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  • Writer's pictureEfthimios Sifounios

Pottery tools

Pottery is an ancient art that has been practiced for thousands of years, and over time, a wide variety of tools have been developed to help potters create their pieces. These tools are used for shaping, decorating, and finishing the clay, and include everything from simple hand tools to more complex machinery. In this article, we will take a look at some of the most common tools used in pottery making, and their uses. One of the most essential tools for pottery making is the pottery wheel. A pottery wheel is a tool that is used to shape clay by spinning it while the potter works on it. Pottery wheels come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be powered by electricity or by foot pedals. They are used to create a wide range of pieces, from simple bowls and cups to more complex vases and sculptures.




Pottery tools
Pottery tools

Another important tool for pottery making is the slab roller. A slab roller is a machine that is used to flatten and shape clay into slabs, which can then be used to create a variety of pieces such as plates, platters, and tiles. Slab rollers can be manual or electric and they come in different sizes. Pottery tools also include a wide variety of hand tools that are used for shaping, decorating, and finishing the clay. These include carving tools, stamps, texture rollers, and modeling tools. Carving tools, for example, are used to create detailed designs and patterns on the clay, while stamps can be used to add texture and patterns. Texture rollers can be used to create a wide range of surface textures, and modeling tools are used to shape and refine the clay.

Kiln furniture is another essential tool used in pottery making. Kiln furniture includes items such as kiln shelves, posts, and stilts, which are used inside the kiln to support, separate and protect pottery during the firing process. These items are typically made from heat-resistant materials such as alumina and cordierite, and are specially designed to withstand the high temperatures of the kiln. In addition to these tools, there are also a wide variety of other tools and equipment that are used in pottery making such as clay mixers, pug mills, and glaze sprayers. Clay mixers are used to mix clay and water to the right consistency, while pug mills are used to recycle clay scraps and make them usable again. Glaze sprayers are used to apply glaze to the pottery pieces and make them shiny and waterproof. In conclusion, pottery making is a complex and multifaceted craft that requires a wide range of tools and equipment. From the pottery wheel to the kiln furniture, each tool plays an important role in the pottery-making process. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned potter, it's important to invest in high-quality tools that will last for years and make your pottery making experience more enjoyable and productive. Pottery making is not only a craft but it's also a therapeutic experience, and with the right tools and techniques, anyone can create beautiful and functional pieces that will last for generations.


Another important tool used in pottery making is the tool called the rib. A rib is a small tool that is used to smooth and shape the clay. It is typically made of wood or plastic and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the intended use. Ribs are used to smooth out the clay surface and to create a clean and uniform shape. They are also used to create textured patterns and designs on the clay surface. The use of a texture tool is also important in pottery making. Texture tools are used to create a variety of surface textures on the clay. These can include patterns, designs, or even impressions of objects such as leaves or flowers. There are many types of texture tools available, from small wooden tools to larger, more complex machines.

Another important tool for pottery making is the scraper. A scraper is a tool used to remove excess clay and smooth the surface of the piece. Scrapers come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be made of metal or plastic. They are used to clean and smooth the surface of the clay, and to remove any unwanted bumps or ridges. Additionally, potters may also use a tool called a jigger and jolly. A jigger and jolly is a tool that is used to create symmetrical forms, such as cups, bowls, and plates. The jigger is used to shape the outside of the piece, while the jolly is used to shape the inside. These tools work in conjunction with the pottery wheel and are specifically designed to create symmetrical forms with precision and accuracy.

In addition to these tools, potters may also use a variety of other tools and equipment in the pottery-making process, such as glaze brushes, sponges, and stencils. Glaze brushes are used to apply glaze to the pottery, while sponges are used to remove excess glaze and create a smooth surface. Stencils can be used to create designs and patterns on the pottery surface.

In conclusion, pottery making requires a wide variety of tools and equipment, each with its own specific function and purpose. From the pottery wheel to the rib, each tool plays an important role in creating beautiful and functional pieces. Investing in high-quality tools is essential for any potter, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro. With the right tools and techniques, pottery making can be a rewarding and therapeutic experience that allows you to express your creativity and create pieces that will last for generations.

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