Amy Lee’s Top Tools & Links!

This is an evolving list of favorites, must-haves, and wish-list items! Check back for additions!

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The Basics:

Multipurpose Clays are those that can be used either for Handbuilding or Throwing successfully. My criteria for ‘good’ clays are those which also vitrify very well for functional use at my final glaze firing temperature range – cone 6-7. If clay is not vitrified – it will not hold liquids well (regardless of the glazes applied). I desire clays that have an absorption measurement tested by me in my kiln practices at 2.5% or less. Ideally I look for 1.0% or less in manufacturer absorption numbers and then I test this in my practices.

Clay Mid-Range Favorites –   

White: Standard 240G
Speckled Brown: Standard 112 or Laguna 60
Darker Reddish Brown: Standard 710 (sometimes bloats closer to cone 7) or Laguna 90

Kiln Considerations

Check your electrical capacity first on the building (or home circuit)! Use a certified electrician for all electrical work. Kilns get hot (really hot!) and you don't want this heat affecting any of the wiring used to make it work!

This is a decent beginner kiln - L&L brand kilns are my favorites. Skutt also I like. (I’ve had/tried: Bailey, Skutt, L&L, ConeArt, Gas, Woodfire, Salt/Soda fire, and Raku kilns and recommend starting in the Low (cone 05/06 glaze firing temp range) to Mid (cone 6-8 glaze firing temp range) electric firing for all beginning studio setups then growing from there into other alternative and atmospheric firing methods.


Starter Tools:

Rolling Pin – ideally 3” diameter barrel – single piece hardwood -

Needle Tool -

Rib -

Sponges -

Water Bottle -

Apron – I like the longer style linen cross back best but split leg is great too!

Black: Yellow:


Hand Towel -

Balance Scale (for accuracy of sets) -

Digital Scale in grams and ounces -

For Handbuilding:

Clay: Standard 240G, Laguna 60, or Laguna 90 – depending on clay color desires at final firing

2x2 birch plywood boards -

Fun Foam Roll - 

Fettling knife

Birch slats or Rolling-pin with depth gauges – or this with a rolling pin

Adjustable Rolling Pin -

Needle Tool -

Retractable Ball-ended Needle Tool -

Wire-cutting tool -

Plastic wide putty knife -

Serrated Rib -

THE BEST Serrated Rib -

Retractable Scoring Tool -

Red Rubber Rib -

Yellow Rubber Rib -

Sculpture Tools –

Rubber Tipped and Wooden - and

Textures – Look for rubber/silicone mats as best options for textures – allows slab to stay flat when texturing and doesn’t add a significant curve to the clay like textured rolling pins do. This effects curling and warping of clay when drying and during firing. Some favorites:
 Fleur de Lis - ish
 Aligator Skin
 Butterflies and Dragonflies
 Muti syle flat handrollers


Finishing Sponges -

Hand Roller/Wood Brayer -

Sureform Clay Shredder Tool and replacement blades –



Squirt bottle mister -

Retractable Knife Set -

Clean-up tool -

Bevel Cutter -

Hole Cutters - or

Splurge – slab roller or extruder -

Bevel clay cutter -

Nice set of starter texture rollers - hand rollers - 

Retractable Scoring Tool -

Rubber Nubby Tools -

Fettling Knife -

Mudcutter (cheese knife style) -

Paddling Set -

Detail Roller -

Textures including mermaid hand roller with stamps on ends -

Compass and Calipers -

Adjustable Clay Cutter (for circles) -

Tiny metal ball tool sets (Embossing Tools) -

Colorful embossing tools -

Banding Wheel -


For Wheel Throwing:

Clay – I like Laguna 60 speckled stoneware, Laguna 90, Laguna 65 white stoneware, or Laguna 16 Porcelain for throwing.

Wheel – The “I’m really into this wheel” -

The “Just playing/getting started/practicing wheel 4 small spaces” -

Wire-cutting tool -

Wire-cutting tool -

Needle tool -

Clay Knife -

Finishing Sponges -

Metal Ribs -

Red Rubber Rib -

Yellow Rubber Rib -

Ultimate Edger-

Chamois -

Buy a bunch of this sized bats -

Studio Pro Bat System or Wonder Bat System and/or many Speedball Plastic Bats in various sizes – Wonder Bat: Speedball:

Bison Trimming Tools (Best of the Best! or Other High Quality Multi-Purpose Trimming Tool:

Multi-purpose Trimming Tool –

Multi-purpose Trimming Tool -

Lid Master Calipers - (Buy 2 you will thank me!)

Fluting Tool -

Bowl Forming Tool -

For bowl forming and shaping -

Regular Calipers (I Don’t Like this Style as much) -

PVC Pipe for Plate or Flat Shape Making 16-18” long works well, but make sure this will fit with your hands on it inside your splash pan if not removing pan -

Colorful fidget spinner for trimming -

Psychedelic Light-Up Fidget Spinner for Trimming -

THE BEST Serrated Rib -

Banding Wheel - ​​

Throwing Stick (wooden) -

Bendy Throwing Stick -

Multi-sponge on a stick -

For carving clay:

Carving Tools -  and

Best of the Best -

Conical Shredder Rasp Tool -


For finishing clay surfaces (unfired and fired):

Green Scrubbies -

Block/Flat Diamond Sanding Pads -

Flexible Diamond Sanding Pads -

Grinding stone -

Finishing stone -


For Sgrafitto/Mishima Decoration:

