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Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.

Occupation Details

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Craft Designer

Job Zone

Education
These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, jobs requiring you to deal with the public would benefit from previous experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

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At a Glance... header image

Craft designers create designs for a wide range of two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects. They may work for large-scale manufacturers or be self-employed.


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The Work header image

Craft designers design a broad range of two- and three-dimensional products. Most specialise in a particular area, such as:

  • textiles
  • ceramics
  • wood including furniture
  • metalwork/jewellery
  • glass
  • graphic crafts such as calligraphy and printmaking
  • toys
  • musical instruments
  • embroidery
  • leatherwork

Within each of these areas, some designers produce designs for large-scale production by manufacturers, while others work as designer-craft workers producing designs on a small scale.  
 
In large scale production, craft designers are often based in a drawing office. They work to a brief that outlines the type of product required and how much money is available for production. It also outlines what the product is to be used for and who is likely to use it. Designers then research all aspects of the product. They look at existing or similar products, what types of materials they could use and other technical considerations such as whether the material chosen is suited to the purpose of the product. For example, is it strong enough?  
 
Designers then produce sketches and drawings to show different designs, aspects of the products, artistic impressions and technical details. Once designs are accepted, development can involve producing samples or working models and testing a limited run on the production line. Knowledge of the relevant manufacturing process is essential.  
 
Most craft designer follow a similar design process. They work to a brief and undertake research for commissioned work from clients. Some make studio pieces, which they sell through galleries, craft fairs or their own studios.  
 
Designers usually work from studios or workshops and are responsible for the whole design process from creating original designs to making and usually selling the craft products. They may make small batches of a range of items or one-off items. Some of these individual pieces are artistic creations that could be considered more as fine art than commercial craft design. 

They produce their finished pieces individually rather than on a production line. They may use traditional skills and techniques, such as handloom weaving, throwing pots, hand-building ceramics, and wood carving. Craft designers often sell their own work


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Create functional or decorative objects by hand, using a variety of methods and materials.

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Cut, shape, fit, join, mold, or otherwise process materials, using hand tools, power tools, and/or machinery.

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Attend craft shows to market products.

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Select materials for use based on strength, color, texture, balance, weight, size, malleability and other characteristics.

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Apply finishes to objects being crafted.

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Develop concepts or creative ideas for craft objects.

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Set specifications for materials, dimensions, and finishes.

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Confer with customers to assess customer needs or obtain feedback.

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Fabricate patterns or templates to guide craft production.

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Create prototypes or models of objects to be crafted.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Handling and Moving Objects: Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Thinking Creatively: Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Performing for or Working Directly with the Public: Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

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Controlling Machines and Processes: Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

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Monitoring and Controlling Resources: Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

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Communicating with Persons Outside Organization: Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

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Selling or Influencing Others: Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Performing Administrative Activities: Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Fine Arts: Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

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Design: Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

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Sales and Marketing: Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

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Production and Processing: Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

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Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

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Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Persuasion: Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

To succeed in a career in craft design you need the following skills and qualities:

  • Creativity and artistic skills
  • An appreciation of colour, shape and form.
  • The imagination and ability to create attractive, saleable pieces of work.
  • An individual approach to solving design problems.
  • Drawing ability.
  • The practical skills needed to use tools and equipment.
  • A steady hand and the patience to do fine, detailed work is required for some crafts, such as freehand painting (ceramics) or making delicate jewellery
  • Presentation and communication skills.

In industry, craft designers need a high level of technical understanding, of production capabilities, properties of materials and decorative techniques, for example. It is essential that you keep up-to-date with changes in manufacturing methods and materials, as well as fashion trends and styles.  
 
As a craft designer you will need good business skills to undertake costing and pricing, sales and marketing, and book-keeping.


Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Design & Craft Council of Ireland
Address: Castle Yard, Kilkenny
Tel: (056) 77 61804
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


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Art, Craft & Design

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Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.

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