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Which Are Your Most Frequently Used Tools And How Do You Use Them? | August 6, 2013

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#1 lorielle



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Posted 06 August 2013 - 04:16 PM

A lot of potters are tool hoarders.  I love to try new tools, but often I find myself using the same old favorites, over and over.  For throwing, I tend to  use a homemade 45, a wire tool, a needle tool, a rib made from a hotel keycard and an eggcrate sponge.  For handbuilding, I love my rib with a serrated edge.  Which are your most frequently used tools and how do you use them?

Lori Leary
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#2 oldlady


    single firing an electric kiln to cone 6

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 06:48 PM

different sized discs made of walnut made years ago by a friend who watched me throw a bowl with a computer disc.  and, of course, my bison trimming "pear" tool.  sponges cut from tile setter sponges to use for holding water allowing me to throw with little water......and no splashpan!

"putting you down does not raise me up."

#3 TJR


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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:09 PM

I tend to use the regulation pottery tools. I actually LIKE the spun steel cut off wires. I use two all the time. I have about 15 fettling knives lying around the studio, so I can grab one when needed. I throw with Kemper wooden ribs. I have made all kinds of trimming tools out of hack-saw blades,etc. They sit on the window sill. My ambition was to use as few tools as possible. Can't do it.I use my tools for a long time, and then replace them with the same model that wore out.


#4 JLowes


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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:26 AM

My favorites that get used almost every time I throw are two wooden tools inspired by other potters, Mudtools ribs and a Dirty Girls wiggle wire. 


One of the DIY wood tools is a short, wide (not thick) "knife" with two different radii (total of four different radii available) at each pointed end. It is made from a Home Depot give away paint stirrer, and was inspired from a workshop I attended with Fong Choo.  I use it in place of the typical wood knife.  I made another from fir trim that is a little thicker and more moisture resistant, but the paint stirrer model feels so much better in the hand as it is thinner.


The other DIY wood tool is a knock-off of Bill Van Gilder's Under Cut Rib tool.  I made mine from a left over piece of fir trim.


The Dirty Girls wiggle wire is what I use to cut off my pots.  Using either of the wood tools, I clean up the bottom next to the wheel, then slice through the base under the pot using various wiggles and moves as the wiggle wire is pulled through.  Then I lift the pot off of the bat or wheelhead and set it on Hardibacker to dry.  This results in a finished bottom with very little cleanup needed.  I rarely put a raised foot on a pot.  Even when I do, it may be three lugs of clay suitably shaped and attached to he bottom to raise the pot up.



#5 Celia UK

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 01:28 PM

I love my Mud tools throwing sponge - fabulous texture! Also like their ribs - various flexibilities, just great!

#6 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 05:49 PM

I lost it- It's a wood knife 


I tried ordering some that look similar on ebay and they are way smaller and not anywhere as awesome


I also LOVE my blue rubber rib. Use it for everything

~ Namaste ~


Home studio potter 


Shanel Pottery 






"To me the greatest thing is to live beauty in our daily life and to crowd every moment with things of beauty.  It is then, and then only that  the art of the people as a whole is endowed with it's richest significance.  For it's products are those made by great a many craftsmen for the mass of the people, and the moment this art declines the life of the nation  is removed far away from beauty.  So long as beauty abides in only in a few articles created by a few geniuses, the kingdom of beauty is nowhere near realization."                                                                                 - Bernard Leach 

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