Carving Tools -

Drill Bits -

Dowel Rods -

Comfort grips -

Wax Resist – 16 oz: 1 gallon:

Underglazes – starter colors (mixable for other color options too)

Amaco –      Black -

                     White -

                     Red –

                     Blue –

                     Yellow –

                     Green –

                     Purple –

                     Orange –

                     Pink -

Speedball -  Black -

                     White –

                     Red –

                     Blue –

                     Yellow –

                     Green –

                     Purple –

                 Orange –

                     Pink -


Jig for cutting holes in dowels -

with drill press -


For Cuerda Seca Decoration:

Wax Tool -

1 ounce bottle 4 colors multi-tips set -

Luer Lock Squirt Bottles -

Luer Lock Bottle Caps -

4 ounce Bottles with tips included -

Headpins -

Blunt Luer Lock Applicator Tips - (Figure out your favorite tips from this set then buy that gauge – my favorites are: 14-20 gauge for most ceramic application needs and I use 18 and 19 gauge 1/2" long primarily for all slip-trailing)

Glazes – recommend picking at least 5 favorite colors to start – For Mid-Range Cone 5-7 Firings I use Clayscapes Brooklyn Line available on my website For low-fire – order Cone 05/06 Amaco glazes in many colors.

 Jensen global Arts and Crafts Kit Here.


For Watercolor Decoration and Layering:

Underglazes (see above for options)

Mayco Stroke and Coats -

Fine Paint brushes -

Mudtools sponges -


For Safety:

For face masks - there are tools online to make sure proper fit for your face size and shape. If the mask doesn’t fit correctly - it doesn’t work correctly.

3M P100 Face Mask (Large) -

3M P100 Face Mask (Medium) -

3M P100 Face Mask (Small - mask only - buy cartridges separately) -

3M P100 Face Mask Replacement Cartridges for above mask styles - 

3M P100 Disposable Face Mask -

3M P100 Face Mask Set with Multi P100 Cartridges -

Up to Wrist Gloves -

Up to Elbow Gloves -

Fire Resistant Gloves -

Flame resistant suit -

Fun flame resistant suit (XL) -

Fun flame resistant suit (L) -

Spacey fire-proof suit -

Split Heavy-Duty Apron -

Another good apron -

Amy’s preferred apron style -

Must have pockets apron -

Another Apron I like (lightweight) -

Show apron -

Jumpsuit Style Apron -

For glazing/My Favorite Glazes:

Hake Brushes -

Mayco Fan Brushes – Like These: or these:  I Like the #8 the best for glaze application.

Clayscapes (Zinc Free) Crystal Clear:

Clayscapes Cream:

Clayscapes Brooklyn Line Bright Colors Cone 6 Glazes:

Clayscapes Signature Line Potter’s Choice Cone 6 Glazes – Layer for Effects!

Mixing Tool Attaches to Drill -


Measuring Cup Set -

Measuring and Pouring Cup Set -

Glaze Mixing Accuracy Scale (0.01g accuracy and up to 5000g) -

Another good glaze Mixing Scale -

Scale Calibration Weights -

Scale Calibration Weights (larger weights) -

Everything Glaze Mixing Instructions:


Make Your Own Glaze Recipes: – WARNING! Take a glaze chemistry class before embarking on making your own glazes – there are a LOT of factors you need to learn in particular to be compliant with USA regulations for dinnerware producers when it comes to glazes!!


Must have books and reads:

         Mastering Cone 6 Glazes -

         The Complete Guide to Midrange Glazes -

         Functional Pottery -

         The Potter’s Dictionary of Materials and Techniques:

         Printing on Clay -


Kilns, Furniture,  and Cleaning:

Top Kilns for Hobby Potters:

Skutt KM1027

L & L e23T-3 Pottery Kiln Upgrade to Type S Thermocouples and Solid State Relays!

Kiln Furniture Starter Kit for both of above kilns:

Peep-hole Plug Replacements:

Thermocouple for KM1027:

Downdraft Kiln Vent:

For rough cleaning of kiln Shelves:

Angle Grinder:

Diamond Coated Masonry Grinding Wheel:

Kiln Wash:

Kiln Wash Brush:


Accessories for Clay Project Finishing:

High Temperature Wire:

Olive Oil Pourer Spouts:

Glass Oil Candle Wicks:

Soap Dispenser Pumps:

Ornament Hangers:

Bottle Corks:

Short Garden Stack Stakes:

Pumpkin Stems:

Nichrome Wire Jump Rings for Jewelry:

Nichrome Wire Multi-gauge Sample Pack:

Shepherd’s Hooks 48”:

Shepherd’s Hooks 76”:

Bird Feeders Multi Hooks:

Flameless Candles:

Table Lamp Kit:

Large Wiring Kit:

Medium Wiring Kit:

Small Wiring Kit:

Colored Inserts For Lights with Holes – Teardrop:

Colored Inserts for Lights with Holes – Ball Shape:

Colored Inserts for Lights with Holes – Tiny Ball Shape:

Colored Inserts for Lights with Holes – Birds:

Colored Inserts for Lights with Holes – all Red:

Colored Inserts for Lights with Holes – all Blue:

Colored Inserts for Lights with Holes – all White:


For Photography and Video: 

Turntable/Mini Wheel - adjustable -



Recycling Plaster of Paris / Gypsum / Pottery Plaster 

The NCECA Green Task Force Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Page for Plaster used in Ceramics - Click Here!

Recycling Plaster Method for Infinite Loop Recycling in Medical Field - Click Here!