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Turning Earth Graduate Mentor Application


Turning Earth is recruiting final year ceramics students and recent graduates for its voluntary studio mentor programme.

Mentors provide regular on the floor technical support to members and enhance the community, in return gaining development opportunities in ceramics as well as the resources they need to work on their own projects.

The role offers 15 hours a week membership (with a surcharge to cover the cost of firing) for final year students and recent graduates of ceramics programmes (and graduates of arts programmes that have focused on ceramics) who can offer 4 hours a week as a mentor. These hours are flexible; mentors choose a slot from the rota for each week and complete their hours to unlock 15 hours personal time.

Clay projects undertaken on behalf of the studio will be tailored as far as possible to the interest of the graduate (for example glaze tests for those interested in glazing, throwing tasks for those wanting to develop as a thrower, tile making for those wanting to develop their flatware skills.)  The opportunity to shadow our technicians will also benefit those wishing to develop studio management skills.

Job description

The primary role for Mentors in the studio is to support the community, providing a familiar face and a visible point of engagement, providing a friendly focus for discussion and opportunities for questions and advice. For four hours a week, Mentors will be present in the main studio area as part of their role , whilst working on ceramic projects to enhance the members studio (for example, making test tiles, wall tiles, planters, even bathroom sinks!) and simultaneously being obviously available as a point of contact to members and visitors (a mentor apron will be provided).

The key responsibility is to generate a warm, accessible working environment for members and foment a rich learning atmosphere and community spirit without pressing upon those who prefer privacy while in the studio.

The role offers the opportunity for full membership including up to 15 hours per week of  studio use - outside the agreed mentoring hours -  for personal projects, with only firing to be charged. Personal time however should still allow a certain amount of interfacing as an accessible persona representing the studio.  

Personal attributes

This role requires strong interpersonal skills, an authentic interest in supporting the development of others,  the ability to put people at ease, willingness to engage in conversations with strangers, and the confidence to facilitate small discussion groups. Applicants should have technical ceramics expertise to share, or at the least have theoretical knowledge relevant for studio members (such as a knowledge of ceramic history or portfolio development). Applicants should be committed to their own development and be a self-learner/self-starter to take advantage of the many informal learning experiences available in the studio.

Further aspects to the role will include:
Participating in member inductions, or carrying them out in full.
Ensuring cleaning policies and other studio rules are adhered to.
Undergoing training in community building.

Participating in and being part of a rota to moderate the Turning Earth Facebook group and the dedicated members' Whatsapp channel

Participating in and organising peer-learning groups

Participating in member social activities

Selling clay to members when staff members are busy.

Other details:

Firing is charged at £5 liter for glaze, bisque firing up to 40L is included.

Weekly mentoring shifts are: 6-10pm Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, 4-8 Friday, 10-2pm or 4 -8pm Saturday and Sunday, these are flexible but must be booked and undertaken before your personal time for the week is unlocked.

Requirements for application:

Be in the final year of, or within 3 years of graduating from any relevant programme. Relevant programmes include ceramics courses anywhere in the world. Graduates from related programmes who have experience in ceramics or who have taken ceramics as an element of another course will also be considered.

Less recent ceramics graduates on means tested benefits looking for a way back into the industry are also invited to apply.

The due date for application for this recruitment round is 28th February, although applicants who are available to start sooner are encouraged to apply at the earliest opportunity.

Apply here

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