An individual doesn't need a formal education or a degree in order to be a successful potter, especially if they are self-employed. However, many seek a formal education in order to learn new skills, improve existing skills, or increase their job prospects.
Potters looking for training have many options. Many take informal, non-credit pottery classes and workshops given by pottery studios, art centers, craft fairs, high schools, and community colleges. A class or workshop can last anywhere from a day or two to several months. Most classes or workshops focus on individuals at a specific skill level, be it beginner, intermediate or advanced
Some also pursue a formal education. To earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics, an individual must complete a 4-year program at an accredited college or university.
An apprenticeship is another way to train as a pottery maker. An apprentice works with an experienced master potter, who will teach them not only about pottery making, but also about the business aspects of being a craft artist. Apprenticeships can last for up to 3 years.
There are many characteristics that can help an individual find success as a pottery maker. Chief among them is basic artistic ability, which can be developed and refined over time. Creativity is another important trait. A professional artist must be able to constantly come up with ideas that are interesting, appealing, or unique. And, because they must work with their hands, they must have a great deal of manual dexterity.
A pottery maker must also be good with people. These artists spend a great deal of their time interacting with potential customers, gallery owners, coworkers, and fellow artists. Having good interpersonal skills will help them sell their work to buyers. It will help them build relationships with those who can help to further their careers.
Sales and marketing skills are also important. A craft artist has to be able to promote themselves and the art they create. They must also learn to judge what kind of pottery the public might be interested in buying at any given time.