Arts & Crafts Professional

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Arts & Crafts Professionals design, make and repair objects that have both functional and artistic qualities, working with wood, metal, glass, leather, ceramics, textiles and other materials. Future Growth StrongThey usually make handmade objects.  Arts and crafts professionals produce forms of art that are appreciated more for their aesthetic value and meaning than for their function or practical use. This is not to say that art work cannot be practical or functional, and quite the opposite can be the case with craft in jewellery, furniture or utensils. Arts and crafts professionals use a wide variety of mediums to articulate their feelings or ideas, photography, wood and metal work, graphic design, multimedia, textiles and film. Sometimes they create abstract forms that challenge the very idea of what art is, or produce work that articulates particular views on social or political issues, though often art is created simply for pleasure.

ANZSCO ID: 211499

Alternative names: Craftsperson, Craft Practitioner

Specialisations:

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. Textile artists may use fabric, glue, needle and thread, wool, cotton, silk, other fibres, weaving looms etc. Within the textile industry is vast array of media and techniques developed over thousands of years. Textile art is often a mix of function and aesthetics.

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 - designs, makes and decorates saddlery, gloves, shoes, bags and soft furnishings.

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.

Multimedia Artist

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 - 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.

 

 

Knowledge, skills and attributes     

  • artistic design skills - artistic and creative design skills in your specialty craft

  • good practical skills in your craft

  • good hand-eye coordination

  • an eye for detail

  • promotional skills

  • business skills if self-employed

Jewellery Maker
Jewelry Maker
(Source: Haywood Community College)

Duties and Tasks

A craftsperson may perform the following tasks:

  • develop creative ideas for making objects

  • create sketches, templates or models as guides

  • select which materials to use based on color, texture, strength, and other qualities

  • design the style and shape of objects

  • create objects by hand, using a variety of methods and materials - use and manipulate materials to make objects according to the design

  • finish objects to enhance their artistic and/or practical qualities - apply decorative or functional finishes to objects or items

  • display and sell work at auctions, craft fairs, galleries, museums, and online

  • repair damaged or defective craft objects

  • submit grant applications to obtain financial support for projects.

Working conditions

In a manufacturing environment, you would normally work a standard number of hours per week. Self-employed craftspersons generally choose their own working hours. Many would also work in other roles and pursue their craft interests in a part-time capacity.

Many craftspersons are self-employed; others are employed in various private sector industries such as ceramics or pottery manufacturing.

Arts and crafts professionals work in studios and workshops, which can range from rented space with other artists, designated studios supplied by art-organisations, or even their own homes. They frequently travel locally to gather materials or equipment for their work, or to promote and sell their work in shops, fairs, exhibitions or private clients.

They spend a great deal of time developing ideas, sketching plans and practising technical skills. Some works may take a very short time to create, whereas others can take years. Due to time spent conceptualising and creating work, the competitive nature of the industry and the uncertainty over how popular their work may be, many visual art and crafts professionals seek additional employment to support themselves. They often supplement their income by teaching art or working as administrators in the arts and crafts industry.

 

Deane Lynch Weaver
Deanna Lynch - Weaver
(Source: Haywood Community College)

 

Tools and technologies

Arts and crafts professionals use a variety of materials and equipment for their work. They use materials such as glass, clay, stone, wood, metal, photographic film, canvas, glazes, varnish, paper and fabric as well as natural materials like leaves, flowers and buds. They then use a variety of tools, like brushes, sponges, cameras, and cutting and carving tools to craft these materials into artwork. They may also use special computer software for graphic design. Most arts and craft professionals use paper and pencils for sketching ideas, as well as equipment to assist in the creation of their work, such as easels, stands, work benches and special drawing tables. Since some arts and crafts professionals use chemicals and tools such as hammers, drills, sanders and grinders for sculpture or multimedia, it is important that they use safety equipment.


Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a craftsperson without formal qualifications. Many craftspersons are self-taught or have gained or enhanced their skills through undertaking a variety of private courses. 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 VOC 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 HSC/ACT Year 12. 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.

Employment Opportunities

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.

Did You Know?


Australian natives inspire textile designs | Inspired by Nature | ABC Australia | Gardening Australia
https://youtu.be/THm1QtPKriI


 

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Material sourced from
Jobs and Skills WA [Visual Arts & Crafts Professional;]
CareersOnline [Craftperson; ]
CareerHQ [Craftsperson; ]

JobOutlook [
Other Visual Arts or Crafts Professionals; ]

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