How to become a Craftsperson

Craftsperson

A craftsperson designs, makes and repairs objects that have both functional and artistic qualities, working with wood, metal, glass, leather, ceramics, textiles and other materials.

Personal requirements for a Craftsperson

  • Artistic design skills
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Promotional skills

Education & Training for a Craftsperson

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. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.


Duties & Tasks of a Craftsperson

A craftsperson:

  • Designs the style and shape of objects
  • Uses and manipulates materials to make objects according to the design
  • Finishes objects to enhance their artistic and/or practical qualities
  • Repairs damaged or defective craft objects.

Tasks

  • Placing finished and decorated pieces in kilns.
  • Selecting artistic media, method and materials.
  • Sketching designs of proposed sculptures, and making wax and plaster models.
  • Arranging objects, positioning models, and selecting landscapes and other visual forms according to chosen subject matter.
  • Mixing glazing materials and applying glazes to dried pottery by dipping and painting.
  • Applying media to surfaces using appropriate techniques.
  • Moulding clay into functional and artistic articles by wheel-throwing, moulding and hand-building.
  • Carving and forming materials to desired shape using hand and power tools.
  • Conceiving and developing ideas, designs and styles for paintings, drawings, pottery pieces and sculptures.
  • Devising forms from metal using welding and metalworking equipment, and from stone using masonry tools.

Employment Opportunities for a Craftsperson

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.


Specializations

Fibre Textile Worker

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.

Glass Craftsperson

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.

Leather Craftsperson

A leather craftsperson designs, makes and decorates saddlery, gloves, shoes, bags and soft furnishings.

Metal/Jewellery Worker

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.

Potter/Ceramicist

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.

Wood Craftsperson

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.

Craftsperson

A craftsperson designs, makes and repairs objects that have both functional and artistic qualities, working with wood, metal, glass, leather, ceramics, textiles and other materials.

  • Average age
    Average age
    50 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    57% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    47 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    Unavailable
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Average unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    49% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    10,000 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.7%
    NSW: 29.8%
    NT: 2.2%
    QLD: 17.7%
    SA: 7.6%
    TAS: 3.8%
    VIC: 28.4%
    WA: 8.7%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0.8%
    20-24: 3.2%
    25-34: 14%
    35-44: 19.1%
    45-54: 24.5%
    55-59: 13%
    60-64: 11.5%
    65 and Over: 14%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 17.2%
    Bachelor degree: 29.4%
    Certificate III/IV: 12.3%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 12.2%
    Year 10 and below: 10%
    Year 11: 3.2%
    Year 12: 15.8%
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