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Grants for Apprenticeships



2024 Application

The 2024 Grants for Apprenticeship application will open on August 1st 2024 and the deadline to apply is August 31st 2024. Grant recipients will be informed in September 2024 and the grant cycle will begin in January of 2025 and will conclude in December of 2025. Please note that this is a different schedule then previous grant cycles.  

All applications must be submitted jointly by both the apprentice and mentor. To prepare, you can view an application preview here: Application Preview PDF. Please contact if you have any questions. 

2023 Application 

Applications now closed. The final deadline was June 1st, 2023. 

To prepare, you can view an application preview here: Application Preview PDF

The 2023 Grants for Appreticeships Applications dates are as follows:

  • May 1st: Applications officially open via Slideroom
  • May 10th: Optional Reviews of Applications Deadline. Submit your application by this date to recieve feedback from us and a chance to make changes and resubmit before the June 1st final deadline 
  • June 1st: Deadline to Submit Applications
  • July 1st: Notification of Awards
  • August 1st: Earliest possible start date for the Apprenticeship

Grant Program Mission

Established in 2019 and funded by an anonymous donor, Studio Potter’s Grants for Apprenticeships Program supports emerging artists who want to become full-time studio potters and mentor-potters who wish to take on apprentices. This grant program honors the mission of Studio Potter and the legacy of its founder, Gerry Williams, by fostering individual careers in studio pottery, contributing to the life and future of ceramics, ensuring the continuity of a centuries-old tradition in non-academic education.

Studio Potter strongly affirms its commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusiveness. The Grants for Apprenticeships Program is committed to supporting the development of BIPOC artists and increasing their presence in studio pottery. Applicants from all races, genders, identities, ethnicities, and religions are encouraged to apply.

Studio Apprenticeship Defined

Apprenticeship is a studio-based, hands-on educational model that offers entry into a community of practice through the direct transmission of skills, attitudes and a mode of living. The goal of apprenticeship is to learn and understand the practical, administrative, and creative work of running a professional ceramics studio. 

Apprenticeship is person-to-person, mentor-to-student training that emphasizes hands-on work and experiential immersion. Apprentices learn by participating in the daily life of their mentor, learning their skills, and experiencing  their values as makers. Apprenticeships preserve cultural heritage and promote the professional advancement of studio potters. 

Apprentices learn by doing. The bulk of their work is focused on the daily tasks of maintaining a pottery studio - cleaning, mixing clay and glazes, loading and firing kilns. Apprentices work side-by-side with their mentor, learning the methodology through direct observation and practice.  Most apprenticeships are a deeply individual experience, and each is tailored to meet the specific needs of the mentor, the skills of the apprentice, and the demands of the studio. 

Apprenticeship is:

  • Immersion in a living practice
  • Supporting the apprentice’s creative and technical development
  • Willingness to open one’s life to another person

Apprenticeship is NOT:

  • A workshop or a series of classes taken by an apprentice
  • A residency
  • An assistantship or job (an apprentice can be paid for their labor, but an apprenitceship is a deeper experience)

Application Information

The Grants for Apprenticeships Program offers annual grants of up to $15,000 to support apprenticeships in studio pottery. Arrangements for the apprenticeship should be in place at the time of application and apprentices and their mentor-potters apply jointly in one application. 

Eligibility and Requirements:

  • Apprenticeships are required to be in-person except in special cases. In-person collaborative work is at the heart of a successful apprenticeship. If your circumstances do not allow you to work in the same space, please contact us to discuss your needs least 3 weeks prior to the application deadline. 
  • The apprenticeship must take place in the USA. Mentors and apprentices must be legally able to work and earn income in the USA.
  • Apprentices cannot be enrolled in any institution of higher learning during their proposed apprenticeship period.
  • Grants are for a 1 year apprenticeship. Shorter or longer periods will not be considered. Apprenticeship start date must be within 8 months of August 1st 2023. 
  • Grants are given for exactly $15,000. Budgets should reflect spending for exactly $15,000. 
  • A typical team is one mentor and one apprentice. We will consider applications with up to two mentors if they are working collaboratively in the same studio, and up to two apprentices if they are working in the same studio and on the same timeline. The grant amount does not change based on the number of participants.
  • The studio space where the apprenticeship will be conducted must have liability insurance that covers the mentor and apprentice, and the mentor must provide a copy of the policy if they recieve the grant.
  • GAP grants are only for individuals. Applicants should apply under their own name, not a business or organizational name. Organizations cannot apply.  
  • Grants are not transferable. Only the mentor and apprentice who applied may receive the grant. In the event a mentor or apprentice is not able to participate in the apprenticeship or choose to end the apprenticeship early, the grant is not transferable to a different apprentice or mentor and will be forfeited. 

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Grants for Apprenticeships program offers one grant of up to $15,000 per application.
  • Applications are submitted by the mentor/apprentice team jointly. You must have a mentor or apprentice as a partner at the time of application and should write you application as a team. Studio Potter cannot assist in locating a potential mentor or apprentice. 
  • Grant monies can be used to help meet the legitimate needs of the mentor and/or apprentice in carrying out the apprenticeship. Expenses such as moving costs, wages for the apprentice, housing, and capital improvements are eligible for funding. Both the mentor and the apprentice can recieve funds from the grant. A strong application has a budget that reflects the situation and needs of both people to carry out a sucessful apprenticeship. To make it simple: write a budget to cover what you need to make your apprenticeship sucessful. 1-2 senteces of context are appropriate to include on a budget if needed.
  • Studio Potter cares deeply about people and apprenticeship. Applications that consider the liabilities, responsibilities, necessities, and possibilities of apprenticeship will be favored
  • Studio Potter does not provide a curriculum or recommended structure. This is a part of the application, and it is expected that the mentor and apprentice will collaboratively write their own plan for the year. (This is a part of the application, in the "formal proposal" section). A strong application includes a detailed and realistic plan for the apprenticeship that balance ambitious goals with realistic expectations to create a sucessful outcome.

More Background

The Grants for Apprenticeships Program is inspired, in part, by the dedication of Studio Potter’s founder, Gerry Williams, to supporting mentorship and hands-on learning throughout his life. Indeed, the very first issue of Studio Potter, published in 1972, featured content related to apprenticeships and included ads for apprentices and apprenticeships. In the nearly five decades of issues since then, Studio Potter has published numerous articles on apprenticeship, and, in 1981, it published the book Apprenticeship in Craft, edited by Williams. This book, a testament to Williams’s passion and advocacy, is available as a free download here.

Questions? Email

2019 Recipients

2020 Recipients

2021 Recipients

2022 Recipients

2023 Recipients


Watch the DISCUSSION with our 2019 GAP recipients.