Friday, 24 September 2010

Pottery tools

I’ve decided to clean the studio this weekend. It’s been a busy summer and at the moment the studio feels like a dumping ground for boxes, bubblewrap and other show-related paraphernalia. I’m actually looking forward to sorting through everything and finding out what’s left in stock. I have two big Christmas shows planned for November (the first of which is only 7 weeks away) so I’m already trying to make a list of all the stock I need to make before then. Christmas decorations are high on that list…

In the meantime though I found this photo on my computer from the last time I managed to clean the studio – which was (shockingly) way back in March this year. It’s a shot I took of all my pottery tools freshly cleaned and laid out to dry. I remember thinking how nice they looked (I suppose I have a thing for tools!) so I decided to arrange them a bit and take a photo: I thought maybe other people would be interested to see what tools I use for making my pots. So here’s a quick run down of what they are and what I use them for.

Running roughly from top to bottom and generally from left to right:

  • Small hand mirror (for seeing the other side of the pot when throwing)
  • Big sponge (for big spills)
  • Bowl of slops in water (excess clay goes in here for reclaiming)
  • Three fine-pointed decorating brushes (for glazing)
  • A metal awl, wooden stick and a nail (for making holes in buttons etc)
  • Wooden triangular rib and metal kidney (for shaping pots while throwing)
  • Small piece of sandpaper (for smoothing bisque ware before glazing)
  • Long sponge on a stick (for soaking up water inside a tall pot when throwing)
  • Various round and small sponges (for every possible purpose imaginable)
  • A metal ribbon tool (for turning excess clay at the base of a pot)
  • Rubber slip trailer (for decorating with glaze or slip)
  • Wooden stick (for making holes in beads)
  • Three metal hole makers (for making various sized holes in pots)
  • Wooden pointy hand-building tool (for shaping hand-built pots or throwing)
  • Small sponge on a stick (for soaking water inside narrow pots when throwing)
  • Rubber kidney (for shaping pots while throwing)
  • Two-ended ribbon tool (for turning excess clay at the base of a pot)
  • Piece of chamois leather (used wet to smooth the rim of a pot when throwing)
  • Plastic stick (makes good holes in card to sew finished buttons onto)
  • Three bisque fired seals (to stamp my initials into wet clay)
  • Metal wire (for cutting pots off the wheel)
  • Metal pin (So many uses…)
  • Metal turning tool (for turning)
  • Metal ruler (to measure things!)
  • Two-ended blade tool (for cutting leatherhard clay)
  • Brush (for cleaning and attaching handles)
  • Calipers (for measuring pots)

Hope all of that makes sense! Anyway, unfortunately all of these tools are currently lying jumbled up in a box covered in dried clay. So tomorrow I hope to get them all looking as clean as they were back in March!


  1. That's a lot of tools! I imagine it would just be too time consuming to wash all your tools every time you use them!

  2. Excellent! Your comment had me laughing Averilpam: you've hit the nail on the head there. Somehow I always start off cleaning everything meticulously each time and then after a while...