DIY Clay Tools Video Contest: Finalist 3

Today, we are happy to present the last finalist in our DIY Clay Tools Video Contest: Craig Rhodes and his oversized splash pan. Plus I have included the other finalists’ videos, for your review. Just scroll down the page!


We hope you enjoy these videos as much as we have! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.










DIY Clay Tools Video Contest
Finalist: Craig Rhodes, Brookport, Illinois

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Review the other finalists:

DIY Clay Tools Video Contest
Murry Gans, Irving, Texas

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DIY Clay Tools Video Contest
Finalist: Joe Dillett, Somonauk, Illinois

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  • And one of DIY Clay Tools Video Contest Finalist: Joe Dillett, Somonauk, Illinois refuses to budge.

    I Tried all of them online at the by clicking the video.

    Can I get to download them from some reliable link

  • Sane is the problem with video of DIY Clay Tools Video Contest Finalist: Murry Gans, Irving, Texas. It runs for 0.03 minutes out of 9+ minutes.

  • I was just watching the video of DIY Clay Tools Video Contest Finalist: Craig Rhodes, Brookport, Illinois. It is about 5 + minutes long. It Just run for 2,25 minutes and then reset to beginning. Please see what could be the prob. Any how it is a great idea get a bigger/oversized splash pan.

  • I loved all three. I immediately made the oversized splash pan and love it, love it. All three did a great job with their detailed instructions.

  • Tracy W.

    Thanks to all 3 of you for sharing your tools and tips.

  • Emma R.

    Thank you for sharing your videos with us. I would like to see some of the other videos that people sent in. I am sure that although they didn’t make the short list, that we as potters can learn from their trial and error on problem solving. Thanks for your consideration.

  • Congratulations, Craig
    I must admit I voted for the extruder, but only because I want one, and was intrigued at being able to make one myself (well, actually my husband being able to make one for me) very inexpensively. It was a very tough decision. You were my second choice. I sit at my wheel and, when viewing your video, thought your large splash pan would be difficult to throw over. I don’t make anything so large that my wheel’s pan is not adequate for. However……. Trimming on the giffen Grip is another story and I immediately saw the benefit of your invention for that. At the present, I “hang” plastic “curtains” around my wheel from the edge of the sink and my tool stand, tucking them under my splash pan to catch all the trimmings. This works, but is a bit of a pain. I will be purchasing a large trashcan this week. And this one I CAN do myself. Thanks

  • Richard P.

    oh, i know bandwidth would be a beast, but it would be nice to view the other entries…might be something quite useful !!!

  • Richard P.

    i watched all 3 videos and clearly, the most useful for me is the extruder. as a teachable moment; inexpensive, easy to put together “off the shelf” piques my curiosity every time.
    i think a brake with a tray underneath(a piece of upright plywood/plastic what have you) placed like one does a sponge for catching water could be a much simpler approach…to catching trimmings. i’ll have to see if that actually works…; ^)

    i didn’t notice until it was mentioned that there weren’t any women finalists/ entries(?)

    for pete…videos are a series of ‘stills’…strung together!
    one wouldn’t even need a video camera to make a video. i know there is a way to do this on a mac, not sure, but i expect the same is do-able on a windows machine.

  • Mona T.

    I agree with Carole and Mary Jo. Ironic that the candidates are males (were there no/few female candidates?) which reminds me of “…men and their plans”. On the positive side, however, each succeeded to resolve their particular problem quite creatively. I cannot vote for any one as each “project tool” is overwhelming for me. Redesigning the table top around the splash basin or purchasing bats on sale is more economical for me in time and money. Awaiting the winner’s announcement.

  • Diana M.

    love the oversize “trashplash” idea – wheel manufacturers take note- we improvise quite well when our clay needs are not met…
    meanwhile as of this posting date there are some COSTCO’s out there that have the rubbermaid brute trash can for sale w/ lid for about $23.00. vs the $40 or more at local area hardware/big box stores…that would really make this useful and economical too.
    Thanks for the demo Craig!

  • Carla L.

    Craig you have my vote. I am not a potter per se but I use the wheel for glazing and decorating large forms. The larger splash pan will save me a lot of time in cleaning and mopping up the glazes off the floor. Many thanks.

  • Pete G.

    It is unfortunate that this contest is limited to people who know how to make videos. I produce (and sell) unique hand-made clay tools, some of which I believe to be of my own invention, such as my burnishers. I could enter still photos of these, if I thought they would be accepted, but cannot see myself putting them up as videos. They would actually be self-explanatory if you saw them. I feel excluded; you should consider another contest in future with allowance for plain photographic entries as well as movies.

  • I think they all are winners & very difficult to make a decision. In fact it is a close your eyes and throw the dart type of decision for me!

  • Wow, I was under the impression we were to vote on the tools themselves and not the makers knowledge on the power tools which were used to make it, come on people you know what saw it is quit nit picking, this is a contest of ingenuity not who can gripe the most! Creativity is not only about our art it is also about our being able to adapt when there are tools unavailable for what we are creating at that time, we would still have square stone wheels and be eating, “(insert animal of choice) tar tar, Necissity is the mother of invention, they had a need and they made it & shared it with all of us, that takes strength to put ones self out there for everyone to complain about for someone to say good job. Gentlemen “GOOD JOB on your ingenuinity, creating something to solve a problem which you had, and for having the “faith” that in showing your work you may be fixing someone elses problem at the same time!!!

  • Subscriber T.

    Murray that is excellent..Studio equipment can be very expensive and he has found a way to create an extruder for under $50 .. the cheapest I have seen them is $170..all about saving money

    The large splash pan would be a close second. I have seen people trim pots in my studio with little piece of clay flying everwhere ..this is a perfect solution to a messy problem

  • Susan R.

