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The Proper Inappropriate Use Of Tools


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#21 Idaho Potter

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 01:55 PM

On a top shelf, in a back corner I found my spring-form cake pans (6", 8", 10") that I used to make plaster bats.

#22 Terri

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 11:32 PM

Hello all

This went a lot better them I thought it would. Thank you all for the wonderful post.

Like Charles I too am a bit of A tool head and my tools tend to drift. one of my favorites is the food processor for making slip and paper clay slip used for everything from small slip castings to layed up slip decorations, When I have young kids in studio I use drinking straws as drills. many of the other adapted tools I use have already been described in your posts.

This has been great fun. I am trying to come up with another one that might be as much fun. We can't be serious all the time or its just not Fun.

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep". Scott Adams, 'The Dilbert Principle' words to be an artist by

Tom


I use kitchen, garage, and sewing room tools all the time. One of my faves is a seam ripper to do precise trimming with. I use a coping saw with wire replacing the blade to cut clay from the pug mill. Dental floss is great for clay cut off, turkey baster to skim terrasigillata, don't even get me started on texture stuff! A large crochet hook turned toward a pot will make WONDERFUL lines without risking a cut through. Tracing wheels are great for texture, marking, and slab work. Sewing stores have wonderful color wheels and measuring wheels for faceting measurements. So many toys, so little time.......

#23 mudpup

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 01:45 PM

The proper inappropriate use of tools

This is meant to be a fun post.. What unaltered tools are you using in your studio that are not designed to be used in a ceramic studio. I know that many of us use blenders and other kitchen tools. Let’s look a little further away from ceramic and share our fun unexpected tools and how they are used improperly. To make our life a little more enjoyable.

My tools

A leaf and branch chopper bought from Harbor freight on sale for about $70.00 used to grind bone dry green into a finer powder for repugging, making casting slip, making dry clay dust to wedge wet clay.

A small cement mixer for making dry glaze supplies, slips, and such

Just to name two, please note that safety concerns apply, and a good dust mask is needed with both tools

What are you doing

Tom




#24 mudpup

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 01:52 PM

I keep all the little chunks and strips that get too dry when I am handbuilding or trimming. Then I use a rolling pin or hammer to break them into nickel size pieces. An old coffee grinder bought at a yard sale grinds these chunks into dust in seconds which I store and use to make instant slip.

Wooden skewers with pointed tips make great tools for picking up small pieces to fit into corners of handbuilt vines and leaves. Old credit cards cut into 1/2 to 1 inch sizes and the end cut into points makes great scoring tools and you can make a bunch while you watch tv -oops that is altered. The metal ring that goes under a wok to go on the stove makes a great place to put a rounded form (foam on top of ring) to work on the piece so you don't flatten it out. But the best one that I cannot live without is a dense foam pad on a stick which is actually made to help people put lotion on their back or use in a shower. The foam pad is flat and slightly angled from the handle. It is is great to paddle the side of a piece, the top edge, whatever, leaves no marks and is soft but firm. Sold on Amazon as lotion applicators.

#25 Katran

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 12:06 PM

Great topic and something we all seem to use as we adapt tools. I use tarpaper for templates and for extra structure when I'm building something with soft slabs that would other wise need leather hard slabs. A half wooden egg on the inside and a big wooden spoon on the outside are great for thinning, compressing, shaping and smoothing coiled pots, in fact wooden spoons are one of my favourite tools, especially the ones that are flat on the back as they make excellent paddles. I use Tim Hortons cardboard take out cups to true small round shapes like mugs and tumblers and have cut one diagonally to use as a template. Another favourite tool is a rubber mallet for pounding a piece of clay to thin it for rolling. I also have a silicone kitchen rolling pin, slats in different thicknesses and heavy construction plastic as my poor man's slab roller. I haunt used goods stores as I have picked up wonderful things to re-purpose as tools as well as hand made pottery that needs to be appreciated and used again.

#26 TheSmartCat

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 05:57 PM

I make small press molds from Sculpy. I can have a new mold in the time it take to finish it in the oven. (Dust w/ cornstarch for a release.)

Hot glue is great for positioning add ons on green ware. I just heat with a hair dryer to release and reposition.

I use old yogurt strainers if I need to sieve a small amount of glase of slip.

Balloons in all shapes and sizes are great hand building molds.

And I don't seem to be able to keep a baster in my kitchen for more than two weeks.

#27 Up in Smoke Pottery

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 11:41 PM

Great topic...as with many of the others I use syringes, various sized metal spoons, hacksaw blades, immersion blender power drill for stiring slip and drilling holes in leather hard clay, coffee grinder, XL silicon scapers, dremel, cosemtic brushes, auto buffer, auto detail cloths, panty hose, plastic bags, cheese slicers, pie crust rolling spacers, paint stiring sticks, fun noodles, mini barbells, and others i can't think of right now.

Chad

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#28 Pres

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 08:47 AM

Hello all

This went a lot better them I thought it would. Thank you all for the wonderful post.

Like Charles I too am a bit of A tool head and my tools tend to drift. one of my favorites is the food processor for making slip and paper clay slip used for everything from small slip castings to layed up slip decorations, When I have young kids in studio I use drinking straws as drills. many of the other adapted tools I use have already been described in your posts.

