Craftspersons design, make and repair objects that have both functional and artistic qualities, working with wood, metal, glass, leather, ceramics, textiles and other materials.
You can work as a craftsperson without formal qualifications. Some craftspersons are self-taught and many work under the guidance of an established craftsperson when learning their craft. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in a craft-related area, such as visual arts or design. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a craftsperson by completing a craft-related degree at university, such as fine arts, visual arts, creative arts or design. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. In most cases applicants are required to attend an interview and submit a folio of work. A high level of talent is required. Most universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.
A craftsperson may perform the following tasks:
Most craftspersons are involved in small business operations and often rely on exhibition sales and commissioned pieces for income. Exhibitions and major commissioned pieces provide opportunities to become well known and, therefore, increase business prospects. Work is sold wholesale to shops, galleries and department stores or directly from the studio. Few craftspersons are employed full time in their craft. Often other career opportunities develop in craft education, administration, curating, museum and gallery conservation or community artwork.
A fibre textile worker may work with weaving, felting, embroidery, stitchery, quilting, dyeing, printing and garment design to create articles of clothing, finishings and decorative items. They may also do lacemaking, tapestry, collage, basketry, knitting, crochet, rugmaking, knotting, bookbinding and fabric painting.
A glass craftsperson may work with hot glass (glassblowing and casting), warm glass (fusing and slumping) or cold glass (stained glass and leadlighting) to produce glassware and decorative items.
A leather craftsperson designs, makes and decorates saddlery, gloves, shoes, bags and soft furnishings.
A metal/jewellery worker works with copper, brass, nickel, pewter, gold, silver and other metals to create jewellery and utensils such as enamelware and cutlery. They may weld, patinate, cast, beat, construct and manipulate materials to suit the design.
A potter/ceramicist moulds clay into functional items such as mugs, bowls and tableware or conceptual (idea-based) works by wheel throwing, moulding or hand building. They then mix glazing materials and apply the glaze to decorate pieces, using various techniques. They put the finished or decorated pieces in kilns for firing and may add other decoration after firing for artistic effect.
A wood craftsperson may carve, shape (by using a lathe), laminate, inlay, construct, sandpaper and sculpt wood to produce items such as sculptures, decorative wall panels, furniture, picture frames, jewellery boxes and eating utensils. They also restore and copy antique ornaments and furniture.