The CW: What Tools Do You Use? - Courtney of @courtneypaigeceramics

March 11, 2024

And just like that, it's almost spring! time to use those gift cards from the loved ones who support us over the holidays! We have our next crew member up to show us their most frequented tools to continue our new series of blog posts! This time with The CW Co-owner and ceramicist Courtney of @courtneypaigeceramics to show us her favourite tools!

Hey Friends! I always like to say my favourite tool is my hands but sometimes there are things my hands just can't do. When that happens, these are the tools I grab!

#1 - Kemper RB3 Wooden Rib

This rib is just *chef's kiss*. This rib is longer than your typical RB2 wooden rib which is great for getting straight walls. Plus I love the curve this rib had to offer. It works great for getting the inside of my bowls to have that perfect curve.

Kemper RB3 Wooden Rib

#2 - Xiem Firm Silicone Blue Rib - Shape #5

I have used this rib for years to compress clay after opening out, and I have never had an S-crack. This rib is firm yet flexible and is thicker than most ribs. This rib, in combination with the RB3 from Kemper, is great for dual rib compression of the walls of a bowl due to its size and flexibility. Plus, this rib is great for compressing slabs!

Xiem Fiem Silicone Blue Rib - Shape #5

#3 - Mudtools White Finishing Mudsponge

The Mudtools White Finishing Sponge is the greatest sponge of all time! Don't get me wrong, though, I love throwing with a simple synthetic yellow sponge. However, this white sponge has won over my heart. Its tight cellulose cell structure makes it less absorbent. This allows the sponge to have more of a rib effect than a sponge effect. You can use it to smooth grog down, or compress rims the same you would with a shami. It's great for finishing projects or to use as a sponge to smooth attachments. There is nothing this sponge can't do; I just love it!

Mudtools White Finishing Mudsponge

#4 - Kemper PT410 Pro-Line Trimming Tool - Round 1"

The Kemper Pro-Line series of trimming tools is a wonderful line where quality and durability meet affordability. These tools have an unmatched longevity compared to other Kemper trimming tools. I have tried many trimming tools in the past, and the shape I gravitate towards most is a smaller circle. A circle trim tool may seem weird initially, but it's quite versatile. It can easily trim flat surfaces while allowing a nice flow while trimming non-flat pots.

Kemper PT410 Pro-Line Trimming Tool - Round 1"

#5 - Kemper SA10 Aluminum Serrated Scraper - 3 3/4"

As a wheel thrower, hand builder, and now slowly easing my way into sculpting, this serrated scraper is my favourite tool. It is wonderful for scoring any attachments and for evening-out surfaces. This tool is inexpensive and a must for every potter.

Kemper SA10 Aluminum Serrated Scraper - 3 3/4"

#6 - Mudtools Red "Extra Soft" Polymer Rib - Shape 5

This rib, in my opinion, is essential for every potter. The shape isn't as important as it is personal preference; I enjoy using shapes #2 and #5. This rib is great for compressing slabs, smoothing walls, compressing grog, and so much more. It is incredibly flexible and can be manipulated into any shape. This rib is very similar to the Mudtools white finishing sponge in how it acts, but just in a rib form.

If you weren't aware, each colour of Mudtools Ribs is a different Firmness:

Red = Extra Soft

Yellow = Soft

Green = Medium

Blue = Firm

Mudtools Red "Extra Soft" Polymer Rib - Shape 5

#7 - 4.5" Steel Yumi Clay Cutter

Saving the best for last; this harp-style wire cutter. Yes, a needle tool is great and can do so many things, but it cannot do what a harp cutter can do. It has a more accurate cut on handles and it can be used to facet or cut walls. Ive been using some variation of a harp tool in my tool box for many years and it is something I always have on hand whether i'm wheel throwing or hand-building.

4.5" Steel Yumi Clay Cutter

The above tools are tools that I cannot live without. When creating, all of these are on my table ready to use. Below are some non-essential tools that are always nice to have on hand just in case.

#8 - Kemper Soft Handle Utility Knife

Ideal for fine cuts on clay, greenware, and more. This all-purpose utility knife has a new look. The NO-STRESS padding surrounding the barrel gives your fingers a break from using pressure to grab. This knife has a surgically sharp blade handle held firmly with a (releasable) four-jaw chuck.

Kemper Soft Handle Utility Knife

Kemper Utility Knife Replacement Blases

#9 - Kemper JA18 Wood Modeling Tool - 6"

Kemper wood modelling tools are used for cutting, slicing, smoothing, contouring, and pattern decorating in soft clay.

Measures 6" long.

Kemper JA18 Wood Modeling Tool - 6"

#10 - Miniature Detail Brush - Size 00

The #00 pointed round paint brush measures 6.5 inches in total length and has a fine point of approximately 0.5” hair length. It is perfect for detailed underglaze work or cleaning up seams in greenware attachments.

Miniature Detail Brush - Size 00

Well, there, you have it! some of my "Can't Live Without" tools and a few bonus ones that I like to have around. Thanks so much for reading along.

Join us for future “What Tools Do You Use” from some of our other crew and friends. Do you use any of these tools? Let us know in the comments what your #1 used tool is!

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