Case Study: Ceramics Designer - Gary

What do you do?

I am a senior designer at Denby Pottery. I'm responsible for creating ceramic tableware shapes in a variety of materials, and looking after CAD and Rapid Prototyping facilities. My job also involves researching trends in the ceramics industry.

What is your background?

I studied for a three-year BA degree at Loughborough University and then did a two year MA at Staffordshire University in Ceramic Design. After that, I completed a work placement at a French porcelain manufacturer.

What characteristics do you need to be successful in your job?

General office skills as well as a full grasp of ceramic/product design. Energy and enthusiasm.

What other jobs could you do using the skills from this job?

Product designer/teacher.

What changes will there be in the future?

Design degree courses are usually now multi-discipline and less specific to one area of design so it is up to students to further their understanding of specific materials. Work experience is essential.

What are the biggest challenges in your job?

Juggling several projects at once. Having the ability to work with suppliers, other members of the business, students, directors and production staff on several projects at once.

Are there many opportunities to enter this career?

Within the broader design world, there are lots of opportunities but ceramic design has become more difficult to enter due to the financial difficulties within the industry.

What do you like about your job?

Visiting trade shows and researching trends. Creating something that can be sold online or on the High Street from nothing.

What do you dislike about your job?

The growing amount of paperwork for health and safety.

What are your ambitions?

After Denby, I'd like to create my own business.

What advice would you give to someone interested in your career?

Go to college to do an arts foundation course, then do a degree in surface-pattern design at university.

A day in the life

8:45 am - 9:15 am

Respond to e-mails, assess glazed Stoneware trials. Check diary.

9:15 am - 9.45 am

Stand up meeting to discuss department issues and any outstanding work.

9:45 am - 11:15 am

Empty 3D printer.

11:15 am - 12:45 pm

Work on developing new teapot ideas with craftsmen for new shape project.

12:45 pm -1:15 pm


1:15 pm - 1:45 pm

Meeting with new product development team to discuss all current stoneware projects.

1:45 pm - 2:30 pm

Meet with supplier to discuss quality of externally generated 3D models and review next steps.

2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Generate technical drawings for external suppliers and create CAD information for 3D printer to print over night.

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Research trends information from latest trade shows.

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