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Tom

The Proper Inappropriate Use Of Tools

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I use many-my favs are-

Thrift store blender for test and hard to mix powders

sure forms and

 

Norpro 2-cup Measuring Funnel Pitcher for glazing-find them on amazon

 

1/2 inch drill as well as a cordless drill

Mark

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My new favorite is a square of clear "packing tape". Much better than a chamois for cleaning and defining rims. They come out perfect the first time.

Just take off the sticky on a piece of drywall or wood, and use it just like you would a chamois. You will be amazed!

juli

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for the time capsule:

 

unconventionaltoolsnumbered.jpg

 

1- grout trowel blade, also made a great heavyduty cutter (and dustpan)

 

2- camping knife

 

3 - sureform scraper, carver, usually for dryway

 

4- kitchen knife, my #1 sculpture tool

 

5 - 'The Finger' grout smoothing tool, lets you get the power of one arm behing one rubber 'finger', hardware store

 

6 - credit cards, my go-to curvemaker/smoother when throwing

 

7 - green scrubbie, smoother/texture maker

 

8 - old trimming tool become needle tool

 

9 - cut off dishbrush handle, nice burnisher

 

10 - Tombo, homemade traditional japanese off-the-hump cutoff tool, flat bottoms Every time!

 

11 - drill bit

 

12 - brush cleaner is the ultimate multi-needle tool! sharp, and you can score acres in seconds

 

13 - grout texturer, metal

 

14 - big plastic spoon/ throwing stick

 

15 - cut down brush cleaner scoring tool, these last until you lose them

 

16 - seashell, texturemaker/shotglass

 

17 - saws-all blade, more textures

 

Another thread on the same topic:

 

http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/topic/2986-unconventional-clay-tools/page__pid__23978__st__0&?do=findComment&comment=23978

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Hello,

 

nice topic, seems every clay worker likes to assemble strange things in the studio!:P

 

I've not yet found one item I love for modelling. ;) (Or it's my lack of english language)

 

Ballpens, or "ballpoint pens" which don't write any more, are great if you take the pieces one by one.

Usually, in front is a small metal piece you can screw off, I use it for imprinting eyes on small figures of clay.

Bigger round end for outside, smaller end inside.

 

The longer part makes nice holes, good for any sign which needs holes to get on a wall,

and at least any fish scale or dragon skin can be designed with by holding the end slightly angled.

 

Inside, you'll find a small spiral spring nice for decorating things.

 

The former writing tip is good for carving small lines in clay.

 

So all in one a nice tool for modelling..:P("where are all the ballpoints from my office desk??:angry:")

post-7018-135089147829_thumb.jpg

post-7018-135089147829_thumb.jpg

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Three bamboo skewers make a great mini whisk for small amounts of glaze or to keep colorants suspended in terra sig. I use an electric kettle to boil water to add to my water bucket when it gets too cold in winter. My best sponge on a stick is a narrow sponge paintbrush taped to a dowel.

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From my grandmother, I inherited the tools -- as well as the desire -- to do cake decorating. I've started to use some of the icing decorator's tips/bags to do sliptrailing, and plan to do a lot more exploring in that arena in the future. I also found that a very small tip works for glaze trailing as well (see attached photo)!

 

Other things...immersion blender for mixing slip, chopsticks (sometimes sharpened in a pencil sharpener!), dental/polymer clay carving tools, old guitar strings (I'm glad I'm not the only one!), plastic silverware, an orange peeler from Tupperware, and a cheap manicure set with a cuticle pusher and some weird little tool that I've never figured out how to use on my nails but is a fabulous tool in the studio. ;)

 

Plastic drinking straws are also great for cutting holes or hollowing out small things! I find them in all sorts of sizes and hoard them away until I need them.

 

I also repurpose those styrofoam things that hold produce (not the ones from meat, that's a bit gross for me). They make great mixing trays/dishes/sprig holders.

post-14890-135100806073_thumb.jpg

post-14890-135100806073_thumb.jpg

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I have gotten a lot of great ideas such as packing tape to smooth rims, embossed glass plates and plastic toilet brushes. I think I have most of the things people listed but I checked my studio to see what I have accumulated lately and I found a baster, magnifying stand, plastic spaghetti measurer and a rotary cutting mat for quilters that has a 1 inch grid on it. Past forum I told you I was testing out a triangle meat saw that was given to me. I was trying several different ideas when my son who is a chef happen to see it and asked to keep it.' Of course I gave it to him, oh well keeps the clutter down.

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OOoo, good topic.

 

Lets see, favorite non-clay tools for the clay studio include

a pizza cutter for cutting slabs,

various chunks of old copper pipe, straws, coffee stirrers, and the center spindle off a spool of grocery store produce bags for cutting round holes in stuff,

drywall chunks for drying tiles,

a speed-square,

a well worn metal spoon for burnishing,

old plastic grocery bags (oh SOO many uses, from burnishing and propping pieces to slowing drying)

a rolling pin,

paint sticks for thickness rolling,

cookie cutters,

various cement and mortar texturing tools

half a million different thingamabobs and whatchamacallits for texturing

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drywall chunks for drying tiles,

 

 

I love my drywall squares! (seasoning tiles, racks for greenware).

 

I use a little backpacker's cappuccino mixer for whipping up test glazes...

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I use those little round jar opener cloths to put under the more delicate pot rims when trimming to soften the contact with the wheel.

 

 

I use cut up pieces shelf liner, the nubby rubber kind, for the same thing. I even glued some to a bat I made using masonite for an impromptu trimming bat. I have another with thick foam, but some objects are too unstable on it, and this one fills in nicely. My only peeve is that you can't tap center on it, too grippy.

 

John

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Wow- almost forgot one of my favorites... this guy...

 

4-tier-indoor-outdoor-juliana-plant-growing-rack.jpg

Small size indoor greenhouse unit- 50 bucks at the local building supply shop... and perfect for a small size 'wet room'.

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As I was glazing, I thought I would post this. I use a recessed lid from a rubbermaid tote for glazing plates or large pieces that can't be dipped. On these little plates, I wanted one color on the back and one on the front. When I'm done with a color, I just tip up the tray and dump the excess in the bucket. Hose it off, easy peasy!

 

And the slats are bamboo garden stakes, much cheaper than dowels. You can buy 50 of them for a couple bucks.

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For a medium sized amount of glaze, I've used a couple empty 64 oz Criso bottles. They come with a screw on lid, for pouring out small amounts for brushing, and the top is designed for that any residue in that lid, flows back into the container, when you screw it back on.

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I use 4' lengths of copper tubing for hole punches and wood dowels just a little smaller to clean out the unwanted clay, under the bed Plastic boxes make great wet boxes for holding or conditioning my slabs. Use puppy pads sprayed with water and turned plastic side up to help hold moisture. Also use up those pesky plastic bags after cutting off handles and opening up sides for seperators when stacking more than one type of clay. Always fold so the printed side is turned to the inside that way no unwanted marking. Plastic bags work nice when cut and twisted to make soft support for the edges of my leaf trays. Looks like the imagination is the only limit to what we come up with. Sure appreciate all the other responses that broadened out my view of what can be repurposed.

 

 

Hobby stores usually carry brass and copper tubing in square, round and oval sections. These work well for the traditional hole punches and the unusual shaped piercing punches.

 

Oh and don't forget cookie cutters and miniature cookie cutters for repetitive curves on rims or for piercing shapes.

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