Pottery Maker Employment
What do you know about pottery? People have been crafting clay into pottery for thousands of years. Since clay comes from the Earth, it’s cheap and easy to find. It can be molded into different shapes for different uses. Once it is fire-hardened, it creates durable, useful, and long-lasting pottery.
Pottery is such a durable material that archaeologists often find bits and pieces at their study sites that give a glimpse into history. From storing grains to drinking coffee to creating fine art, pottery has played a major role in the history of the world. In our modern world, pottery often takes the shape of dishes, plates, cups, mugs, vases, jewelry, and so much more. Have you used any pottery items lately?
Making pottery is still a well-respected profession. Pottery makers, or potters, create functional and decorative ceramic pieces. They spend decades mastering this craft art form. It’s a cool art niche because shaping and creating pottery is a constant exploration of creativity. What a cool way to make a living.
To make pottery, potters first choose the type of clay they want to work with. They may work with earthenware, stoneware, or porcelain depending on what they want to create. Next, they shape the clay using pottery wheels, molds, carving tools, hand carving, granulate pressing, or moulding techniques. This can be a messy, creative, and fun process.
After the clay is shaped appropriately, it must then be dried before it can be fired. Potters use wood, coal, gas, and electric kilns to heat their creations. Kilns fire up to nearly 500 degrees centigrade. Firing the clay helps to achieve the permanency of the shape. Once fired, the ceramic piece can then be decorated with paint or it can be glazed before it is used, sold, or admired.
The beauty of pottery is that there are no limits. It’s an art form that is an expression of your creativity. The best selling pieces may be functional dishwares, but decorative pieces, colorful jewelry, and stunning art pieces are also popular. With pottery there are so many options. And it all starts from a moldable, decomposed rock called clay.
To become a pottery maker, you must be passionate about your art. Some potters earn a degree of Fine Arts in Ceramics, but the majority of potters are self taught aficionados. It’s easy to learn pottery by attending local pottery classes at community colleges, craft fairs, schools, art centers, or studios. There are sometimes pottery apprenticeships available where you can learn the pottery niche from an established potter.
After years of perfecting pottery making skills, potters can sell their work at craft fairs, open personal art studios, have displays at art galleries, set up online portfolio websites, work at an artist co-op, or sell on Etsy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lumps potters into the craft artists niche. They expect the craft artist niche to grow 3% by 2022.
Being a pottery maker is a very hard thing to do professionally. Most people create pottery as a hobby and earn a few extra bucks off of their cool talent. A hobby potter can make anywhere from $0 to $10,000 per year. Those dedicated potters who make it professionally can earn up to $50,000 per year. It’s up to you to decide how far you want to take your pottery passion.
Are you a creative artist who loves working with your hands? Are you excited about the endless potential of clay? Then develop your pottery hobby and see where your passion takes you.
Quick Facts About Pottery Maker Employment
Job Title: Pottery Maker aka Potter
Office: Art studio
Description: Create functional and decorative ceramic pieces
Certifications/Education: Self taught
Necessary Skills: Creativity
Potential Employers: Freelance, Hobby, Art Studios
Pay: $0 to $50,000