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Starter Studio: Ceramics


To foster new talent and support early career artists, Yorkshire Artspace runs two Starter Studio Programmes in Sheffield: one for Designer Silversmiths & Jewellers and one for Ceramicists.

Designed to help ambitious and entrepreneurial artists at an early career stage to develop their skills and creative enterprises in a supportive environment, the programmes offer access to shared workspace and equipment, technical and mentor support, business advice and occasional commission and exhibition opportunities.

The Starter Studio Programme for Ceramicists is delivered from one of Yorkshire Artspace's large city centre studio complexes. If you work with clay, want to join a thriving creative community and are looking to further your skills and professional practice then this may well be the opportunity you are looking for.

Key Features of the 2 year Programme include:

  • 24/7 365 day access to equipped shared studio space (cost £125 per month inclusive of heat/power plus 1 month bond repayable on leaving the programme)
  • Access to technical and mentor support
  • Face to face business advice and support
  • Bursary to undertake online professional development training via The Design Trust
  • 'All Fired Up' Ceramic Commission/exhibition opportunity
  • Studio presence at shows & fairs (recent examples include Earth & Fire, GNCCF & Sheffield Ceramics Festival)
  • Receive a 20% discount on regular studio rental for 2 years from completion of the programme (subject to studio availability)

The Starter Studio mentors are all experienced, nationally known ceramicists, including Penny Withers, Hanne Westergaard, Pottery West, Emilie Taylor, Sarah Villeneau and Brian Holland.

Sheffield is a geat place to live and start your new creative entreprise. It is a friendly and lively city with a population of approx. 700,000. Located on the boundary of the stunning Peak District National Park, Sheffield has great transport links (approx. 2 hours to London and approx 1 hour to Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham and Leeds by train). It is claimed that Sheffield has more artists than any other city in England apart from London and this is reflected in the number of studio groups in the city and a lively cultural scene. Sheffield is a great place to get your creative career started and we are happy to help you find your way around if you are new to the city. Visit Our Favourite Places for more info.

The programme receives support via: Arts Council England with specific support for the All Fired Up annual ceramic commission coming via a partnership between Yorkshire Artspace and South Yorkshire Housing Association and Museums Sheffield with materials sponsorship via Potclays Ltd.

Interview with Rebecca Brown and Bethany Stafford (filmed by Becky Heath)

"This programme has been wonderful for me so far. If I look back a year when I worked from a garage in my hometown in Wales, trying to develop new work in freezing conditions with no support whatsoever, I wouldn't have been able to imagine how quickly things can turn round with the right conditions and the best business and mentor support I could have wished for.

I'll soon be showing my new work at The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair; my confidence has greatly improved, my knowledge of the sector has increased and I have tons of ideas to get going on with. One of the best decisions made in the last year!"

- A beneficiary of Starter Studio programme

Current Starter Studio holders:

Former Starter Studio holders:


To apply for the 2020-2022 programme (starting early Oct 2020), please complete the application form below and supply optional additional information (CV, publicity material, artist statement) to Rachael Dodd, Programme Manager:

We welcome you to visit our facilities before submitting an application. To arrange a visit or for any queries, contact Rachael on 0114 2130111 or via email at

Funders and supporters

Further reading