup, interns are required to keep a clean house in the public area.

Costs for Interns

As part of the philosophy behind the internship program, it is important for students leaving school to understand the real costs of making art, and to learn ways in which they may use their skills in ceramics to earn a living. Therefore, each intern is responsible for certain costs that they incur during their residency. In turn, I supply the studio space and the ceramic facility for each assistant to make work, including utilities and a first class ceramic facility.

The interns living costs (room, electric, gas and heat) are paid for by the studio. Food, telephone, and television (cable) are paid for by the interns.

Each intern is also responsible for the costs of the materials and supplies used while working in their own studio. These materials may be purchased thru the studio or separately at local suppliers. The interns are responsible for all costs that are part of their work, including, but not limited to:

  • the costs of their clay and glaze materials
  • all kiln firing costs (gas, electric, wood, support supplies)
  • packing materials
  • shipping expenses
  • any physical damage that may occur due to neglect or mishandling.

Intern studio expenses will be paid on a monthly basis.

It is assumed that each assistant will be able to cover their own studio costs while in residency, and should have the proper funds in order prior to the start of their stay.


Applications are reviewed as they come in
, and continue until the position is filled. There is no hard deadline.

Applications will be reviewed and initial phone conversations with references will take place. A prioritized list of all applicants will be finalized, and I will conduct phone interviews with the top six. Once complete, three people will be chosen for the final interviews, which will be held on site.

The final interview will consist of a two to three day visit. This visit is a requirement, with travel expenses paid for by the applicant.

To apply, please send following materials to the address below :

  • letter of intent describing why you want to be part of this program
  • a narrative detailing your ceramic skills and experience, carpentry and tool skills, kiln firing experience, and people skills (be as thorough and broad as possible, and please be honest!)
  • a listing of all office and computer skills, including proficiency you might have in computer programs in the Mac platform (Photoshop, Illustrator, Word, Apple Works, MYOB, Dreamweaver, etc.)
  • your plans for covering any extra expenses while in residence
  • resume
  • 20 slides of work consistent with the direction of work you intend to pursue while in residence (you may use CD's of images if you don't have slides)
  • three names of references that have worked with you in a supervisory role (include addresses and phone numbers).
  • e-mail address (mandatory!!-if you don't have one, get one!)
  • phone numbers and info on when and where I might reach you, best time of day to call, etc., and available dates or time periods for an on-site interview if selected as a finalist. (interviews will begin in May)
  • Self addressed stamped envelope for return of slides and application materials

Mail application materials to:

Chris Gustin
Gustin Ceramics
231 Horseneck Road
South Dartmouth, MA 02748

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