Monday, February 4, 2013


  What's that tool good for?

I’ve been asked to do some tutorials to show and explain how best to use some of the sculpting tools that I make, and I’d like to begin a series of posts on that subject.
When I set out to make my own sculpting tools I had in mind specific sculpting tasks that needed solutions by way of new shape or sizes of tool tips. But I was also frustrated by the awkward handle types on tools already made. I wondered why no one had improved on those and made it easier to control the tool, and thus, giving better results. If you have browsed my website or my Etsy shop, then you know what the handles of my tools look like.

As for many of the metal tip tools I make, their uses are fairly straightforward for the most part. I make several types of general sculpting “blade” type tools – 3/8” wide and smaller - with smooth edges that can be used by most any sculptor to manipulate their clay to make designs or to fashion a certain form. Some have angled tips and others are straight.
Dual-tipped tools make sense for the sake of economy, both for the artists’ pocketbook and to, in effect, have two tools in your hand at once – for the sake of economy of motion, so to speak. Although I have crafted tip designs that are different, as far as I know, their purposes and uses are fairly universal and familiar.
But there are several tools that I make whose designs are unlike anything I have ever seen. As I sculpted, I would think “If I only had a tool that would do this or that…” and then I would set out to engineer a way to craft a tool to do “this or that”.
The subject of this post is one of those types of tools:

This tool was borne out of my frustration with trying to smooth out inevitable lumps and bumps in my polymer clay. I tried using my finger, rolling a cylindrical tool or rod and using clay shaper silicone tipped tools. But none of them would do what I wanted to do. I thought, “If I only had a tiny sideways brayer, I could get in here and smooth this out real quick.” And so 
the Mini Roller Tool was born!
Several folks who bought them remarked that they don't know how they got along without it for so long!
Here’s a quick 4-minute video tutorial that explains just a few of the situations where this tools shines. I'll bet you can think of lots of other uses for this handy tool!

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