Independent Study & Mentoring Program

IS/M Program Faculty • FAQs • 2018 Masters Series Workshop Schedule

The Village Potters Independent Study & Mentoring Program (ISM Program) offers a directed mentorship program for the developing potter, as well as, the serious hobby artist who wants to refine his or her skills. The ISM Program is specifically designed to offer a non-traditional/relational experience to help the emerging potter or seasoned potters hone skills, develop new skills, and if desired, make the move into a career in clay with a thorough understanding of what it take to run a creative business.

the village potters, asheville, nc, pottery, ceramics, handbuilding, independent study and mentoring

The ISM program may be right for you if you are an emerging potter, or if you have been working with clay for years but wish to explore new avenues in your work. The ISM program allows potters to have regular access to a studio (7 days a week), community with other potters, opportunities to explore multiple firing techniques, mentorship and tuition from professional and teaching ceramic artists, and periodic exhibition opportunities. We believe that in two years a potter can hone their skills and develop a unique body of work that will equip them to launch into even more creative clay pursuits. This program, like all things at The Village, is designed to be highly relational, and in many ways custom to the goals of each ISM student. Whether you plan to be a professional potter or a part time creative, this program will afford you the opportunity to go as far as you wish in clay. Our non-traditional ISM program makes it possible for emerging potters with other jobs, families, and other unique circumstances to live out their artistic dreams.

ISMers Throwing

The ISM Program includes a fully equipped pottery studio with pottery wheels, slab roller, bisque kilns, personal shelving, extruder, oxidation kilns, gas kiln, raku kiln, and access to our newest kiln, the Kazegama wood ash kiln. Students will have access to the studio Monday – Sunday, and in addition to paying a monthly studio rent, students must provide all of their own personal tools and bats. Students will also provide their own clay, from a list of Laguna clays that we keep in stock, and will pay for their firings.

Kazegama KilnFiring the Kazegama Kiln

Firing techniques include cone 04 oxidation, cone 7 oxidation, cone 10 reduction/gas, raku firings and a wood-ash influenced kiln. There are community firings scheduled (Kazegama and Raku) where students are invited to fully participate from loading kilns, to firing, to unloading and assessing the firing and the pots. Other firings can be reserved by individual students after specific studio/kiln training has occurred, and students may also have access to the glaze mixing kitchen after proper training in that area.

the village potters, asheville, nc, pottery, ceramics, independent study and mentoring, mentorsTVP Mentors Lori Theriault, Sarah Wells Rolland, and Judi Harwood

30-60 minute demonstrations are offered by mentors on a monthly basis, and the ISM Program tuition also includes automatic registration to The Village Potters’ Master Series workshops that occur every two months throughout the year. The Master Series Workshop program is open to the public, and The Village Potters invites a dynamic potter/ceramic artist that is an expert in a specific area of clay to teach for a Saturday.  Most Master Series topics range from advanced technique to business planning for the artist.

Each participant will have a rotation of mentors every 3 months. The ISM program also offers 1 hour Lunch & Learns every 2 months where a specific arts business topic is presented.

ISM Meeting

ISM Group Discussion and Critique

Enrolled ISM students will receive a 20% discount on other Village Potter Teaching Center opportunities such as weekly classes.

To request more information about the ISM program and how to apply please contact: or call us (828) 253-2424.

Deadline to apply is Friday, August 10th for November 1st, 2018 entry into the program.