Big Ceramic Store Blog

Essential Pottery Tools For Throwing

As a beginning potter, I was unsure of the tools I would need to get started. I looked at all the manufacturers, and their different "beginner" sets, but I was still confused. In the end, I did purchase a Kemper 9 Piece Pottery Tool Set to get started, and it was a great fit.

That being said, I'm always on the lookout for new tools, and have collected a vast array of them over the years. In today's post, we'll go over some of the throwing tools I consider essential, and next week, we'll cover handbuilding and sculpting tools.

Grab your coffee and follow me to the studio. Let's start with the basic throwing tools;

  • Bats
    • I'm a huge fan of the Amaco Drilled Plasti-bat. They are extremely durable, I love the rough texture for holding my clay in place, and they pop of the wheel head easily.
      106lg
  • Sponges
    • Where to begin, I use several while I'm throwing. There are different degrees of texture in sponges. The bigger the holes, the more water it absorbs. This is how I use them...
      • very porous - beginning stages of throwing - for pulling water off the piece I'm working, and the water that collects on the bat.
        replacement_sponge_1
      • medium porous - mid stages of throwing. They pull water off the piece, but leave less marks than the very porous ones.
        sponge_blue_-_web_final
      • non-porous - for finishing the piece. I generally run this sponge around the pot, and around the rim, for a finishing touch. I LOVE the Mudtools Mudsponge! They are the same shape as a rib, and follow the contour of a pot real nice.
        tools-supplies-mudsponge-white-finishing-2
      • Sponge on a stick - for collecting the water that accumulates in the bottom of a tall, narrow topped pot. There are several on the market, or you can make your own. I prefer the Xiem X-sponge.
        xiem_x-sponge_ii
  • Trimming Tools
    • Loop Tool - for trimming the foot of the pot once it is leather hard
      lt5-loop-tool
    • Needle tool - I use it mostly for cutting the rim if it gets uneven, or to check the thickness of the bottom of my pot
      untitled
    • Potter's rib - shaping and removing the "slurry" off the outside of the pot, and to smooth out the inside of bowls
      rib_ss1_-_web_final
    • Ribbon tool - design and trimming
      kemper_r2_dual_end_ribbon_tool_1
    • Wire clay cutter - this is used for cutting the pot off the bat. I like the Mudwire for the ergonomic handles
      mudtools_straight_mudwire
    • Wood modeling tool - for use in creating a clean ridge under the edge of a pot to slide the wire cutter into, doing so, helps give a clean cut off the bat
      kemper_wt6_wood_modeling_tool_1

Remember, this is a basic list of essential tools. If you are a beginner, you will find each of these helpful however; as you progress, you will add a bunch of tools to your toolbox too!

Leave a comment below with your favorite tools, and why you like them.

Want to share your ideas, or have a suggestion for our blog? Send us an email at  bcscommunity@bigceramicstore.com.

Visit our  "How To" page for more projects and tips/tricks.

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