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The Proper Inappropriate Use Of Tools


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#41 Lucille Oka

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 01:57 AM

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



Today for the first time I bought a little cup of chocolate ice cream, within the lid was a little flat plastic spoon. My first thought was 'oh this is perfect for getting into those tight spots that the long boxwood tools can't reach'! I haven't tried it yet, the tool I mean the ice cream is long gone. The little spoon has possibilities!
John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

#42 twinmom

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 12:10 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




Hi, Tom. What a fun forum!

I've wanted a set of alphabet stamps for a long time but didn't want to spend the $ and discovered that alphabet pasta works well. The pasta can be found at some local groceries or ethnic groceries (Hispanic).

Also, there are a few shapes that can be cut from fast-food drink lids and used as stamps. And a sewing pattern tracing wheel gives a nice mark; it's easy to make straight or curved lines.

Plastic food wrap or dry cleaner plastic can be used on both sides of a slab of clay while rolling it out--it keeps the table top clean and you can get incredibly thin slabs. Although the slab should be turned over prior to each rolling-pin "pass" and the top sheet of plastic reapplied. After the final rolling, remove the bottom piece of plastic and rib the clay smooth because the bottom plastic always tends to wrinkle.

An unplugged fridge works well as a "damp box" for pots in progress.

A picnic cooler is a good place to store small amounts of unused clay.

I loved lots of the tips, especially using crochet hooks or knitting needles. Thanks for opening up this interesting discussion--I've learned a lot of fun things to try.

#43 Lucille Oka

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 02:47 PM

I sculpted lid models this week and needed a container to hold the models for casting. You ever buy cakes from a supermarket? The cake cover was perfect for holding the models for the pour. Before you toss those disposable containers, see if they have potentials for casting. Some shapes are too good to pass up.


John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

#44 clay lover

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 11:29 AM

I use those cake covers for slow drying of plates and bowls, and the tall pretzel and cheetos jars with the bottom cut off for taller pieces that need to be covered without having plastic touch the clay.

Yesterday I discovered that wallpaper liner that goes over concrete blocks or panneling before the paper makes a GREAT work surface. Sturdy and slightly absorbent. Found 4 big roles at the salvage store.Posted Image

#45 Red Peppa Studio

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:46 AM

I use cheap Halloween carving tools (I buy them when they go on clearance sales) The saws work well for cutting out windows and such. The scoops are great for shaping, there are other tools included, usually find a kit with 8 pieces for around a dime.

I use a Tony Chachere's Creole injector (comes with the seasoning that you can inject under the skin of a turkey) to fill miniature molds, and to apply slip to the outside of pieces.

I use an assortment of light shades that my husband got as samples at a trade show. These are the coverings that go in fluorescent light fixtures. Some are used for textures, some are used for cutting tiles, one is a honeycomb shape, and there are a couple of different sized squares.

A wok strainer works well for dipping pieces into glaze.

Wooden tiered thread caddy, works well when you are painting or drying multiple small items such as salt and pepper shakers (which is what I mostly make). The racks come in either 6 rows of ten small pegs or 6 rows of 6 large pegs, I set up two of them when I start painting, one with the bisque on each peg (or every other peg if the pieces are big and would touch and rub off the glaze) Then as I paint all of one color on each piece, I move it to the other rack, and repeat until the first rack is done, then I move to the next color and start the process all over.

Oh and I save all the caps off medicine, soda, and water bottles and use them when I just need a small amount of glaze, no contamination that way, and if I can't get it clean, I just toss it.

I also wash the foam trays that meat comes on to use as a pallet

#46 Ghilayne

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 07:52 AM

Quilting tools! I love my old plastic mats with lines and measurements marked, as well as having a collection of plastic piecing shapes, also with lines marked. Hexagons, triangles, squares, circles, scalloped shapes -- all great. A pizza cutter instead of a rotary fabric cutter saves ruining an olfa blade and lessens the chances of cutting yourself along with the clay.

The plastic templates for quilted stiching come in a near endless variety of patterns and the cut-outs are usually wide enough to mark directly on the piece.

Stencils meant for painting work just as well in our clay studios.

Old drafting tools are wonderful studio additions, too. No off-angle pieces with a T-square, and the bendy metal curves allow for making all kinds of lines. Drafting templates are also useful, but they also tend to be much smaller, thinner/bendier plastic and more delicate than the quilting shape templates.

