shankin pottery


I would like to welcome Charlotte Middleton as my next apprentice
Beginning November 1, 2019.

Every 2 years there is an opportunity for a new assistant/apprentice to begin work in the studio.  In the summer of 2019 the space will be available for a new apprentice to begin.  If this interests you please contact me.

apprentice space

I am looking for someone who is seriously considering life as a potter, who already has a good base of experience with throwing and ceramic materials, and who is wanting the opportunity to immerse themselves in clay and discover the rhythms and demands of studio life. 

(Photo of the apprentice studio space)

After 40 years of making a living as a studio potter I am interested in sharing my knowledge and experience with someone ready to benefit from it.  This encompasses thoughts about form, technical help, access to equipment, and a range of skills and practices necessary to embark on making a living from your work. 

When I was young I was an apprentice to a potter in Vermont. Surrounding myself with the reality of studio life made me know, in my bones, that it was possible. I learned way more from Bonnie Dallinger than throwing techniques. I saw how to raise children and be a potter, how to cope with the financial uncertainties, and how to be disciplined with my time.

I see this 2 year position as a testing ground for a new potter to see the rigors and rewards of this life first hand and come to know if it might be a good fit for you or not.  This kind of knowledge is not gained theoretically.  It will come from jumping in. That means that you would begin to sell your work locally and develop ways to present yourself to an audience whether it is people in the community, on line, or in gallery settings.

The apprenticeship is not a paid position. There is no housing included. The arrangement is based on an exchange of services. It involves 12 hours of work each week from an assistant helping me with a variety of studio tasks (none of which include making my pieces). 

In exchange for that time working for me, I would offer a studio space of your own, full access to my range of knowledge, guidance, and all aspects of the working studio including use of electric kilns for bisque and a high fire gas kiln.


        For a very detailed description of the position please write to:

                               Ellen Shankin: