People really have no idea what we do. Let me define a couple of things, according to my understanding:
studio potter or simply POTTER: we design and decorate and fire and sell the pot, in short, we do EVERYTHING from clay to finished piece (I am so PROUD to be a studio potter)
sculptor: forms clay into figures or shapes by hand (I am so proud of being a sculptor, too!)
ceramist: I don't know where the f!!k this word came from in recent years, but it is some kind of fancy new age term for somebody who works in clay (sculptor or potter)--it is a term for people who think it is embarrassing or lowbrow to be a POTTER
ceramic designer: draws a picture of a vase in NY city and has a factory in China produce it by workers making 2 dollars a day, a ceramic designer might just be a millionaire....
crap: crap is the moldmade stuff that little kids paint glaze on at birthday parties, it is also the vast majority of stuff made by ceramic designers and factories
China: as in, fancy clay pieces designed by a ceramic designer and made in a factory--some of it may look nice, but it is still mostly crap
"pottery": my quotes--there is a lot of stuff out there that people call pottery, but it is, in fact, factory made and ceramic designer produced, and MOST PEOPLE can't seem to tell the difference between what I do and what is made in a factory, GAWDAMMIT!
It must be a failure of the school systems.
The questions I get at fairs "you made this yourself?" "do you use molds?" "do you paint on the decoration or just print the patterns?" COULD drive you nuts, but actually, it is a chance to politely explain what I do, which surprises people. They have a lot of assumptions, and with a pleasant chat I can educate most people about what a potter does....