Craft artists create or reproduce handmade objects that are designed to be functional. Using a wide variety of materials, techniques and tools (such as needlecraft, weaving or welding), craft artists design glassware, pottery and textiles for sale, as well as for commercial purposes and exhibition.
Duties and responsibilities
- Brainstorm, design and develop concepts or creative ideas for craft objects
- Sketch objects to be designed and draw out technical illustrations and details
- Establish specifications for dimensions, materials and final touches
- Create prototypes and fabricate patterns to guide craft output
- Produce functioning physical objects that can be used for commercial needs
- Cut, shape, fit, join, mold and process materials with machinery and power and hand tools
- Apply finishing touches to the objects
- Attend or participate in craft shows or industry conferences
- Meet clients to determine their needs and objectives, and seek final approval of objects
- Advertise your products with digital marketing and other promotional tools
- Stay up to date on the latest industry trends and newest equipment to boost output
Skills and knowledge
AVERAGE WORKING HOURS
Long hours to meet deadlines
Most craft artists work on a full-time basis, although part-time and variable schedules are also common. Those working on a part-time basis, meanwhile, often work another job.
Most craft artists are self-employed and set their own hours.
They typically work in a studio and, depending on the tools and materials they work it, wear protective gear such as goggles and breathing masks.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
No formal education requirements
No formal education is required to become a craft artist, although a high school diploma may be useful. That said, many candidates who wish to become craft artists will either complete a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, seek out college coursework or enroll in an independent art school to put the finishing touches on their skills. This can greatly improve the quality of the work that needs to get done or boost employment opportunities.
As a craft artist, you can advance in your field by developing an impressive portfolio, circulating your work around and establishing a reputation for creativity, reliability and professionalism.