Sometimes cutting up your studio tools can reveal all new uses. And taking the extra step to make those tools and experiment with using them, can make all the difference in refining your forms. In today’s post, an excerpt from the January 2014 issue of Ceramics Monthly, Jim Wylder shares two homemade tools that have helped him achieve precision from rim to foot.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Many years ago, while handbuilding a large form, ceramic artist Marcia Selsor was struggling to support two slabs that she wanted to join at right angles. So, she set out to build a custom tool to serve
this purpose: a right angle jig to support the form in progress. Today, Marcia shows us how to make and use her right angle jig, a simple tool she came up with to make building geometric sculpture easier.
If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of your precious time in the studio looking around for that tool you were just using a minute ago. For me, sadly, this tendency to lose track of things is not only limited to when I am in the studio. For example, I am pretty sure I have NEVER EVER set my keys down in the same place twice. But there is hope – at least in the studio! In today’s post, Lawrence Weathers shares how he keeps track of his tools with magnets and metal shelving. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Clay tools are a potter’s best friend – especially homemade tools designed to be perfect for specific tasks. Just by doing some creative searching, it’s amazing how many useful tools can be gleaned from around the home. As Deb Oliva explains in today’s post, you can use everything from beads to discarded plastic-wrap boxes to create what you need exactly when you need it. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
I have a long way to go to make my studio as ergonomic it should be but since I spend more hours behind a desk than behind my wheel it hasn’t been too much of a problem yet.
But if you are spending long hours in the studio, a key part of keeping yourself healthy is working in a position and posture that is comfortable. Since this can very from project to project, an adjustable table is super helpful. In today’s post, Adam Field explains how to make a great one on the cheap.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
p.s. This project is also demonstrated on Adam’s new DVD Precision Throwing and Intricate Carving!
Getting glazes to come out the same from batch to batch is a lot easier if you are sure the glaze is mixed to the same consistency each time. Many potters just eyeball it (you know, “mix to the consistency of skim milk”), but to get scientific, you need to measure the specific gravity with a hydrometer. Making a floating-stick hydrometer doesn’t have to be rocket science. While making calibrating marks on a simple soda straw to show the specific gravity does requires a bit of math, using a calibration chart (click link below!) makes it a lot easier to do. In today’s post, Roger Graham shows you how to make and use this simple tool. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
In today’s post, an excerpt from the January/February issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, Janis Wilson Hughes explains how she makes custom throwing ribs. As a bonus, I’m also posting a video Janis submitted to our DIY Clay Tools contest a while back, in which she explains how to make her, affectionately titled “Bam Bam Stick.”
I am impatient when it comes to centering work on a bat on my banding wheel. But a banding wheel fitted with bat pins could make it easy peasey. In today’s post, an excerpt from the January 2013 issue of Ceramics Monthly, Jim Wylder explains how he retrofitted his banding wheel so that it accepts bats with a standard-sized holes. So smart!
Texture can be addictive in pottery, and there are an infinite variety of tools that can be used to create texture. Of course, the best texture tools are homemade because you can really make your own mark. In today’s post, Larry Elardo demonstrates how he makes textured boards and uses them to make slab built pottery. I must experiment with this!
Today, I wanted to send out a reminder for our DIY Clay Tools Video Contest, sponsored by Digital Ceramic Technologies. If you missed my first announcement of the contest, go here to learn more about it and the amazing prize our sponsor is providing! And what better way to inspire you to get to work on your videos than to share an article about a great homemade tool. In this post, potter Charan Sachar explains the cool design of his easy-to-make and super-effective sink trap. Have a look, and then get out your video camera and start filming for the DIY Clay Tools contest!