Ceramic Artist
Cockpit Arts

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Katie B

00:00:03 My name is Katie B, I’m a Ceramicist, or Ceramic Artist. I make sculptural ceramic wall installation pieces. I did used to make quite a bit of tableware, cups and bowls and things like that, but just didn’t really – felt myself being too much like a production line and wanted to kind of started making one off pieces, slightly bigger, getting back to my sculptural kind of roots.

00:00:37 School for me was pretty nasty experience I think, all round, you know, and I’m not a very academic person, I’m dyslexic. And because I was quite unenthusiastic about school I didn’t really – I was quite unenthusiastic about a career. And I had a choice of what subjects I wanted to do, so you know feeling like Oh I’m a bit stupid I have to do Art ‘cause I know I’m not going to do anything. And I had two really good Ceramics Teachers that were really encouraging and – quite young as well – so they were kind of like on my level, and you know could relate to me and stuff.

00:01:17 When I was at A levels they were like – Why don’t you do – why don’t you go and do Ceramics or an Art degree? And I was just like pouf! Do an Art degree, what am I going to do with an Art degree? You know the same attitude everybody has about Arts. And so I went travelling for a year. It was the biggest life-changing experience for me, after being in years of education, of not wanting to be there – enjoying it, it was something I was just suddenly – OK, this is my life education that I’m learning. I’m learning how to deal with people, I’m learning how to be independent.

00:02:03 So then I went to University, did a degree in 3D Crafts, where I wasn’t just working with ceramics, it was working with ceramics, wood, metal and plastics. And – so I had a pretty broad scope of things, and got to try a load of different stuff, which was perfect for me because I didn’t know what I wanted to do solely.

00:02:32 Well the highest point of my career is now, is right now. I’m doing a commission for Stella McCartney’s stores in Tokyo and Paris. It’s the biggest compliment of my career, to get that kind of job, so far. I never thought – no I never would have even dreamt about it. It’s made – it’s made me think differently of the – again of the avenue that I want to take my work as well. Kind of working with more Architects, Interior Designers, public spaces. So it’s pushed me in another way.

00:03:23 In a way I wish that I could go back – maybe not GCSEs – maybe A levels a little bit – but degree as well, especially I wish I could go back, and if I could do it all again God I’d probably work really hard. But then I’ve got – I want to do an MA one day. So when I get there hopefully I will work hard. (LAUGHS)

ENDS

Katie B is a Ceramic Artist based at Cockpit Arts. She didn't enjoy school at all. She was dyslexic and thought, "Oh, I'm a bit stupid, I have to do Art 'cause I know I'm not going to do anything!" Fortunately she had two really encouraging ceramics teachers who gave her the confidence to think about a career in ceramics.

More information about Glass and ceramics makers, decorators and finishers

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£21,840
average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

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43
average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

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52%  female  48%  male 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment?

Description?

Glass and ceramics workers, form, shape, decorate, smooth and polish glassware, earthenware, refractory goods, clay bricks and other ceramic goods.

Qualifications

There are no formal academic entry requirements. Training is typically provided on-the-job. NVQs/ SVQs at Levels 1, 2 and 3 are available in some areas.

Tasks

  • Uses hand tools and operates machinery to heat, bend, shape, press, drill and cut glass;
  • Makes artificial eyes, laminated glass sheets or blocks, glass fibre tissue, wool, filament and matting, marks optical lenses and assembles rimless spectacles;
  • Makes models and moulds from moulding clay and plaster for use in the making and casting of pottery and other ceramic goods;
  • Throws, casts and presses clay by hand or machine to form pottery, stoneware or refractory goods such as bricks, crucibles, ornaments, sanitary furnishings, saggars, cups, saucers, plates and roofing tiles;
  • Cuts and joins unfired stoneware pipes to form junctions and gullies, moulds sealing bands on clay pipes, prepares and joins porcelain or earthenware components and assists crucible makers and stone workers with their tasks;
  • Applies decorative designs and finishes to glassware, optical glass and ceramic goods by grinding, smoothing, polishing, cutting, etching, dipping, painting or transferring patterns or labels.
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