Potters, Manufacturing

Description

Operate production machines such as pug mill, jigger machine, or potter's wheel to process clay in manufacture of ceramic, pottery and stoneware products.

Tasks

  • Press thumbs into centers of revolving clay to form hollows, and press on the inside and outside of emerging clay cylinders with hands and fingers, gradually raising and shaping clay to desired forms and sizes.
  • Adjust wheel speeds according to the feel of the clay as pieces enlarge and walls become thinner.
  • Mix and apply glazes, and load glazed pieces into kilns for firing.
  • Position balls of clay in centers of potters' wheels, and start motors or pump treadles with feet to revolve wheels.
  • Raise and shape clay into wares such as vases and pitchers, on revolving wheels, using hands, fingers, and thumbs.
  • Prepare work for sale or exhibition, and maintain relationships with retail, pottery, art, and resource networks that can facilitate sale or exhibition of work.
  • Smooth surfaces of finished pieces, using rubber scrapers and wet sponges.
  • Design clay forms and molds, and decorations for forms.
  • Move pieces from wheels so that they can dry.
  • Pull wires through bases of articles and wheels in order to separate finished pieces.
  • Examine finished ware for defects and measure dimensions, using rule and thickness gauge.
  • Perform test-fires of pottery to determine how to achieve specific colors and textures.
  • Maintain supplies of tools, equipment, and materials, and order additional supplies as needed.
  • Verify accuracy of shapes and sizes of objects, using calipers and templates.
  • Operate drying chambers to dry or finish molded ceramic ware.
  • Start machine units and conveyors and observe lights and gauges on panel-board to verify operational efficiency.
  • Adjust pressures, temperatures, and trimming tool settings as required.
  • Operate pug mills to blend and extrude clay.
  • Operate jigger machines to form ceramic ware, such as bowls, cups, plates, and saucers.
  • Teach pottery classes.

Knowledge

Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

Skills

Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Abilities

Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Style

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Innovation
Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Work Values

Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Related Occupations

Lay Titles

Artist
Ceramic Artist
Clay Artisan
Clay Artist
Clay Mixer
Etcher
Glazer
Jigger Artisan
Jigger Machine Operator
Jiggerman
Model and Mold Maker
Model Maker
Mold Maker
Pot Maker
Potter
Pottery Machine Operator
Press Operator
Production Potter
Sculptor
Studio Potter
Thrower

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$14.08 hourly, $29,300 annual.
Employment (2008):
31,010 employees