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Tagged:  Carving Tools


Making the Perfect Pottery Tools with the Tools at Hand

Posted On May 25, 2015 12 Comments

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.


How to Make Super Sharp DIY Sgraffito Tools

Posted On April 10, 2013 4 Comments

Clay is rough on tools. Fortunately, some of the most used tools in the box are quick and easy to assemble right in your own studio. In today’s post, an excerpt from the April 2013 issue of Ceramics Monthly (which, by the way, is now available as an app for Ipads and Android tablets with a screen size of at least 7 inches!), Nancy Gallagher explains how you can make your own sgraffito tools with cheap and easy-to-find materials! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


Announcing the 2nd D.I.Y. Clay Tools Video Contest!

Posted On August 1, 2012 3 Comments

For our next video contest, we thought it would be fun to ask our clever readers to submit videos showcasing the tools they’ve made or repurposed for a particular ceramics task. Read on, for more details!

Finished wheel-thrown, altered and carved sculpture by Jennifer McCurdy.

Testing the Limits of Porcelain in Wheel Thrown, Altered and Carved Sculptures

Posted On January 21, 2011 74 Comments

Jennifer McCurdy has been working with porcelain for over twenty five years and for the last several years, she has been really putting it to the test structurally. She has been experimenting with how thin high fire porcelain can be before it collapses in the kiln and how much can it be cut away and still maintain structural integrity? The results of these experiments are stunning sculptures that reflect the movement of the potter’s wheel and the fire of the kiln. Today, Jennifer demonstrates her techniques from the initial thrown form to the lighter-than-air finished piece.

Cristine Boyd demonstrates using her homemade sgraffito tools.

A Simple Way to Make Your Own Super Sharp Sgraffito Tools

Posted On September 24, 2010 52 Comments

Today we are presenting one of the Honorable Mentions from our recent D.I.Y. Clay Tools Video Contest. This one comes from Cristine Boyd in Denver, Colorado. Cristine was having trouble finding a nice, sharp, affordable sgraffito tool that retained its sharpness so she took matters into her own hands. She discovered that spring steel – the stuff that is in metal tape measures – is the perfect material for sgraffito carving blades. Watch the video to see how she does it!

Fig.4 Place the platter on a foam rubber chuck on the wheel and create the center spiral as the wheel turns.

Scratching the Surface: A Guide to Sgraffito

Posted On May 10, 2010 10 Comments

Three Great Pottery Decorating Techniques: A Guide to Sgraffito, How to Make and Use Terra Sigillata, and Creating and Coloring Highly Textured Surfaces is available today, and to give you a taste of what you’ll find inside, I am posting an excerpt about sgraffito. In it, Wayne Bates shares some great insights into this fun technique.


How to Carve Low-Relief Surface Designs into Wet Clay

Posted On January 4, 2010 23 Comments

Today we are launching another cool free gift: Ceramic Carving Tool Techniques: Bringing the Ceramic Surface to Life. This one is all about carving into clay and the best tools and techniques for doing so. In today’s post, an excerpt from our new download, potter Ann Ruel gives us the ins and outs of carving low relief designs into wet clay.


Ceramic Sculpture Video: An Introduction to Figure Sculpting in Clay

Posted On August 28, 2009 29 Comments

In today’s video, ceramic sculptor Philippe Faraut draws on his many years of sculpting experience and his vast knowledge of human anatomy to show us how to sculpt an anatomically correct skull in clay. 

This tile was decorated with resist inlay and underglazes. The design was carved with a loop sgraffito tool and a dental tool.

Resist Inlay: A Simple Decorating Technique

Posted On September 29, 2008 2 Comments

I think we’ve all heard it said that the simplest solution is the best. And while I always make it a rule to never deal in absolutes, today’s tip does seem to prove this adage true. Brought to us by Sumi von Dassow, this surface-decoration technique involves just a few tools and materials that I’ll bet you already have in your studio. And like most simple techniques, a little experimentation can result in many new ways to add interest and depth to your work. But Sumi doesn’t stop there; she also includes some general tips for working with wax resist, and these will help you regardless of which wax technique you use. Enjoy!

From the Laundry Room to the Clay Studio: Readers Share Clever Tips for Pottery Tools

Posted On August 13, 2008 0 Comments

Today we bring you a couple of great reader-submitted tips for ceramic tools. These tips involve items that you probably already own, but never thought to use for clay studio purposes. Following a laundry theme, ceramic artists Ken Magee of Talahassee, Florida, and Peggy Breidenbach of Indianapolis, Indiana, share ideas for repurposing tools usually used for drying clothes for use in the ceramics studio.