Pottery tools #1: Modeling tools - for clay blog

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Blog entry by mafe posted 147 days ago 1271 reads 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Modeling tools
for clay

I have to many things going on, one of them is the clay, I love the contradiction between the clay and the wood, one need to be cut, one so soft that it needs only a touch.
In the wood we have the rigid set of rules that we try to bend to give it beauty, in the clay it’s all bend and we need to try and put some rules to make it speak.

On Wednesdays I do nude model clay croquis.
It’s difficult, really, two times twenty minutes for each pose, no more no less and so you just need to be done when the model leaves. I love it and hate it – right from my heart!
When doing this I used to use my hands a lot for modeling, now I use almost only the palette knife and wire tools for shaping and then different modeling tools for details and difficult spots to reach.
I have a bunch, but needed out of love to make some my self.

This is what we are talking about, my box of clay tools.
I will tell more later, just needed to show a picture so you know what I am talking about.

Some scrap wood, here a arm from a hardwood parasol.
Cut to length on the table saw.

Then to shape on the band saw.
(Forgot to take the picture before final shaping, so put it back to show you).

Shaping on the Supersander wheel, like I do with my knifes.
I love this process.

Flat areas on the disc sander.

Finish up with scrapers and sand paper.

Then I burn my brand into them.

Here a little selection from that day.

Danish oil and wax.
On the right a bamboo knife and spoon I converted.

So here they are ready for use.

Bamboo or any wood spoons, forks and knifes can be converted easy.

Even chopsticks.

Great for tiny details.

You can never have to many, but really you need only a few.
(A look into my box).

Here a set I made as a gift for a kind woman at croquis, she brought me home made snaps, so I thought it was fine to make her a little gift.

The latest I have made, now in new colors also. ;-)_o

Here some of my other stuff, little Japanese inspired clay toubako boxes, been told the Japanese call this clay discipline cabinet making…

Work in progress.

Mr & Miss.

Demon of vanity – who have given up hope.

You might also be interested in my Clay rolling and cutting board:

Hope it can inspire others to make tools.

The best of my thoughts,

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

9 comments so far

View tyvekboy's profile


532 posts in 1638 days

#1 posted 147 days ago

Very cool. When i no long can push wood Iʻll push clay. Great ideas…. and they are all lying in my scrap bin. lol

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA

View rayn's profile


140 posts in 1843 days

#2 posted 147 days ago

Great Mads Are you self taught or is this another of your hidden talents?

-- Ray,Iowa

View Sergeich's profile


60 posts in 421 days

#3 posted 147 days ago

Buetifull tools. And awesome demon. You are real artist.

View lanwater's profile


3076 posts in 1559 days

#4 posted 147 days ago

It’s funny, I just bought some clay and a bag of modeling tools for my younger son.

Very similar to yours. Let me say that your tools look so much better. Had you posted this blog last week, I would have done it myself :)

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Jim Jakosh's profile (online now)

Jim Jakosh

11277 posts in 1730 days

#5 posted 147 days ago

Very cool set of tools. It makes sense that YOU would make all your tools to do the clay work. Nice going, my friend!!...............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View mcoyfrog's profile


3028 posts in 2219 days

#6 posted 147 days ago

Dude you rock I like your custom burn in label. I really want to get back to sculpting its so rewarding.

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View kiefer's profile


3026 posts in 1292 days

#7 posted 147 days ago

Two hobby’s that compliment and support each other woodworking and pottery
I like MR. and Mrs. they look cool and the tools are nicely made also and must feel just right when you sculpt.


-- Kiefer 松

View Greg In Maryland's profile

Greg In Maryland

387 posts in 1623 days

#8 posted 146 days ago

Nicely done Mafe, but I really don’t understand how you cut dovetails in clay?


View stefang's profile


12867 posts in 1959 days

#9 posted 143 days ago

Beautiful tools Mads and some wonderful looking clay boxes.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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