100 Tips, Tools, & Techniques for the Ceramics Studio

Ceramic artists are some of the most inventive people around, and 100 Tips, Tools, & Techniques is a testament to their ingenuity. Compiled from the Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated archives, this book features some of the best tips and tools developed by fellow ceramic artists. (Scroll for more.)


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Softcover | 170 Pages
Order code B172 | ISBN 978-1-57498-390-6

You’ll discover how to easily reclaim clay, build custom ceramics tools, glaze using unconventional techniques, and much more! Each tip is jam-packed with helpful information from professionals and hobbyists that have been working with clay for many years. With these 100 tips and tricks, you’ll improve your efficiency AND proficiency in the studio.

100 Tips, Tools, & Techniques is divided into five sections: Studio Setup, Gadgets & Gizmos, Making, Surfaces, and Upkeep & Business, which address all facets of your studio needs.

Studio Setup

Setting up a studio can seem like a daunting task, but with these 23 tips, you’ll be on your way to making, glazing, and shipping your work in no time! In this section, you’ll learn how to make your own double-sided apron that’ll protect your clothes from clay and glaze, how to make a sink trap on a budget, build a glaze pantry, and more! You’ll also discover ways to easily recycle clay in your studio without making a mess or using expensive machinery.

Gadgets & Gizmos

Ceramic artists come up with some pretty clever ways to make their jobs easier and this section includes 23 of our favorite gadgets and gizmos from the Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated archives. From a wheel wedging board to a cheap-and-easy floating hydrometer made from a drinking straw, there’s a tool in here to help at every stage of the ceramic process. Some tools, like the pasta slab roller are gadgets that have been repurposed for studio use, while others, like the single-handed wheel wire, have components that can be purchased at your local home improvement store.


In ceramics, sometimes seeing the way another artist approaches a certain task can completely change the way you work. This section features those types of tips. You’ll pick up simple tips like how to make a perfectly flat slab every time, how to trim with a chuck or on a foam bat or how to make consistently sized handles every time. Whether you prefer handbuilding or throwing, or a combination of the two, you’ll find 21 tips and tricks for making work more efficiently. You’ll probably say “Why didn’t I think of that?”


Surface decorating is a broad term in the ceramic community–it can mean decorating on wetware, greenware, or bisqueware. Here, you’ll find out how to make and use sgraffito tools, how auto-tape can make ultra-crisp resist patterns, and even how to slip a pot with a balloon. With these 20 decorating and glazing tips, you’ll learn unconventional ways decorate your work and transfer imagery–like pouncing a pattern onto greenware or glazing with bubbles, yes bubbles!

Upkeep & Business

This section features tips for sharpening tools, grinding the bottom of your pots for a super-smooth foot, and much more! In addition to finishing techniques, this section has 13 tips for building a solid-arch kiln, photographing your work, creating professional business tags, and packing tips for shipping your work successfully to its destination.

Corrections: We mistakenly attributed Tip 25, “Wheel Noodle,” to Sheryl Taylor when it was written by the Ceramics Monthly Editors.

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