And, having appropriated my husband's leather stamps has brought a new form of heaven to the studio, too.

Kitchen tools tend to get left alone -- my husband is a delightful cook, my son is studying to be a chef -- so I pretty much limit myself to "can you get one of THOSE for me for the studio?" when I see one of their goodies that I like. Ok, so I borrowed the pie crust punch patterns a couple of times... but washed them thoroughly afterward!

#47 KellyRainey

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 08:02 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.



Here is one place that I have found that sells the rolling pin spaces? These are usually used for rolling out pie dough. http://www.countryki...roductId=633876

Then there are also the thickness strips that can bought at some of the ceramic supply stores online. For example, The Big Ceramic Store - http://www.bigcerami...ildingTools.htm they will the 12th tool/item down on the page.
Or Continental Clay carries some - http://www.continent...b_categoryID=54. Other online stores sell them as well but these are the two off the top of my head.

If you wanted wood ones featured at Continental Clay or Big Ceramic Store you could also just buy the square dowels you can find at craft stores or home improvement stores like Home Depot, Lowes, etc. You would just buy them in 1/8", 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" thickness or whatever thickness you desire.

Good Luck and have fun...


#48 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 02:09 PM

I have a collection of stainless steel sheets from the recycling center with various sizes of perforated holes. I have used these for bumpy texture, stencils for airbrushing and cut some to fit my extruder for coils.

Marcia

#49 SmartsyArtsy

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 07:54 PM

My treasured "tool" is my Father's shaving brush, used when I am cleaning up greenware carvings. He was great at recycling tools, furniture, etc., and I like to think he is smiling down on me when I use it. I also am a bit of a Packrat when it comes to produce netting and bags.

#50 Pres

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:35 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




Hi, Tom. What a fun forum!

I've wanted a set of alphabet stamps for a long time but didn't want to spend the $ and discovered that alphabet pasta works well. The pasta can be found at some local groceries or ethnic groceries (Hispanic).

Also, there are a few shapes that can be cut from fast-food drink lids and used as stamps. And a sewing pattern tracing wheel gives a nice mark; it's easy to make straight or curved lines.

Plastic food wrap or dry cleaner plastic can be used on both sides of a slab of clay while rolling it out--it keeps the table top clean and you can get incredibly thin slabs. Although the slab should be turned over prior to each rolling-pin "pass" and the top sheet of plastic reapplied. After the final rolling, remove the bottom piece of plastic and rib the clay smooth because the bottom plastic always tends to wrinkle.

An unplugged fridge works well as a "damp box" for pots in progress.

A picnic cooler is a good place to store small amounts of unused clay.

I loved lots of the tips, especially using crochet hooks or knitting needles. Thanks for opening up this interesting discussion--I've learned a lot of fun things to try.


Press you alphabet pasta into a "cigarette stub" of clay, leave it imbedded, and burn out in the bisquefire to get a raised letter style. This works especially well for labeling things like salt and pepper, or honey jar, etc.

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


#51 TypicalGirl

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:49 PM

Hubby: "Where's the (cheese grater, hair dryer, avocado slicer, cap to the laundry soap...)?"

Me: "Oh. I think its in the studio."
Cathi Newlin, Angels Camp, Ca
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#52 Mark C.

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 10:05 PM



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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#53 smokin pots

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 05:18 PM

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
la paloma texas pottery

#54 Cass

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 04:50 PM

for the time capsule:

Posted Image

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://ceramicartsda...__0

#55 maorili

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:38 AM

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:")

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greetings
Gabi
http://maoridesign.jimdo.com/
Necessity is the mother of invention

#56 Diane Puckett

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 11:20 AM

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.
Diane Puckett
Dry Ridge Pottery

#57 Benzine

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 08:20 PM

I've got a set of dental tools, I use for detailed carving. The have a relatively sharp edge, and work great on leatherhard and bone dry clay.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#58 koreyej

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:05 AM

I love "using things for the other use". My favorite new one is going to goodwill to find interesting textures from pressed glass serving trays and plates to use as stamps.

Korey Averill
ka Studios Pottery

www.kastudios.com


#59 Nancy S.

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:27 AM

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.

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#60 hiddendreamer

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:44 PM

I collect different pieces of jewlery that I find at yard sales to use as texture. Broaches are my favorite.




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