Genius Handmade Texture Tools for Making Lines on Pottery

How to Make Custom Rolling Stamps

handmade texture tools

Amy Sanders is a fan of texture on pots and has a bunch of great ideas for handmade texture tools. I still haven’t had the opportunity to try them all out, but definitely plan to.

One of my favorite handmade texture tools was what I like to call her “rolly line tools.” In today’s video, an excerpt from her technique-packed DVD, Amy demonstrates how to make and use these tools. So simple, so smart! – Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.

Five Great Decorating Techniques

Make surfaces that stand out when you download this freebie, Five Great Decorating Techniques.

This clip was excerpted from Creative Forming with Custom Texture, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Network Shop!

To learn more about Amy Sanders or to see more images of her work, please visit

**First published in 2011
  • Instead of clay for your discs, use SCULPEY. You can construct quite a few in 1/2 hour, another 1/2 hour to bake them in your home oven, then they are ready to use!

  • Rather than cutting out a wedge of clay, you can make a thicker disc (about 1/2 inch thick or more) and make impressions in it. Buttons can have very interesting shapes that you can transfer to the disc.

  • Jenny G.

    I have this video and I think it’s fantastic. There are many, many good techniques I can adapt to my own work, and others I can morph into other things. I highly recommend it!

    If this had been a video produced by professionals, so that camera angles were better, background was better, etc., it would have been much more expensive to produce and therefore much more expensive to purchase. For the circumstances involved, I thought it was just fine – and I’m a former TV producer. It’s the information that’s important, not the aesthetics of the video itself.

    And BTW Amy – I can’t find anywhere locally that’s currently serving corn dogs, so I bought several sizes of dowels and am shaping them in all kinds of ways!

    This was the best money I’ve spent in a long, long time. It lifted me out of other issues in my life and got me excited about all the new (to me) possibilities with clay.

  • Iben V.

    Hi Amy, just watched your video here, what a great idea. May I suggest, when you show small things invideos, that you keep your hands still when showing them? It was very hard to see the actual thing, because of your hands getting in the way of the camera all the time 🙂
    Iben 🙂

  • Margaret F.

    I could not fault Amys’ presentation, clear and concise. Very good diction which makes it easy to listen and understand. I will be making these to give my students another tool for decorating thier pots. Not all potters are good at the final touches that make folk want to play and use the pot.

  • Great little clip… but I found the camera work poor. For instance, when Amy was demonstrating an action with her fingers, the image was that of her fingers, I couldn’t see what she was doing. Perhaps the camera needs to be more front on. Amy’s diction and explanations are excellent.

  • I loved it, Amy, what a great video: a good idea, a lovely demo, so very helpful , thanks very much. A litle project for me tomorrow …

  • Great idea clearly explained! Sometimes the simplest solution is the best one, and this one’s ingenious in that way. Great job Amy – I’m going to give it a try!

  • Wow, what a great idea. I am so glad you shared I never think of anything this creative. It is going to save me some money because it has given me other ideas.

  • Pauline H.

    Only just watched this video and thanks, Amy, that is such a great idea, I’m going straight off to have a go at making those little wheels. And as for Steve, the clay instructor of 35 years – let’s see one of your videos.

  • I like the homey environment where these video’s are produced! The techniques are sufficiently explained in under 15 minutes to get us started. This was an extra cool one, thanks all and especially Ceramics Arts Daily!

  • Evelyn D.

    Great video! I love being able to make my own forms that add interest to surfaces. I would also love to see the results on finished thrown pieces.

  • Janice W.

    I really enjoyed the video and cant wait to make some of these myself. Great idea and thanks for sharing.

  • Allison M.

    Great idea- as a ‘stamper’ I really appreciated this and look forward to making my own. Also the quilted technique is really cool (in the other post). Thanks Potters Council and Amy Sanders!

  • Good idea but too much time spent on a simple procedure and a bit boring.
    Very amateur camera work. Poor lighting on the close ups with the dark clay.
    Background with stairs and bricks is uninteresting and distracting.
    OK for a home video but if this is made for commercial sale it really needs
    work. Only saw the one clip but not very impressed. Should have included
    some finished pieces using the technique. As a clay instructor of 35 years
    I’ve seen enough bad videos.

  • Dianne W.

    Amy, thank you for sharing your ideas. I am inspired to try this great technique and I’m sure it will improve the look of my work especially the glaze results.

  • Shelley N.

    So clever, thanks! It always amazes me the things we can make from clay to enhance our potting!!!

  • Subscriber T.

    A truly outstanding presentation Amy. You ARE good at it. I have made the exact same basic shape, the same way, uncountable times….never thought to make a tool out of it! Something of an epiphany. Thanks, from an old dog still learning- in Japan.

  • Barbara M.

    You gave such a clear explanation of a great technique! Thank you, thank you and again thank you!

  • Rhonda P.

    Amy, you are an excellent teacher- you explained things very well and showed great technique. Awesome idea, too! Thanks

  • Arlene R.

    Brilliant! I’ve been trying to think of a way of making roller stamps and this solves it completely. Thank you.

  • Gisele G.

    merci beaucoup c est une supere idée car j aime prendre differents objet pour donner du relief a tout nce que je fait
    tres instructif

  • Excellent. I love ideas that anyone can do if they wish. I really hate to hear a potter say, oh, I got this at a garage sale. That’s nice, but no one else has it. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks so much-I see so many possibilities. I’ve made rolling stamps by putting a small amount of plaster in a straight edge paper cup until dry and then carving the edges. This is great but your ideas will give me a thinner line. Love it!!!!!

  • Simone L.

    Clever. This will be a great project for my students. I only use custom made “stamps” on my work so this will make it so easy. Thank you Amy!

  • An excellent technique. I wouldn’t have thought of this in a million years! All my rolling stamps have wire handles. This method apprears to give the user more fingertip control, which for me is always a good thing.

    This ceramist has such great hands, and works cleanly. I have always respected potters who work this way.

    Well done.

  • Kathleen R.

    Very fun to watch and can’t wait to try it. Love how clear you are with explaining the techniques. Thanks!

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