- Requires creativity, and the ability to communicate ideas through sketches or computer images
- With experience, become a senior designer
- Option to go freelance or set up your own business
Ceramics designers create designs for a range of pottery objects that are then made by shaping and firing clay
In large companies, you'll:
- Create designs for mass production, taking into account trends and industry innovations
- Interpret customer requirements ('briefs')
- Work closely with clients and other production staff
- Design items using materials including bone china, hard porcelain, earthenware and stoneware
- Manage the production process and check quality
As a self-employed designer-maker, you may:
- Design and produce one-off designs
- Create items by hand using a mould or a potter's wheel
- Use hand tools to prepare the clay
- Apply chemical glazes and clay 'slips' to pots to add colour and texture
- Prepare your pots for firing in a kiln and marketing and admin tasks for running a business
You could work in a creative studio, in a factory or workshop, or from home if you have a suitable space and equipment.
If you are working for an employer, you are likely to have regular working hours; self-employed ceramicists often choose their own working hours but may need to work according to client demand and project deadlines.
This role is ideal for someone with creativity, and the ability to communicate ideas through sketches or computer images.
You'll usually do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like Visual Arts, 3D Design and Craft, Ceramics or Fine Art. To do this you'll usually need a foundation studies diploma in art and design, 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma, or 2 to 3 A levels for a degree.
You could also do a Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design at college. You'll need to check that the course covers ceramics or pottery before you start.
Alternatively, you could start as a design studio assistant and specialise in ceramics through workshops and training on the job.
It would also be useful to attend workshops and training courses offered by ceramic artists and design studios. These can help you to develop your skills and make contacts in the industry, which could lead to work. Courses vary in length and are often open to all abilities.
You'll need to put together a portfolio of work that you can show to potential employers and course providers. You can also develop your own blog and website or use social media to market yourself as a designer and get your work recognised.
With experience you could become a senior designer, or you could go freelance or set up your own business. Some ceramicists also work in schools or colleges, either as a teacher or a technician.