    I am having a duce of a time choosing the winner. I want to say that they are all great ideas and very well presented!

  • Jill H.

    I think all of them have solved problems that bothered these very creative potters. They had a problem and found the solution. Too bad most of us just make due with what has been unchanged for 40+ years. Very little growth. All of them would be my vote and may I visit their studios, as I am sure they have other great ideas! Thanks Guys!

  • Richard E.

    I agree with Mary Jo. This stuff is crazy.

    Why not learn to throw without a splash pan? Buy a couple big car-washing sponges, set them up on the sides to block water coming off the wheel? Dahhhhhhhhhhhh? Who wants to throw over that plastic monster!

    Why not just use a square bat? Who has time to make all those forms?

    And the extruder, in all that material, time and effort I would think affording an economy extruder would be the best route.

    None of these items are something most potters are up to making. I vote “None of the above”.

  • Mary Jo B.

    This is so TMI!!!! Aren’t we more adaptable than that. This blows my mind that young folks need to go thru’ all this and not just use what they have and make do with what ever bats are available and still do the same thing. I vote for “none of the above” and just do the best you can with what you have. MJ Sorry this might be old school!!!

  • Peter S.

    Yes, the Giffin Grip creates a problem which this wider splash pan easily solves.
    I’m guessing I can use my Brent splash pan to trace the cutout for the pan, and cut the lid lower and use a rasp to take the sharp edge off.

  • I thank all of you for sharing your great tools with us. It was very hard to choose who to vote for so I just closed my eyes and voted. I think it is a three way tie.

  • Omar S.

    Más importante que la herramienta es resolver con ingenio la necesidad o superar el obstáculo. Felicidades a los tres alfareros por mostrarnos su habilidad para superar problemas.

  • As with the first video, this tool is only useful to a ceramist who works on the wheel, and I think the tools should be required to be useful in all forms of claywork. I don’t use an extruder either, but now I could build one if I wanted to, so that’s where my vote is going. My wish is that the tools had been simpler to make. There are so many useful, SIMPLE handmade tools out there, as seen on Ceramics Arts Daily and in Ceramics Monthly all the time. Bigger is not better.

  • Charlene B.

    All of these potters have found a way around problems they have encountered. I found Murry to be funny as well as solving his problem with everyday supplies and equipment. I think Craig accomplished the same. The difference, however, is that extruders can be purchased. I have not found an oversized splash pan anywhere and so Craig’s solution is much needed and yet so simple. Don’t get hung up on what name to call a saw. To me, that is irrelevant to the process and he does show the saws on the video. Nice background music too! He’s got my vote.

  • Donna R.

    Murray all the way.
    With three finalists I was hoping for more variety in tools but I guess the majority of ceramists are potters. There’s more to clay than the wheel. Hooray for Murray!

  • Maria M.

    FANTASTIC!!! the 3 are just genious.

  • John Albert M.

    I like Murry’s “Play Dirty” t-shirt. I have a couple, myself. All three ideas were great, however, a home-made extruder and die that actually works is an accomplishment.

  • Charles A P.

    Nice demo and a good project too bad it’s marred by incorrect terminology. the saw is a jig saw and the hole cuttter is known as a hole saw. A skill saw is hand held circlar saw branded by the Skill co and has become a generic term most places.

  • Becky B.

    i am so impressed with the ingenuity of these potters. (but then again, they are creative people) they all deserve to win. i would love to make all of these tools! simple to make and easy instructions! i don’t know any potter who couldn’t make or want to use them. thanks to all 3 for the wonderful ideas. i agree with Christine, deciding who to vote for will be harder than making any of these.

  • Diane Q.

    Love my giffin grip, but it elevates the pot just enough that the splash guard is pretty much useless and trimmings go everywhere causing a big mess. Over the years I’ve tried various types of home-made splash guards and splash guard extensions, none of which has worked as well and easily as I want. This one looks like a winner! Now I just have to find someone willing to make it for me. (Never could understand why wheel manufacturers didn’t sell an oversized splash guard.)

  • Great Idea! The other tools were good but they exist in production forms that can be purchased. This idea is great because nothing exists out in the market for this particular need. Thanks!!

  • Christine P.

    ‘Skill’ is a brand.. they make circular saws, jig saws, and mine that is similar to the one shown in this vid is a saber saw.
    That said, I love this idea! Will be keeping this in mind.
    Now to try to vote. THAT will be harder than making any of these things.

  • Carole F.

    Frankly I am disappointed. I was hoping for useful tools – not major building projects. I do not own a saw other than a hack saw. I have seen more interesting tools on your daily newsletter. Sorry, no votes from me today.

  • Cynthia M.

    Craig Rhodes you are my hero! My splash pan is a tiny little thing and even throwing or trimming small pots leaves a mess everywhere – I am on my way to get a trash can now!! Plus, you’re hilarious!

  • Ann M.

    Great idea, and a pretty funny guy! Loved the video.

  • Thomas E.

    Great idea Craig, however that is NOT a skill saw that you were using. A skill saw has a round rotating blade, while what’s commonly referred to as a jig saw would be able to make the cut around the perimeter.

  • Excellent design. I struggle with scraps everywhere and am going to make my own for trimming. Thanks for a very clear explanation. It occurs to me that since I already have a roughneck trash can, I can cut it up and buy myself a new one for the backyard.

    By the way, I love your studio. What a beauty!

  • I hated having to choose only one! I so admire the ingenuity of all three of these artists. They plant the seed to enable me to solve my own studio dilemmas with what’s around me. Thanks so much for sharing all of them with us!

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