Chapter One. Welcome to Successful Ceramics


Face  your business challenges.   

All of us involved in ceramics as a business know how fascinating, challenging and, yes addictive, it is. Ceramics, in all its embodiments can be technically complicated so the learning curve can be steep and long and really never ending. It’s creative, rewarding and highly satisfying. It opens a new world to us full of wonders. It is global and, in most cases, for life.

I refer here to ceramics as an art form, not to industrial ceramics. The word ceramics comes from “Keramikos” (meaning pottery) in Greek, and clays, our raw materials, are everywhere. Over time, ceramics has divided the aficionados into many classifications – there are potters, decorators, porcelain artists, porcelain doll and figurine makers, china painters, sculptors, casters, tile makers, teachers, ceramic studios and more. The limits between these classifications are fluid. One thing about ceramics that everybody who remembers how they got started, is how wonderfully therapeutic it is.

A word about these classifications – business is a universal endeavor and a potter is in business as much as the owner of a ceramic teaching studio. Although an artist, by definition, as long as you sell something you have made or purchased and get money for it, you are also a business person.

Do you remember discovering clay as a child?  The urge of shaping it? There is something innate in us that drives this fascination. When, you discover the power of the combination of clay, water, glazes and heat, you get hooked. What is initially something of a passing curiosity frequently turns into a passion. And that passion might reveal a creativity you did not know you had – a creativity that many times  lead to pursue a business in ceramics. All of us have a story how we got into ceramics.

As a business, ceramics has as many facets as any other business, but those facets have different and individual twists exactly because of the traits cited above. I have studied those businesses for a long time and this book will inform you about problems and challenges related to ceramics and suggest solutions.

If you – by this definition - are in the business of ceramics, this book is for you.

Rolf E. Ericson   




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© 2011 by Rolf E. Ericson, Oneonta, New York, publisher. All rights reserved. Photocopying, reproduction , copying, or redistribution of any kind in printed or electronic form is strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher.