Readers Chime In: More Pottery Uses for Old Credit Cards and Other Quick Tips for the Clay Studio

<br />Today, readers share more good ideas for using old credit cards in the studio, plus a host of other great tips!

Today, readers share more good ideas for using old credit cards in the studio, plus a host of other great tips!

I received a few responses to the request I sent out the other day for more tips on recycling credit cards for use in the pottery studio. So I thought I would compile a selection and send them out in today’s newsletter. But I couldn’t stop with just the credit card tips. I get so many great “quick tips” on a regular basis that I thought I would share some of those too.

If these tips remind you of any you would like to share, just post them in the comments below! – Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.

Extending Your Credit in the Ceramics Studio:

Use the same process as you would to make custom extruder dies to make custom stencils. – Peggy Baker

Very interesting article on extruder dies from credit cards; much easier than using sheet metal or wood. I also use old credit cards as shims for my wheel. I place a bullseye level on the middle of the wheelhead and shim whichever of the three legs needs to be leveled. I do the same with my electric kilns. I have credit cards on my wedging board and my plaster clay recycling table to be used as scrapers. – Peter Sheremeta

We make dies for the little hand held extruder from plastic cards also. We also cut plastic cards into tools for making dollhouse pots. We remove imprint from the canvas on the slab roller with credit cards as well. – June Lockhart

If you have had the credit cards discontinued coming to your house, use the bill of a baseball cap. Just cut off the stitches and fabric, and trim it to the size you need. – brucelinda01

Quick Tips

My friend, Martha Peddicord, was using your idea regarding using pipe insulation to cushion your wheelhead. Well, she came up with another great idea for the same purpose…she found a “swimming noodle” at a thrift store and realized it is perfect for the same use…already has the hole in the middle and slides right over the rim of the wheel pan, and can be cut to just the length you need. Pretty neat, huh?! Easy to clean up too! – Ann Byrd, Edgefield, SC

In regard to the suggestion of using balloons as cushions when transporting ware, what about all that shredded mail? Many people shred their sensitive mail and other paper information to protect against identity theft. Perhaps that is a good source of packing for safe transport of unfired and fired clay work. – tws

I started using latex medical/dental gloves to throw my pottery pieces because of a nasty cut I had on my finger that I didn’t want to have get any worse because of my clay work. However, I have continued to wear them while throwing to keep my hands from drying out so badly. As a resident of Colorado, my hands are already very dry, so having the clay/water combination dry them out even further was making them even worse. It has been a great solution and has not handicapped my throwing at all. Another side benefit is that I can just pull the gloves off quickly if I need to answer the phone and don’t have to rinse and wipe off my hands first. – Sally Bowden.

What do you do with all those old phone books someone leaves on you porch ? You rip the pages out and use them in the studio. They are great for absorbing moisture under pots, tiles and just about anything. They tear out easily, stack well, and can be thrown away when over used. You can use one at a time or a stack to absorb moisture, also great for packing plates, platters, tiles. – Diana Alva

To avoid tong marks on your pots, dip the tongs into the glaze you’re using before putting them on your pot. – Heather Mitchell

Well, I wanted to move my large electric kiln, but didn’t want to tear it down. Then, the light bulb went off! I sprayed around the metal feet that sit on a cement floor with good ol’ WD40. I waited 15 minutes for it to soak in, and then moved the kiln with ease. I just squatted down, and pushed on the feet. I’ve tried this on several other items, and it works like magic. – Jo St. Myers

**First published in 2008.
  • I also bought a pool noodle at a thrift store. before I could put it around the wheel pan I started having problems with my knee. Doc said I must be bumping it on something. So just in case we cut the noodle in half and taped the noodle to the legs of the table where I sit to work. Bright pink noodle legs certainly get a lot of attention.

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