Ceramic Decorator Careers

How to become Ceramic Decorator

What does a Ceramic Decorator do?

Ceramic decorators, painters or glazers, put the finishing touches and decorations on to pottery and ceramics using a number of different methods. Ceramics decoration include:

  • dipping the objects in a bath of glaze
  • spraying on glaze
  • aerographing to add either freehand or stencilled designs
  • lithographing or applying litho- transfers by soaking them in water, removing the backing paper and sliding them into position on the object to be decorated
  • transfer printing, a similar process to lithographing. The design is cut out and the colour is applied to the ceramics by rubbing with a hard brush. The tissue is then washed off, leaving the design in place
  • painting, either filling in outlines or copying from a similar pattern piece or a detailed drawing freehand
  • gilding or adding decorative detail, using precious metals such as silver or gold
  • banding or lining, adding bands or lines of colour
  • hand spraying or applying patterns using pre-cut sponges and ceramic colours.
In larger companies many of the processes are automated or carried out on machines. Craft potteries and studios still carry out many of these processes by hand.

What's the working environment like working as a Ceramic Decorator?

Ceramic decorators work a 39 hour, five day week with some opportunities for overtime. Some companies operate a shift system which can involve evening and night work.

Workshops and factories may become hot at times. Good lighting is essential because much of the work is detailed and intricate. With the exception of glazers who often work standing, most decorating is done sitting down.

What does it take to become a Ceramic Decorator?

As a ceramic decorator you need to have:

  • a steady hand and clear eyesight
  • good co- ordination
  • the ability to work quickly and accurately
  • a good sense of colour
  • a high level of concentration particularly when the work is repetitive
  • strong artistic ability for freehand work.

Ceramic Decorator Career Opportunities

Ceramic manufacture in the United Kingdom is concentrated in the West Midlands in the towns around Stoke-on-Trent known as The Potteries. Recently many companies have reduced the number of people they employ.

There are also small craft potteries and studios across the country.

Promotion prospects are limited, although decorators with good inter-personal and organisational skills can become team leaders. Some also become trainers, assessors or verifiers, training others within the company.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Ceramic Decorator that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Creative and Cultural Skills
Tel: 0800 093 0444

Creative and Cultural Skills
11 Southwark St