I would like to share a selection of my favorite tools that I use when throwing on the pottery wheel. The list could have been longer to include other equipment pieces such as weighing scales, mirror but I tried to keep it down to bare minimum.
Number 1 – Pin Tool
The pin tool has many uses, I use it most frequently to get rid of air bubbles, to trim edges, to remove excess clay from rims and to score.
Number 2 – Kidneys
Named after the shape. I have quite a selection that I will use. The metal ones are great for cleaning up surfaces particularly after the clay has dried a little. The plastic ones are great to use when the clay is wet, and as they come in different strengths you can select the right one depending on what clay you are using. Having a selection of different shapes, sizes and flexibility is useful too.
Number 3 – Boards
A selection of boards is ideal. I have some marine ply that can be fitted to the wheel head to throw on and I have a selection of MDF boards that are covered in cling film – this stops bases drying too quickly, which can be problematic for porcelain.
Number 4 – Wooden Hand Tool
Wooden tool – Word of warning I never use any metal tools on the wheel head, the noise is like fingernails scratching down a blackboard. These wooden tools are relatively inexpensive making them ideal as they do need replacing over time as the wood wears down. They are nice to hold and leave subtle marks, as opposed to sharp edges.
Number 5 – Sponges
Sponges – I have a selection for different clean up purposes. A baby sponge for throwing as it fine so doesn’t leave too much texture on the surface. For smaller, hard to reach area’s I use a wedged make up sponge that is even smoother. And (not photographed) a sponge on a stick – an essential piece of kit when throwing tall forms and wanting to reach water in hard to reach area’s.
Number 6 – Wire
As I mainly throw porcelain I like to use a really thin wire to remove the freshly made work from the wheel head. I have another wire kept near to where I wedge the clay to wire off fresh clay from the bag.
And this is all my favorite tools. I hope have found this helpful and that new potters get some start up tips. Do get in touch if you have any questions.