Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CHOOSING A CAREER / SEP. 03, 2014
version 3, draft 3

How to Become a Ceramics Designer-Maker in the US

What once was simply just a hobby has now turned into a major business opportunity for many people all over the world. The job of a ceramics designer-maker is to create a wide variety of clay products, such as tableware, decorative items and seasonal gifts. A creative mind is the key to success in this field.

What Do Ceramics Designer-Makers Do?

Aside from just working with your hands, ceramics designer-makers need to have sketching skills, proficiency in an array of computer software and experience in 3D design and other ceramic design programs.

Their responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Design and produce one-off designs (self-employed) or for mass production (company).
  • Construct product requirements, sketches and suggestions from clients and managers.
  • Create products using various materials, such as stoneware, bone china and hard porcelain.
  • Produce items by hand or by using a mould or a traditional potter’s wheel.
  • Monitor and oversee production of ceramics designs, items and products.
  • Engage with clients and other staff members to sell products and designs.
  • Sell selection of goods directly from studio, art gallery, shop, kiosk or website.
  • Insert data into database of clients, key in costs and create invoices for customers.
  • Attend trade fairs and exhibitions to understand the evolving industry and technologies.
  • Participate in trade shows, either as a visitor or kiosk operator, to network.

Salary & Hours

Source: My Majors

Median Hourly Wage

Median Annual Salary

United States

$29.75

$61,890

The hours vary depending upon your employment. If you’re a full-time employee at a firm then you will work on average 40 hours per week – there may be additional hours if you have to meet deadlines. If you’re self-employed or a freelancer then your hours will be based on how much work you may have.

Skills

The position of a ceramics designer-maker will require these professionals to have the following skills:

  • Astute on the wide variety of properties of materials and technologies used.
  • Very strong creative mind and an ability to produce the ideas in your mind’s eye.
  • Intense understanding of the different colors and shapes to utilize for design.
  • Excellent communication and negotiation (self-employed) capabilities.
  • Superb research and evaluation skills to peruse design information and prospects.

Qualifications

In order to be a professional ceramics designer-maker, whether as a business owner or a full-time employee, you’ll need extensive accreditation in 3D design, ceramics and ceramic design as well as practical skills relating to creative design. Also, a large amount of work experience can place you above the vast abundance of competition.

To be considered by clients or by private firms, it is important to establish a portfolio – both on paper and on a blog/website – to showcase your work. This can give prospective clients or companies an idea of your work.

Career Prospects

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in the arts and crafts industry, which consists of ceramics designing and making, is only projected to grow by a minuscule three percent from the years 2012 to 2022. This is a lot slower than the national average of overall occupations. With a weak economy, consumers are less likely to purchase artistic items.

It takes immense dedication, a detailed eye and organization to become a professional and seasoned ceramics designer-maker. Although the potential for career advancement in this field is rather bleak, it does provide a lot of excitement for the artistic mind and spirit. Perhaps hard work, persistence and a little bit of luck can help you excel in this passion.

 

Photo by Flavio via Flickr.

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