Friday, December 9, 2011

Tools - The VERY Basics

I promised some of my students that I would list the basic tools they should have in their kit.  One woman I know had trimming tools that were so dull- she may as well have been using a butter knife. Sometimes students use only communal studio tools and never realize or know just how much easier it is to use good , sharp, appropriate toos.

First - my disclaimer. This is not a complete list , not a comprehensive list. It is meant to be a start for the serious beginner or intermediate student. Pin tool, wire, towel, gum - all that goes without saying.

Tools are very personal and as you develop as a potter you find the ones you love and hate. I Like tools that feel good in the hand and do a good job. I am a Bison fan and a Bamboo fan.

  • Loop
  • Double tipped - small round and triangle
  • Triangle
All Ceramic Supplies sell these
This is totally helpful for getting the bottom of a pot really flat. Love this -

  • Get a big Grout Sponge and cut it into 2" and 1" squares and triangles. 
  • I also like a few round ones 
  • I always keep the very small, tight pore makeup triangles that you can buy in the drug store.

RIBS- Ribs come in a variety if firmness. There are really rigid ones and there are floppy ones. Have some of each. I like the ones with the holes for your fingers- easy to grip for newbies.
  • Rubber
  • Wood
  • Bamboo
Kemper and Lots of other companies make rubber ribs.
Great shape for bowls and rounded things and makes a nice chubby rim. My favorite

These are great all around for cleaning up and never get water logged. Another favorite.
Metal rib that is serated all around. Fantastic for scoring stuff.

ALL TIME FAVORITE for hand building. The YUMI from bamboo tools. This one I keep several of because I use it so often. Afraid I will misplace it and freak out:)


It's called a "colour shaper" - bought it at Blick. I think it is meant for pastels - blending the colors.   Like a paintbrush with a rubber tip. Great for finishing off seams on things. This was the most expensive tool in the lot.

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