Happy Potters loves tools and toilet paper cores

A wide variety of tools is available for members in the pottery room.

A wide variety of tools is available for members in the pottery room.

Jan Marx

Wine Cup, the room is titled. It sounds refined, sophisticated. But stick your head in the door and you see potters wearing clay streaked aprons, potters with wisps of glaze on their cheeks, potters with “mud” in their hair. Wine Cup is a curious name. Why not call it the Mud Room? Even our sister club Kiln Krafters (ceramics), who share the room with us would probably agree.

Before beginning to interview Happy Potters members about their favorite tool in the room, I naively believed they would say the grinder or the slab table or the paint mixer, something powerful and noisy. Surprise, however, most members interpreted the word “tool” as something without a motor or steel roller.

Pat Sabo’s choice, the “pointy” tool is all-purpose. Slightly fierce, with a sharp point on one end, it is a must for anyone who takes a lump of clay and builds, throws on the wheel or molds. Pat Bender and Elizabeth Katz named specific, simple pieces they can’t construct anything without. Gary Triebsch says a ruler and level are have-to-haves. Judie Smothes and Wayne Detjen said their fingers are most important and effective.

My favorite idea, however, comes from Carolyn Detjen. She often collects a stack of 10 or more toilet paper cores on the bathroom floor before bringing them to pottery. “Without them,” she said, “many of my creations would fall flat.”