Getting the perfect surface on your clay pieces is often a combination of choosing the right materials, smart timing of tasks, and knowing which is the best tool for the job. In today’s post, John Dadmun shows how to make a low-tech sanding tool to help with at least one part of that equation- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Fixing a clogged drain is hard work and expensive. Making a drain trap is easier and cheaper than you might think. In today’s post, an excerpt from the April 2014 issue of Ceramics Monthly, Raquel and Dan Sobel explain how to make a clay trap from inexpensive and readily available materials. Give it a try in your own studio. It could save you a lot of trouble.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
I typically think of trimming chucks as nuclear-cooling-tank-shaped cylinders that vases or teapots are put into for trimming. But Mike Jabbur’s chucks are a bit different. Mike makes tall, narrow chucks that actually fit inside the pots that are being trimmed, thus protecting the active walls of his vessels. Have a look at this excerpt from our compilation DVD Getting Creative with Spouts and Handles, which is on sale this weekend, to see how these smart chucks work.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
In today’s post, Daryl Baird shows us how to make own stamps or press molds using a great transfer technique and insulating foam. Daryl also shows us how he uses his stamp as a press mold to make tiles.
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.