An experimental investigation is presented of the various cutting performance measures, such as the kerf taper and depth of cut, in profile cutting on an 87% alumina ceramic by abrasive waterjet (AWJ) over a wide range of process parameters. It is found that the taper angles on the two kerf walls produced in cutting AWJ of profiles are different in magnitude and exhibit different trends as the profile curvature radius varies. Moreover, the depth of cut increases with an increase in the curvature radius and approaches its maximum in straight cutting. The other process variables affect the cutting process in a way similar to that in straight cutting. Recommendations are finally made for the selection of process parameters in AWJ profile-cutting of alumina ceramics. Predictive mathematical models for the major cutting performance measures that are essential for the optimization of the AWJ cutting process are reported in the subsequent part of this investigation.