How to open a pottery workshop

* The calculations use the average data for the World

So, if you plan to open your own production of ceramic products, but do not have sufficient funds to organize a full-scale enterprise, you can start with a pottery workshop. Currently, this direction is of great interest to entrepreneurs. Experts note an increase in interest in this area. Moreover, consumers are interested not only in the handmade pottery themselves, but also in the process of their manufacture as an original hobby.

Regardless of whether you intend to manage your savings or plan to attract investors, before you start solving organizational issues, be sure to draw up a detailed business plan. Of course, ideally, you should be well versed in all the intricacies of this craft. But even if you do not have experience in this field, but it is of interest to you, do not give up your idea. In this case, you will not act as a master, but as an organizer and leader. But in any case, you should have at least a general idea of ​​the process of manufacturing ceramic products.

First of all, you will need a suitable room. It can be located far from the city center. The main thing is that it is convenient for you and your employees to get there. Most of the pottery workshops open either on the outskirts of the city (or even the suburbs), or even in the region. But the latter option is suitable for larger enterprises that save on the supply of raw materials, having their production close to the clay extraction site.

There are certain requirements for the workshop area. It should consist of at least two rooms. The first area of ​​not less than 50 square meters. meters allocated to the production hall, and the second area of ​​20 square meters. meters is used to store raw materials and finished products. The work area should be equipped with a good ventilation system. It is best if your workshop will have another separate, third room, where the glazing of products will take place. Glaze contains lead and other harmful substances, therefore, it is necessary to work with it in compliance with safety precautions and using respirators. Ideally, the premises should be in your ownership. But if there is none, you will have to rent a suitable one for several months. The rental price will be from 35 thousand rubles (the exact amount depends on the region, location, area and condition of the premises).

When a suitable room is found, you can begin to search for equipment. There are a lot of nuances here, so if you are not a specialist in pottery, turn to one for help. Otherwise, there is a great risk of acquiring not what is needed.

The main equipment includes pottery wheels, equipment for kneading clay, scales for dispensing clay mass, molds for products (for example, for the manufacture of magnets, photo frames and other small things), tools and special furnaces for burning finished products. You will also need working tables and chairs for potters, shelving, shelves and cabinets for storing products and raw materials. A set of tools for pottery work includes stacks, strings with handles, rolling pins, knives, compasses and calipers, spoons, pottery knives, etc. One pottery wheel will cost from 30 thousand to 50 thousand rubles. About 30 thousand rubles is a clay kneading machine. Another 5-7 thousand rubles will be required to purchase weights and about 5 thousand rubles - for tools.

Some craftsmen make a muffle furnace with a heating temperature of up to 950 ° С on their own from a household electric stove. To do this, a body is made from a steel sheet with a thickness of 0.5-0.9 mm by the diameter of the electric stove, and a lid is attached on top, having drilled several openings in it for steam to escape. The muffle bowl is made as follows. First, a cardboard mold is made, which is impregnated with paraffin or wax. The clay mass is applied on the inner surface of the mold with a layer of 1 cm. After drying, the clay cup is separated from the mold, dried and burned again. Its lower part should fit snugly against the electric stove. The finished muffle cup is placed in the housing. The space between the muffle and the body is filled with asbestos chips. To control the firing process, make an eye with a diameter of 20-25 mm with a shutter. The design itself is installed on an asbestos basis.

However, it’s better not to risk it and buy muffle furnaces. The cost of one furnace ranges from 50 thousand to 100 thousand rubles. Even in the case of a small workshop, it is desirable to have at least two or three furnaces.

About 50 thousand rubles will be required to purchase the first batch of raw materials, impurities, glazes, paints, etc. In a small workshop with an area of ​​about 50 square meters. meters can work simultaneously three masters. The salary of each of them starts from 10-15 thousand rubles, depending on the region, employment, qualifications, etc.

The revenues of the pottery workshop consist of two components - the sale of the pottery itself and the manufacture of them to order, as well as conducting paid workshops, excursions, and leasing of working premises and equipment. The wholesale cost of a simple clay object made by stamping (for example, a magnet) starts from 60-70 rubles at a cost of 25-30 rubles. At the same time, such magnets are sold at a price of about 170-190 rubles. A visit to a master class with training in the basics of working with a pottery wheel costs from 350 rubles per person. The average number of participants in one master class is five to six people. The cost of renting a pottery workshop together with all the necessary equipment starts from 1000 rubles and above. Of course, you can earn money on training and renting a workshop only if it is located in a large city, where there is practically no competition in this area and there is an interest on the part of people in pottery. Finished products can be sold through small wholesale companies (as production volumes increase, it will be possible to think about large wholesale), through retail chains, individual stores (flower shops, toy stores, gift and gift shops), retail outlets and stalls (including souvenir shops in city ​​centers, train stations and airports), points in markets, through your own shop at the workshop, as well as through online stores (but this option is only suitable for the sale of small souvenir products). The dream of all small manufacturers of souvenir products is to become a supplier of large Russian retail chains. Clay souvenirs are original and in demand, and there is no competition at the federal level. But for cooperation with retail chains, the minimum consignment of goods must be at least a thousand pieces of one name, which is quite a large volume for a small workshop, even if we are talking about small things like stamped magnets. Another difficulty is associated with the specifics of any semi-handicraft production, which includes unstable product quality and non-compliance with delivery times.

Even if in your city there is almost no competition in this segment, do not forget about advertising and, most importantly, the high quality of your products. Advertising will help to attract the attention of those wishing to master the art of modeling from clay. And the high quality and original design of your products will be the key to success among potential buyers.

To open a small pottery workshop will require from 250 thousand rubles. The payback period of this type of business is from one year.

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