Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Clay Shaper Tool

Always looking for the latest and greatest claying tools in the claying world, I was briefly introduced to clay shapers in an instructional booklet. It was listed as one of those , “when you become really involved in it” kind of tools.

So, off I went to the stores to search out for this most excellent tool. I soon discovered that the Clay Shaper (originally double ended now single ended) is not easily available in regular craft stores in the suburban Chicago area. After a few phone calls and a few weeks of waiting I was finally able to obtain one from small art supply store by special order only. Which is a shame, because this brand of tool has so much to offer in the claying world.

Ok, enough of the “Ah Ha!“ moment and onto the facts. The Clay Shaper is manufactured by the Royal Sovereign Line of Products which is a part of West Design Products from the UK. It comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. It basically consists of a silicone tip attached to a handle similar to a paint brush. This company also produces a Colour Shaper which comes in 5 sizes and 3 types of firmness.

The clay shaper is available in the following shapes and is promoted by the companies website to do the following : Cup Chisel (Adjust contours and edges. Carve and remove clay) . Taper Point (Carve patterns through slips and glazes. Create clean linear strokes and make broad forceful marks). Flat Chisel(Apply and carve clay. Create flat even strokes) Cup round (Smooth throwing and scoring marks. Create soft edge strokes) Angle Chisel (Create expressive strokes. Work from thick to thin and make precise marks).
All versions are available in sizes 0,2,6,10,16.

I had purchased the #2 Taper Point for around $8 (US). Normally I’m a bargain shopper looking for the lowest cost possible, but let me tell you…this was $8 well spent. This little shaper works excellent for blending seams, poking of a variety of hole sizes, applying small pieces of clay where fingers are too big, blending liquid clay with color, application of liquid clay, shape contouring and a bunch more.

This is definitely one tool that is soon to become a series of tools in my work bin. I highly recommend it. And if you can find the original double ended version, grab it, because there are not too many left on the shelves or in dealers stock. The best places to find these tools are either through a special order at your local art supply store or through the internet. There are numerous websites that carry these items, however you may have to pay shipping.

No comments: