Sign up for your FREE subscription to the Ceramic Arts Daily Newsletter and we will give you Design Tips and How-To Instructions for Handmade Ceramic Tile Projects Free!

Making Clay Tools

Ceramic artists are some of the most creative people out there when it comes to their tools of the trade. Nothing is off limits as a potential clay tool and no clay tool has just one use. To prove it, we’ve gathered some of the most clever tips and techniques out there for making your own clay tools. And don't forget to download your free copy of the Clay Workshop Handbook: Knowledge and Techniques for the Pottery Studio. This handy studio reference includes valuable technical references and great clay tools to help you with forming, surface decoration and firing. Plus, it has a comprehensive directory of manufacturers and suppliers that provide ceramic equipment, raw materials, clay tools and ceramic supplies.


1 Auto body trim tape is very flexible and is available in several widths.  2 The tape stretches and holds very well around curves. 3 Glaze over the resist using your typical methods. 4 Allow the glaze and pot to dry, then remove the tape with a needle tool or sharp point.

Why Didn’t I Think of That? Pottery Tips, Tools, and Techniques from Ceramic Arts Daily Readers

Posted On April 25, 2012 7 Comments

We get a lot of great studio tips sent to us from readers, and every month Ceramics Monthly publishes some of them in their Tips and Tools section. Readers seem to like them, so we also have been sharing them on the Daily. Here’s our latest installment from potter Janie Varley.

randallpaper_620

Sketching in Space: Using Tar Paper to Develop Interesting Pottery Forms

Posted On March 9, 2012 0 Comments

In today’s post, an excerpt from his new DVD Slabs, Templates, Texture, & Terra Sigillata (which is now shipping, by the way!), Jeremy Randall explains how he uses tar paper to sketch in three dimensions when trying to come up with new ideas for his pottery forms.

bulldogpottery1new

Why Didn’t I Think of That? Pottery Tips, Tools, and Techniques from Ceramic Arts Daily Readers

Posted On November 30, 2011 22 Comments

Clay people have some darn impressive ingenuity when it comes to improving the efficiency of their processes. We get a lot of great studio tips sent to us from readers, and every month Ceramics Monthly publishes some of them in their Tips and Tools section. Since these tips were well received the last time I posted some, I thought I would share a few more. In fact, I think I will make these a semi regular feature. 

turntable2

Why Didn’t I Think of That? Pottery Tips, Tools, and Techniques from Readers

Posted On October 10, 2011 34 Comments

Clay people have some darn impressive ingenuity when it comes to
improving the efficiency of their processes. We get a lot of great
studio tips sent to us from readers, and every month
Ceramics Monthly publishes some of them in their Tips and Tools section. Since I haven’t highlighted these tips on CAD in a while, I thought I
would share a few on this fine Monday morning.

Bonus Monday Pottery Video: Five Ways to Use Your Credit Card in the Pottery Studio

Posted On June 6, 2011 46 Comments

Nearly every potter has probably put an old credit card to use in the studio as a flexible throwing rib. But that’s not the only way to repurpose your old credit cards. In today’s bonus Monday video, potter Nan Rothwell, one of the honorable mentions in our recent D.I.Y. Tools video contest, shares some of other the credit card uses she has come up with in her pottery studio.

Plywood Press Molds: A Great Technique for Enlivening Your Pottery Forms

Posted On April 20, 2011 40 Comments

Potter Ann Ruel says that, although it was the mesmerizing spin of the potter’s wheel that originally drew her in to pottery, she soon felt she needed to break those circular boundaries. Today, we present a technique Ann uses for making interestingly shaped press molds out of plywood. These slump and hump molds can create endless new possibilities for new forms for your pottery.

Tips and Tools: Rolling Reclaim

Posted On March 17, 2011 2 Comments

Space is a valuable resource to most ceramic artists and that includes potters with a tiny space tucked in the basement, students with a single table and chair in a classroom, and community art centers like the one shown here. Reclaiming clay can take over these small spaces—but this tip to make your own movable reclaim table can help.

tipsmain

7 Useful Tips, Tools, and Techniques for the Ceramic Studio

Posted On December 15, 2010 30 Comments
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, potters and ceramic artists are some of the most resourceful people around. I am continually impressed by the myriad tools and studio shortcuts that members of our community come up with to make their lives more efficient. It’s been a while since I have shared… Read More »
Dale Savoie explains how to make a homemade slab roller in today's video.

DIY Project: How to Make Your Very Own Slab Roller

Posted On September 10, 2010 82 Comments

Recently, Dale Savoie sent me this video that he created in which he explains how he designed and constructed his own slab roller. It’s pretty impressive, so I thought I would share it with you!

DIY Clay Tools Video Contest Winner!

Posted On August 2, 2010 21 Comments

The votes are in and I’m pleased to announce that Craig Rhodes is the
grand prize winner of our DIY Clay Tools Video Contest! In today’s
post, Craig will tell us a bit more about himself and how he plans to
use his gift card. Plus we’ll share some images of his work, like the
beautiful bowl to the left. Congratulations to Craig, and to runners up Murry
Gans and Joe Dillett.