Discover Unique Pottery Tools

Discover Unique Pottery Tools

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Thickness Gauges
  3. Blue Rib
  4. Turntable
  5. Rubber Pencil
  6. Drill Bits
  7. Trimming Tool
  8. Shaping Tool
  9. Scoring Tool
  10. Conclusion

My Favorite Pottery Tools

Pottery is an art form that requires precision and the right tools to create beautiful and functional pieces. In this article, I will discuss my favorite pottery tools that I use on a regular basis. These tools have become essential in my pottery studio and have greatly improved my craft. From thickness gauges to scoring tools, I will highlight the benefits and uses of each tool. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced potter, these tools are worth adding to your collection.

1. Thickness Gauges

Starting with thickness gauges, these simple tools are a must-have for any potter. They help ensure even slab thickness when working with clay, providing consistency in your pieces. Whether you are creating slabs for hand-building or slab building, having a variety of thickness gauges is essential. I recommend having half-centimeter sticks for general use, but it's also beneficial to have smaller measurements for specific projects. These inexpensive tools are available at hardware stores and are worth investing in for precise and consistent thickness in your pottery.

2. Blue Rib

One of my most frequently used tools is the blue rib. This versatile tool from Mud Tools is a game-changer. With different colors indicating different densities, the blue rib is my go-to tool for throwing pottery on the wheel. Its stiffness provides control and precision, allowing me to shape and refine my pieces with ease. The quality of Mud Tools' ribs is exceptional, and I highly recommend investing in a few for your pottery journey.

3. Turntable

A turntable is another tool that I find invaluable in my pottery studio. This rotating platform allows me to access all angles of my piece while working on it. While there are numerous types of turntables available, the small, green one from BurSna has been my go-to for years. Its compact size is perfect for making mugs and other small pieces. However, if you require a larger turntable, there are options available to suit your needs. A turntable is an essential tool for both wheel-throwing and hand-building, providing convenience and flexibility in your creative process.

4. Rubber Pencil

Although I primarily work on the wheel, I discovered the usefulness of a rubber pencil for hand-building. This tool, with one rounded side and one sharper edge, is excellent for smoothing out cracks and connections in slab building and coil building. While it may not be an essential tool for every potter, it offers convenience and precision for hand-building enthusiasts. Whether you are new to hand-building or seeking an alternative to a rubber tool, a rubber pencil is worth incorporating into your collection.

5. Drill Bits

Surprisingly, drill bits have become one of my unexpected favorite pottery tools. Not only are they useful for making holes in pieces, but they also offer creative opportunities for adding texture. By using the sharp end of a drill bit, you can create intricate patterns and designs on your pottery. Whether you want to add eyes to your pieces or create unique textures, drill bits are versatile tools that enhance your creativity. Make sure to use newer, sharp drill bits for clean and precise results.

6. Trimming Tool

When it comes to trimming, I have found that simplicity is key. The classic trimming tool with a round side and a square side is the only trimming tool I need. This tool allows me to trim feet on the bottom of my cups and bowls with ease. While there are various trimming tools available, having a single tool like this can save you money and offer versatility. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced potter, a trimming tool like this is a must-have in your pottery toolkit.

7. Shaping Tool

Another tool that I rely on heavily in my pottery practice is a versatile shaping tool or wooden knife. This tool serves multiple purposes, from smoothing out hand-built pieces to cutting off excess clay on the wheel. It can replace a rubber tool for smoothing cracks and can also trim the "skirt" of a pot. Its versatility makes it an essential tool for both wheel-throwing and hand-building, ensuring precision and clean finishes in your pottery.

8. Scoring Tool

Scoring clay is a necessary step when joining pieces together or creating attachments in pottery. While there are various scoring tools available, I find that a simple wire tool provides the best results. Whether it's called a scoring tool or a texture shift, this tool consists of wires attached to the end of a handle. It allows for quick and effective scoring without the risk of cutting yourself, as with metal serrated ribs. This tool is a time-saver and ensures strong connections in your pottery.


In conclusion, these are my favorite pottery tools that have made a significant impact on my craft. From thickness gauges to scoring tools, each tool serves a unique purpose in creating beautiful and functional pottery. Investing in high-quality tools that suit your specific needs can greatly enhance your pottery experience. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced potter, these tools are worth considering for your collection. Remember to choose tools that offer versatility, durability, and precision to take your pottery to the next level.

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