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Contemporary Ceramic Studios

What is Contemporary Ceramics?

Contemporary Ceramics, Ceramic cafes and mobile ceramic businesses are a comparatively new development within the creative retail ceramics field, especially to the U.K where the first cafe / studios opened around 1997.  Ideally contemporary ceramic businesses are situated within a coffee shop or cafe in a busy public situation.  Families wander in and enjoy a relaxing break from work or shopping, whilst at the same time try their hand at decorating a variety of bisque items supplied by the cafe.  The ready made and once fired bisque items are chosen from the samples on display, and then simply painted with very special safe and non toxic colours which are carefully made so that the colours are very much. 'What you see is what you get', unlike some normal ceramic glazes which sometimes change colour quite a bit when they are fired. The bisque blanks once decorated, are left for the cafe to simply dip in a special clear gloss glaze and fire in their kiln, usually overnight, so the customer can collect their brilliant shining masterpiece the following day. It is an amazing fact how even the simplest of quite crude painted designs can be quite transformed by the 'magic' which happens in a glaze firing. The production of the blank bisque items are not done by the cafe owner, but bought in ready to paint, eliminating the need to get involved with the casting, fettling or firing of the clay shapes.  Product arrives clean and neatly boxed, ready for use.  The finest bisque comes from all over the World, U.K., Tuscany, and unsurprisngly, China. 
And the Money?

The ideal contemporary ceramics outlet is in a highly visual high street cafe, easily accessable to the public, with opportunities to cash in on passing trade, therefore this is going to be a deal more expensive than a conventional studio.  Having said that; the potential customer base for a contemporary cafe is enormous, the materials needed to sustain the business are minimal, the profit margins very good, the tuition required is minimal, (both for operator and customers), making it a very good source of income once an operation has become established.  Again, all the Ceramic related items are available and heavily stocked by ourselves, (we don't sell coffee!)  Bisque, colour, brushes, and kilns are basically all that is required; plus the one absolute essential, proper training. Over the years, firstly in The States, and then over here in Europe, we have seen many amazing success stories with entrepreneural contemporary studio owners, growth faster and greater than their expectations. We have also seen some horrendous stories.  The basic concept and process is really quite simple, BUT, and it is a big BUT, it is very important indeed to know what you are doing.  There are plenty of purveyors of materials which may be excellent for traditional pottery, or production ceramics, but are very wrong for this specialised business.

  • Contemporary studios need safe, non toxic products, (children and untrained people will use them)
  • They need compatible products, (otherwise pieces will split, the glaze may craze, or pit).
  • The bisque needs to be made of exactly the right clay body, manufactured to exactly the right temperature.
  • The glaze needs to be designed to exactly "fit" the specific bisque.
  • The kilns need to be made to fire economically to the required temperature, cool reasonably quickly, safe, and be foolproof to operate, (you may delegate sometimes to a less knowledgeable staff member,) as well as easy to repair and service when that need does eventually arise.
  • It is easy to waste a fortune on advertising and promotion, you do need sound ideas and advice on how to achieve these ends efficiently and economically.

With only plain common sense to guide you it is very easy to choose excellent, but totally wrong for this purpose, products from the above "needs list" Bisque which is very cheap, and crazes, kilns which are very good, yet cost a fortune to buy, fire, and take for ever to cool, and so on...


We NEED to help you to succeed; we want a long term, trusting, reliable relationship with our customers for our mutual long term profit and satisfaction. We have a pair of huge warehouses near Reading in Berkshire, where we stock over 1.5 million pieces of bisque, as well as a full range of colours and glazes from the leading American hobby ceramic manufacturer, Mayco.  Their market leading non-toxic, easy to use paint product, 'Stroke and Coat' has become an industry standard.  Our Bisque stocks are carefully sourced from all over the world and stocked BIG to keep you supplied even at your busiest times.  Hobby Ceramicraft have the best possible products for your success.


Add to these our unrivalled hard earned knowledge of practical and fine ceramics, a pinch of your entrepreneureal skills and get-up-and-go, some essential finance, and you have the recipe for a very successful and profitable business to fulfill the leisure and creative aspirations of todays excitement seeking customers.


Hobby Ceramicraft can teach and supply you with the skills and products required to establish and run your own independent business.


Our very intensive training courses are absolutely crammed with invaluable advice, ideas, and practical hands on training to get you up and running quickly and successfully; but even more importantly, full of positive advice on how to progress and grow in what will become a competitive marketplace. The course fee includes a manual, practical and business training, products and bisque used, firings, and lunch.


We are confident that once you have used our products you will be convinced of their excellence, and of the viability of a Contemporary Ceramic Cafe or Studio.  By charging a small fee, rather than the so called "free" training tied to an initial purchase or a franchise agreement, we can give you the complete freedom to walk away with no obligation if you are not absolutely convinced that this is the business for you. Dates are scheduled frequently and with short lead times, so speak to us now for latest information. The next dates can be checked and booked right here.