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handbuilt ceramic design art

By Ceramic Design

As a freelance ceramic design artist I am involved in the design and making of one off individual, limited edition ceramic pieces. These are made using a combination of handbuilding and slip-casting techniques. The motivation behind my work is to create pieces that are both unusual and striking in terms of shape, decoration and scale. The vessel is the basis upon which to experiment with sculptural ideas, where the ‘pot’ is cut into or added to and works visually from many different angles.

The featured black and white ‘MONO’ range (pic below) derives it’s inspiration from 1960′s op artists such as Bridget Riley and Victor Vassarley. I was interested to see how similar designs would translate to a three dimensional surface and the resulting optical effect. The use of black and white exclusively aims to draw attention to the form while highlighting positive and negative shapes, spaces and patterns. Each vessel is glazed, hand decorated and range between 1 – 3 feet in height.



Ceramics / pottery designer

By Ceramic Design

Pottery/Ceramics Designers (Ceramicists) combine creative, practical and technical skills in the design and production of original items such as plates, ornaments, pots and sculptures made by shaping, moulding and firing clay and other materials.

Ceramics designers and potters use a range of techniques and their creativity to make domestic (table and chinaware), decorative (ornaments and sculptures) or industrial (pipes, fittings, tiles) products from clay. Typical activities include:

  • generating original ideas;
  • producing sketches and sample designs;
  • preparing clay and other materials for use;
  • using kilns, a potter’s wheel and/or moulds to produce items;
  • using a variety of techniques to create finished products;
  • investigating and choosing appropriate production processes and materials (stoneware, earthenware, porcelain etc);
  • maintaining awareness of current design trends, fashion and influences;
  • liaising with suppliers, galleries, store buyers, clients etc;
  • undertaking market research, marketing and business development activities;
  • managing budgets and accounts;
  • running workshops/teaching classes;
  • giving demonstrations;
  • producing photographs, catalogues and/or design portfolios;
  • attending/displaying work at exhibitions and craft fairs;
  • selling products directly via galleries, craft shops, studios, the internet etc.

Most ceramicists are self-employed/freelance or work for large ceramics/pottery companies (including Denby, Wedgewood and Royal Doulton). For experienced designers, opportunities also arise with large retail chains (such as Ikea and Habitat), although such vacancies attract strong competition. Jobs are advertised via the Internet, in local and national newspapers and trade publications including Design Week, Ceramic Review and Design Nation. Speculative applications are worthwhile, for which it is essential to produce a sound portfolio of design work to demonstrate creative/practical skills.