Gift shopping for potters is easy if you know what they need, but if you are looking to surprise the potter in your life with a few gems, I've made a gift guide with 5 great ideas to help you out. If you are the potter in your life, you can pass this blog link or the gift guide links to your family to help them along.
1. Silicon Tipped Tools - under $15
I love these - I actually received them as a gift and have them in two sizes. The size shown is great for getting into those tight spaces where fingers might not be able to reach. The flexible tips also create smooth finishes on concave edges. One or two of them will become go-to tools for sure.
2. Heat Gun - under $35
This heat gun is a game changer for the ever-present issue of controlling drying time. It doesn't blow air like a hairdryer or fan, so it's a safer option in the studio where we should never promote air born clay dust. I have this model and love the dual settings, and the fact that it can cool in a standing position. It also has a moveable ring to hang when not in use. Be careful - it's hot!
3. Damp Box Kit - under $40
With a bag of No.1 Pottery Plaster and a Rubbermaid Roughneck (38 litre shown) or other durable lidded plastic bin, the potter in your life can make a damp box which will allow them to slow down the drying time of their clay creations. The plaster when mixed in the correct ratio with water, and poured into the bin, will set into a solid. Once fully cured, they can rehydrate the plaster indefinitely to keep work-in-progress at the perfect moisture level. They can even rehydrate bone dry work back to a workable surface. This will require two different orders or shopping trips as the suppliers for the plaster do not carry the bins. I created a "How To Make a Damp Box" video and it's currently a BONUS in my online course but I have plans to share it on YouTube in the near future.
4. MKM Decorating Discs - under $60
This two-piece set (individual odd and even segmentation discs) is fantastic for those who love precision. It comes in a large size for bowls and smaller for mugs. Before I got mine, I used to make a circle template and fold it repeatedly for even numbered segmentation but I have a love of decorating in seven segments and although in a pinch I can still whip out my trusty protractor, the odd numbered disc makes that a breeze. What's great about it too, are the tiny holes along each ring which allow artists to record registration marks with a pin tool on any round vessel within the margins of the disc. If the vessel is larger than the disc, simply expand the segments beyond with a flexible ruler. The design options are endless.
5. Banding Wheel - Under $150
I've tried out several different brands of banding wheels and nothing compares to the quality and movement of a Shimpo! Cheaper products might give the 360 degree view a maker desires but they come at a different cost - the shock and clatter of the "two-piece" aluminum wheel coming apart and falling to the ground, narrowly missing the toes of an unexpected user or the inelegant rotation that sputters to a stop - all of that is eliminated with this brand. It's magically in one piece and spins as smoothly and gracefully as a ballerina! It's so heavy that the user will need two hands to move it, so they will be fully engaged with their mind on that task that they will never accidently drop it. The size shown is 9.9" DIA X 2.1" H. I purchased this one first and then added the taller 7.5" to my studio a year or so later.
PLEASE NOTE: The prices included are in Canadian Funds and the links within the download are Canadian Suppliers.
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