If you’re just getting started with pottery or want to make sure you have all the essential tools, this guide is for you. Having the right pottery tools can make all the difference in creating beautiful ceramic pieces. Here are the must-have tools for every potter’s studio:

1. Potter’s Wheel: The wheel is the centerpiece of any pottery studio. It allows you to shape and form clay into various shapes like bowls, vases, and plates. There are different types of wheels including kick wheels, electric wheels, and even portable wheels for travel.

2. Ribs: Ribs are thin, flexible tools used to shape clay on the wheel by removing excess material and smoothing surfaces. They come in different shapes like circular, angular, or curved to create various contours.

3. Needle Tool: A needle tool has a long metal shaft with a sharp needle-like point on the end. It’s used for trimming, incising designs, cutting shapes out of leather-hard clay, and removing excess material.

4. Wire Tools: Made of looped wires, these handy tools are essential for cutting clay off the wheel head, trimming bottoms of pieces, and severing sections of clay. Different gauges provide more or less flex.

5. Sponges: Keeping your clay moist is crucial, and sponges allow you to add water to the surface as needed. Both natural sea sponges and synthetic sponges work well.

6. Bats: These ½ to ¾ inch thick, round plastic discs make it easy to get pieces off the wheel and allow mobility when hand-building. Bats come in various diameters to fit your pottery wheel.

7. Calipers: Potters use calipers to measure the thickness of clay body walls. This helps ensure even thickness and stability in your pieces.

8. Brushes: From large brushes for waxing bottoms to small detail brushes for decorating, having a variety of brush sizes is a must.

9. Scoring Tool: To score or roughen up clay surfaces before joining them together, a scoring tool with a serrated edge is needed.

10. Banding Wheel: This small wheel rotates to allow you to decorate pots and vases with evenly wrapped coils or colors.

With these essential pottery tools stocked in your studio, you’ll be able to explore the endless creative possibilities of the ceramic arts. As you advance, you can add more specialized tools, but this starter kit covers all the basics every potter needs.