Tough times for ceramics maker
Zhao Lin, who studied ceramic art and design at the South China University of Technology, opened his ceramics shop in Shiwan, Foshan last year. But life has been difficult for Zhao in a town that's well known for its ceramics industry.
Zhao says he loves his job, but he 'is in despair' because of the heavy workload, low income and uncertain market outlook. 'It is not an easy way to earn a living,' Zhou - who graduated from university in 2009 - says.
Before opening his shop, Zhao and his friends went to Jingde, a town in Jiangxi province, to choose raw materials. After that, he purchased equipment, decorated the shop and set up a website to promote his handmade ceramics. Despite the hard work, there aren't too many customers, he says. 'My shop is awfully quiet on weekdays. Those who have an interest in ceramics only visit during weekends. We only have income if customers buy our products, but that's not always the case,' says Zhao.
To solve the problem, he has turned to his parents, teachers and classmates for help.
Zhao is also using other methods to promote his ceramic ware. He went to watch shops to sell his ceramic clocks, and opened discussion groups at www.douban.com to share his experiences in creating ceramic fans. He even displays his certificates in his shop to attract customers.
'I hope all these efforts will pay off some day,' he says. Despite the challenges, Zhao says he is determined to stay in the business because 'handmade ceramics have become a part of my life'.