If you’re just starting out as a new Potter, it can be overwhelming when you learn about all the various pottery tools that exist for the many things you might want to do with clay. Rest assured, there are only a few that you should consider purchasing when you’re a beginner. The rest, you can safely borrow from your studio until you figure out if this is a hobby that’s going to last.
And psst! We have another article for you if you’re specifically on the hunt for affordable trimming tools.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on pottery tools to enjoy the wonderful world of pottery. Most potters begin with a their first class at a community center or in high school or college. If you decide this is a hobby you’re going to stick with, we have LOTS of resources you can grow into. But when you’re a beginner, it’s best to save your money for classes and clay.
Pottery is an art that takes years to master… and even then, are you ever really a master? The areas to grow your skills seem almost infinite… from experimenting with different clay bodies, to glazing methods and maybe even setting up your own home studio.
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There are a few tools that may make sense to purchase for yourself… even when you’re just starting out. If you’re ready to make that first investment in some pottery supplies of your very own, this guide offers guidance on where best to spend your precious dollars!
Best Pottery Tools For Beginners – Tool Sets For New Potters
A common place to start is with a basic tool kit, with a wide range of basic tools sold as a set. These sets will generally cover the majority of your needs as you’re starting out. More than likely, if you stick with pottery, you’ll eventually want to upgrade your trimming tools, and perhaps purchase some individual tools to compliment your starter set. However, if you just need the basics, and want to have a set of your own… these are some nice options.
Kemper Pottery Tool Kit
This basic set made by Kemper, is of good quality, and covers most of the bases as far as a tool set to get you through the majority of your pottery needs (for beginners).
It includes: a sponge, needle tool, a wooden rib, a steel scraper, one of each a ribbon and loop tool for trimming, as well as a wire cutter for clay and a wood handled modeling tool.
12 Piece Clay Tool Set
If you’re looking for a more budget friendly option, this 12-pc set is not quite as high of quality, but will certainly do the job for a beginner. If you’re not yet ready to make a larger investment in tools, this set will cover all the basics, and won’t break the bank.
Specific Pottery Tools To Consider – A Beginner’s Guide
Best Clay Carving Tools For Beginners
If you’re into hand building or sculpture, chances are you may want to invest in a quality carving tool.
Xiem Pottery Carving Tool
This carving tool by Xiem is a nice quality, versatile tool for hand building. It is also helpful for sculpting and adding designs and texture to wheel thrown forms.
If you like to customize your pieces with detailed designs, or need a versatile tool for carving, this could be a great choice for you.
Individual Pottery / Best Clay Trimming Tools For Beginners
If wheel throwing is your “thing”, and you struggle with trimming (as most beginners do), consider splurging on quality trimming tools. Kemper makes this one, and a sharp, well kept ribbon tool can make a world of difference!
Kemper Ribbon Trimming Tool
If there’s one tool that is most useful to ‘splurge’ on for wheel throwing, it’s a quality trimming tool. This one by Kemper is budget friendly, but it’s a quality product. It will make a big difference if you’re used to using tools in a community studio that may not be as high of quality!
Xiem Teardrop Pottery Trimming Tool
Xiem is another quality brand option, and this is a versatile trimming tool! It has a dual-sided design for excellent function when trimming on the wheel.
Worth noting: if you plan to invest in some pottery tools of your own, you should also purchase a pottery tool bag to keep your things organized. This will also help protect your tools as you come and go from the studio.
We have a detailed round up of some great bag options, that you might also want to check out.
A Few Pottery Tools You Probably Don’t Need As A Beginner
Fancy trimming gadgets, like a Giffin Grip, can generally be borrowed from your community studio. Unless you are setting up your own home studio, it’s probably not worth the cost to have one of your own when you’re a beginner.
Basic supplies like paintbrushes for glaze, wax resist, etc. are also generally readily available to borrow.
In general, as a beginner, you are probably best off saving your money for a decent quality tool kit similar to those listed above. You could also consider borrowing tools at your studio and supplementing with their own trimming tools.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
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