Ceramic designers create and produce designs for pottery, tiles and kitchen, home and garden ware. Items may be handmade in a studio where designers may be self-employed or work with small teams of designers or work as part of larger teams to mass produce product ranges, often working with suppliers and clients in different countries, to make and sell products to be sold through retailers.
Ceramic designers have strong creative and design skills and may use technology to develop new concepts, often to private or commercial client requirements, known as a brief. Additionally, studio equipment such as potters wheels and moulds are used to create clay based samples and products and paints, slips and glazes are used for designs, which are then fired in kilns. Overseeing large scale factory based production processes may be required for mass produced products.
Duties may include:
- creating new designs and ranges using drawings, samples or technology such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
- work with clients to discuss their requirements and budgets
- researching trends and analyse competitors
- sourcing and working with suppliers and retailers
- working to project deadlines.
Personal Qualities and Skills
Key skills for ceramics designers
- creative, with ability to interpret ideas
- strong design skills and attention to detail
- excellent IT skills, including Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
- customer focused
- commercial awareness, good understanding of the industry and competitors
- good team player
- ability to communicate confidently and effectively
- highly organised, with the ability to manage deadlines and costs
- languages may be useful for job roles requiring international travel
Pay And Opportunities
Typical employers of ceramics designers
- design studios and galleries
- pottery manufacturers
- independent and large retailers
- colleges and universities.
England and Wales
Qualifications and training provided
Creative skills are essential. Apprenticeships may be offered by studios, manufacturers and retailers.
Level 2 or 3 courses and/ or foundation/ degree/ masters in art and design based subjects, textiles, may be required for some job roles. Strong design software skills, especially in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are required for ceramic technician job roles.
In Scotland most people will have a qualification in Art & Design. 2 Highers including Art & Design are required for HNC/HND courses as well as a portfolio. 3-4 Highers A-C including Art & Design and usually English plus a portfolio are required for a degree course. Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen offers a degree in 3D Design (3 Highers currently BBC including Art & Design and English).