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Starter Studio: Ceramics



Due to ongoing implications of the coronavirus pandemic, we have taken the difficult but necessary decision not to open the Ceramic Starter Studio Programme to applications this year (for what would have been a programme start in Oct 2021).

We apologise for any inconvenience or disappointment this may cause but due to current limited staff capacity levels and ongoing uncertainty of months ahead we are not able to undertake the required recruitment process or to plan the best experience for anyone new joining the programme. In the meantime we have extended access of the studio space and kiln facilities to current makers on the programme as they have had a very disrupted experience this last year.

Please be assured that the Starter Studios remain a core and valued part of Yorkshire Artspace's creative programme, and we hope to able to open to recruitment again in 2022.

If you want to remain informed about our Starter Studio programme and other Yorkshire Artspace news and events then please sign up to our mailing list (via our website) and/or follow us on social media.


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:

Funders and supporters

Further reading

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