I’m a clay tool junkie. Actually, I’m addicted to tools for all of my avocations, not just to clay tools. Between Dan and I, our collection of tools often threatens to push us out of the studio. It’s really hard to keep clay tools organized, especially the ones we use daily.
Recently, I saw a video of a Korean master potter at work. Next to his work surface, he had all his tools neatly stored in an expanded polystyrene foam noodle. Like a pool noodle. Then I saw an article by potter Sheryl Taylor of Arizona — and she talked of the same thing. So here’s my take, after building and trying a polystyrene noodle clay tool rack.
The pool noodles are easily purchased at any time of the year. Try the major toy stores or online stores like Amazon. Or you can by tubes made of the foam (brand name is likely going to be Styrofoam) at the hardware store. Those are almost always black or bright blue colored and are meant to insulate pipes.
Buy whatever pleases you or go out in the garage and dig up last year’s pool noodle. Sort out your clay tools and shine them up. You’re going to like this.
Steps to Do It Yourself Clay Tools Caddy
- With a large serrated knife or a serrated saw, cut the noodle long enough to fit well on the side of your workspace or next to your potters wheel.
- Lay the noodle down and cut slits every few inches and about half way through the noodle.
- Clamp the noodle’s end to your table or bench with inexpensive “C” clamps.
- Poke a few small holes all the way through for drainage. Use a Phillips screwdriver.
- Arrange your tools in the slits you’ve cut.
- Poke needle clay tools or craft knives right into the noodle. Guess what? You won’t get accidently poked or cut with those sharp clay tools anymore.
- Clean up? Once in a great while, take the tools out and hold the noodle under running water. But who cleans up their clay tools?
Sheryl said, in her post, “…clay tools don’t budge. And best of all, I can see all my tools. Now I don’t lose them in slurry water and I don’t have to search for them in the mud.”
This is a terrific DIY project, just the kind I like. The total investment, even if you go
deluxe, is under $5. Time from start to finish is maybe ten minutes. The noodle is durable and will last a long time. You can even color coordinate with your plastic ribs, right?
Hey? Have you got personal solutions to pottery problems? Talk to us in the comment section!
If you haven’t joined our subscribers all over the world, today is your day! For just $25 per year, you get full access to all of Handbuilders Monthly premium content. Up next? A Korean pottery odyssee that you could do yourself. Subscribe right now!