Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23rd Hint of the Week

Some of my favorite tools:
  • A wooden spoon with a sponge tapped or “rubber-banded” on to the handle. Very useful for getting water out of deeper or narrower vessels. Sponge end can also be used to compress bottoms, or smooth and remove slip from inside of walls. Either end can be used to expand sides of cylinders for bowls, pitchers, etc. Spoon end is a versatile tool to rib, shape, or remove extra clay. Try it out and you’ll find lots of uses and they’re cheap too!
  • Found items to use for making impressions or to use as stamps. Try leaves, needles, bones, gears, faucet handles, old jewelry, chains, small pieces of wood molding, or anything with texture. Stud earrings stuck on the end of a pencil eraser makes a great stamp too.
  • Make your own “wire” by using monofilament line and sticks or large washers for handles. Some folks prefer monofilament line over wire, but this works with guitar strings or other thin wire too.
  • Take a hack saw blade and bend it in a “U” and attach monofilament, guitar string or thin wire across the open end. You now have an oriental tool called a “Yumi.” Works as a great clay cutter on coils, small slabs or handles. Can be used to trim tops level on cylinders, cups or bowls. The saw side of the blade can be used for texture or scoring and wire can be used to “facet.” Play with it you’ll find many uses.
  • Make your own needle tool. The needle tools that come in the “clay tool sets” are sometimes too thick. Make you own by using a sewing needle and imbedding it in the end of a wooden dowel, inserting the needle in an old mechanical pencil, or putting needle in the end of a large cork.
  • Keep losing your chamois in your water container? Put a small fishing bobber on the end or staple it to a wine cork. Now it floats in the top of your water bucket.

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