WHAT YOU WILL NEED: text, basics, tools, clays


NOTE THAT most of these things can be purchased at the bookstore.
Because some people like the option to buy online at places such as amazon.com, dickblick.com or sculpt.com. I am linking to these options as well.

TEXT: Ceramic Design Course, Anthony Quinn
I am not sure if the bookstore still has the text or not, you will have to check… Dick Blick has this text at a very good price:


  1. An unruled sketchbook preferably NOT spiral bound, no smaller than 5×7″
    You will use this for sketching out ideas, writing down questions and ideas to bring to class, general brainstorming and idea generating.
  2. A small bucket or artbin to contain your tools. It will have to fit into a small locker (a bucket is somewhat better as it will also serve as your own slip bucket for class)
  3. A small sharpie to mark all of your tools with your name. A regular sharpie to mark your drying works (on masking tape) while drying under plastic.
  4. A roll of masking tape to mark your locker as well as your WIPs as they are covered in plastic and drying.
  5. A combo or key padlock for your locker.
  6. THE TOOLS! as seen below.


If you would like to buy a SET OF TOOLS instead of buying piecemeal, you should buy something like these:
at dickblick, this really nice set for $15, and one set at at Compleat Sculptor (look halfway down page item #43461375, deluxe tool set). The bookstore normally carries the same deluxe tool set as seen on the Compleat (sic) Sculptor.
Just be sure that you have all of the tools from the list below. The sets will vary.

You know, just a regular tea or table spoon from home. These are great for burnishing leather hard clay (burnishing is the process of compressing the surface of a leather hard form).

A FORK: what I like best to use for scoring.

Needle tools can be used for lots of things: like for sgrafitto (though THESE are quite a bit better). More importantly use needle tools for general cutting of slabs, trimming the tops of uneven thrown works, and poking air holes into hand built and hollowed forms that contain enclosed pockets of air.

Often used by potters. Very good for cutting, cutting open solid-built forms in preparation to hollow, and for use when throwing. Also good for burnishing and whatever else you can think of. BE CAREFUL! THESE KNIVES (depending on the model and size) can be quite sharp).

To remove a pot from the potter’s wheel or remove any work from a board, also to cut open solid-built forms in preparation for hollowing.

Please get some of wire tools.
We do have ample large ribbon tools in the lab for hollowing.
Depending on what you think your investment in ceramics will be, buy a couple others…
(wire and ribbon) – for carving and hollowing solid built forms.
buy at the bookstore or online at amazon, dickblick, or sculpt.com

They have some at the bookstore or you can buy online at amazon, dickblick, or sculpt.com There are a variety of wooden tools for various types and scales of modeling/surfacing techniques.

SUREFORM –  a planing tool often used for ceramics and plaster too. Keep the ceramic and plaster tools separate though. Plaster should never come into contact with your clay body with the exception of slip or press-molding clay into completed molds.  A plane and hence, sureform is used to create nice even planes, or evenly curved surfaces. Good for architectural forms.

A SPONGE – a great tool to smooth leather hard surfaces. Used for hand built and thrown forms. Natural sponges are preferred by many, but I like regular cellulose household sponges (torn into bits) as well.

An Assortment of Paint Brushes for specific glaze designs.