Personal clay tools
spatulas from hack saw blades
Some of you know that I also work with clay, this is kind of a sharpening method for me.
Clay croquis are a really intense way of sharpening your; eye – brain – hand interaction.
To try and make an interpretation of what you see and stay out of the perfectionist trap.
Here a clay croquis figure I made.
(The black and pink vase and bowl are also mine).
As with every thing we work with, we learn more and more about the process and so we get preferences in material and tools, so just as with the wood tools I like once I get the hold of the process, to make my own tools that suit my way of working.
For the clay croquis I found out that a spatula are a real favorite of mine, it makes me more free in mind, since I can’t get to detailed and then focus more on the shape.
The only problem I have with the spatulas that can be bought are that they are too rigid, and I like it to have more spring.
The one steel I could think of being cheap and easy to get, was hack saw blades.
These comes indifferent hardness and rigidness, some are even called flexible.
So with a Dremmel tool the blades are cut to shape, on the right you can see the first one I made.
All shapes you can think of are possible.
On top you see a small knife tool, these blades are excellent for that also, just don’t burn the metal, then it will become to soft, so dip in water often.
The reason I choose the shape I did, was to make a thin neck, in this way you can make it flex even more.
Also I mad the round blades, these are for making intersection points for casting in plaster of Paris.
Here you can see that in the back ground, behind a cast I did.
So here comes the wood part…
A ferule for a handle, just match up the size with your caliper.
And make what ever shape makes you happy.
The one to the left are for my teacher at casting class, the one of the right for me, guess you can see my wood reference.
A saw cut made.
And it can lock the cut.
Sanding of the extra wood to make a tight fit to the ferule.
No the round blade can be mounted.
If the fit is not perfect, then use epoxy. ;-)
Casting tools are ready.
I like to keep some of the paint on the blades, this to add a small story to the tool.
Now time to put a handle on the clay spatula.
Some natural string.
Form a loop as I do.
Then roll up.
Here you see why I kept the teeth, they provide good grip for the string.
Roll up until you reach the desired length, then put the string through the loop.
And pull in the other end, like this the string will be locked inside the handle.
Quick and easy!
Cut of the ends.
I choose to burn of the threads.
Rub it in.
And leave to dry over night.
Together with all the other tools.
(Yes I know, I have too many tools).
Also made one with a tunable blade for the knife / saw.
Like this the cutting part can be stored in the handle.
This was the inspiration, a casting class with an amazing Danish artist and me making this casting of one of my little demons.
Two of the spatulas became gifts for friends there and the teacher seemed happy for his little tool also.
This is the notes from my sketch book from the casting work shop.
(Writing in Danish).
Like this I can remember the process.
You might also be interested in my Clay rolling and cutting board: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/99038
Hope it can inspire others to make their own tools.
The best of my thoughts,
-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.