This has been great fun. I am trying to come up with another one that might be as much fun. We can't be serious all the time or its just not Fun.

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep". Scott Adams, 'The Dilbert Principle' words to be an artist by

Tom


I have used a variety of wooden and bamboo spoons with the handles on or cut off to throw with. These work quite well for throwing larger forms like bowls, and jars. I also like my Dremel to shape tools, grind off pottery, cut incised decoration in greenware, and to polish out little glaze imperfections. I also find that the band saw, and drill press are invaluable in making forms for slab forms out of wood or Styrofoam. Drills for mixing glazes, immersion mixers for stains, slips and engobes, and my router for larger raised panel decoration with pressed slabs on wood forms.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#29 GEP

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 09:15 AM

I like to stir up my glazes with toilet brushes. They do a fast job of breaking up the settled stuff at the bottom, then scraping off the bottom and sides of the bucket. I buy them for $1.50 at my local IKEA, then use a separate toilet brush for each glaze. This saves me time (don't need to wash off the brushes) and saves glaze (any glaze that dries on the brush goes back in the bucket next time I stir.)


Mea
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#30 Wind n Wing

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 10:52 AM

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.

#31 clay lover

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 11:37 AM

Great topic...as with many of the others I use syringes, various sized metal spoons, hacksaw blades, immersion blender power drill for stiring slip and drilling holes in leather hard clay, coffee grinder, XL silicon scapers, dremel, cosemtic brushes, auto buffer, auto detail cloths, panty hose, plastic bags, cheese slicers, pie crust rolling spacers, paint stiring sticks, fun noodles, mini barbells, and others i can't think of right now.


Lots of good ideas here! Where do you get the rolling pin spacers? I have always wanted some, but can't find them.

#32 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 01:06 PM

I had some stainless steel sheets with various size holes in them. I have made extruder dies out of them as well as use them for texture. I use a toilet brush on my extruder too.
My friend gave me a foam circular foam cushion from her husband's prostrate operation...I use it for fragile narrow neck forms when trimming.
There are more.... I am sure.

Marcia

#33 LawPots

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 05:40 AM

I've a bamboo pot scraper from crate and barrel that makes a great straight rib; it has rounded corners of different sizes that make it a flexible tool. I also have a backpackers pot scraper with a hard side and a rubber side that is almost like having two ribs in one.

#34 macdoodle

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 09:24 AM

a boning knife , dental floss, plastic and metal knives and forks, a lacquered stiff paint brush, most recently to make holes and marks a hair barrette, can opener, dental appliances, the handle of an oil lamp, chopstick, all sorts of local plants. If it is there I will use it. That rule don't use food prep items for clay.. well- we all got to go sometime... and lots of food has more chemicals ( that you can't rinse off ) than clay does. Oh, and if you accidentlaly get a birdseed or two in clay you threw? on the patio and then cover it - the seeds will sprout through the covered clay - Oops.

#35 macdoodle

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 09:26 AM

a wooden lazy susan and the shelves i never refinished and parchment paper are great helps too.

#36 Up in Smoke Pottery

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 09:52 AM


Great topic...as with many of the others I use syringes, various sized metal spoons, hacksaw blades, immersion blender power drill for stiring slip and drilling holes in leather hard clay, coffee grinder, XL silicon scapers, dremel, cosemtic brushes, auto buffer, auto detail cloths, panty hose, plastic bags, cheese slicers, pie crust rolling spacers, paint stiring sticks, fun noodles, mini barbells, and others i can't think of right now.


Lots of good ideas here! Where do you get the rolling pin spacers? I have always wanted some, but can't find them.


I got them at a local ACE hardware store, they look like large rubber bands to go over the ends of the rolling pin. Came with 4 pairs ranging in sizes from 1/8"=3/8". If you have having trouble finding them, let me know and I can stop back in find out the official name/brand and contact for the store. I wouldn't call the packaging marketed for national distribution.

Chad

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#37 Dancing Earth Creations

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 02:00 PM

I like to incise drawings on my pots and am still searching for the best tool. I've tried calligraphy tools among many other things (pencils, dental tools, shish kebob bamboo skewers, actual clay tools meant for carving.) Next I'm trying my collection of knitting needles with some duct tape wrapped around them to make it easier to hold. I use big nuts from some sports equipment long gone to make cut off wires from fishing line or the line that was suppose to be used when I made necklaces. Knitting and jewlery making has been cast aside in my addiction to clay.




#38 Idaho Potter

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 03:06 PM

My grandson gives me all his old used guitar strings which I use as cut-off wires. Also, on another forum dealing with glazes (just incase you don't check ALL forums) Marcia and Chris (?) use toilet bowl brushes to mix their glazes. What a great idea! Only one question--does the wire in the brush rust and cause problems with the glaze? I'll ask on the other forum.

#39 Idaho Potter

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 03:37 PM

Well, duh! It was right here that Marcia and Mea referenced toilet brushes for mixing glazes. Sorry about that, should have done a search first. Anyway, I'm off to the dollar store.

#40 GEP

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 04:56 PM

Only one question--does the wire in the brush rust and cause problems with the glaze? I'll ask on the other forum.


I once had a toilet brush that contained some metal wire, which eventually rusted and broke, but didn't seem to release any rust into my glaze.

The cheap brushes I get from IKEA seem to be made entirely of plastic ... no rust!

Mea
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