A potter can never have enough tools. The more utensils you have for shaping, decorating, and texturing, the more creative you can get with clay. Pottery is one of the most ancient art forms known to man. Modern ceramicists subverted traditions and brought pottery into the contemporary sphere with blown-out shapes, vibrant glazes, and wild patterns. Insert yourself into the rich history of pottery and get started hand building, wheel throwing, or pot pinching your own creation. Before you start, you’re going to need to stock up on some pottery tools. Whether you’re looking for an all-inclusive set, with everything you need to model, cut, and scrape, or a more specific set, with just one or two types of tools in an assortment of shapes, we’ve got you covered below.
1. Amaco Pottery Tool Kit
Amaco’s tool kit gives you all the essentials for handling clay. You get a wooden rib, steel needle tool, steel scraper, and more. Each tool is sturdy, well-balanced, and designed to tolerate water exposure. Sure, you can get the same tools in similar bundles for less, but if you seek tools for serious ceramics that will handle all your techniques and tricks, look no further than these thoughtfully constructed products.
2. Darice 8-Piece Pottery Tool Set
Including all the most-necessary tools, this eight-piece set is a great starter kit and is also budget-friendly (it’s about half the price of Amaco’s set). Equipped with all you need to cut, scrape, smooth, and mold, this set features a ceramics sponge, metal scraper, wire cutter, wood wedge knife, ribbon loops, and more. A reusable vinyl storage case makes for easy organization and storage.
3. Globeagle Pottery Ribs
Educators and group organizers looking to stock up on versatile tools for the classroom or events should choose this five-piece set of potter’s ribs in different shapes. Each is made of smooth wood and is suitable for carving, sculpting, scraping, and shaping. Easy to hold, use, and clean, these potter’s ribs are safe for kids to use, as they don’t have sharp edges but help achieve a variety of clay effects. Available at a fraction of the cost as compared to other products on this list, this set of potter’s ribs is versatile and well-priced.
4. Xiem Studio Tools Ultimate Tools for Clay Artists
Ribbon sculpting loops are ideal for trimming clay pieces, carving patterns, and smoothing. Our favorites are these from Xiem, which come in a set of four double-ended tools. Constructed with stainless steel ends that can be sharpened, they feature a comfortable and easy-to-spot orange rubber barrel. The edges are precise and burr-free to deliver solid, clean cuts.
5. Mont Martre Polymer Clay Mini Modelling Tools
If you know you prefer using wooden tools to smooth, cut, carve, and embellish, go with this option. Each all-wood set comes with 10 double-ended implements, which means you’ll have 20 different tools to work with—and, unlike metal, you won’t risk cutting yourself. With the assortment of forked, sharp-angled, rounded, and pointed ends in various sizes, you can smooth, contour, gently flatten, slice, crosshatch, score, and much more. The wood is durable and splinter-free and the tools fit comfortably in the hand. In this multipack you get three complete sets, so you can give one to a studio mate or purchase them for classroom use.