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Sponges

Last week I wrote about my favorite scoring tool and was inspired by your answers to show you my sponge collection.  Lest you think I'm weirder than I actually am let me explain that I received many of these sponges when I purchased the wheel.  I think the only sponges I've purchased recently are the synthetic ones but I do use them all.

Sponge Collection

Most of the time I use the well worn, round synthetic sponge you see here.  Since its old and worn I use to clean and dampen my bat.  My intention is to then grab a nicer sponge to use while throwing but that doesn't always happen.  Habit brings my hand back to the old sponge.  It still works well so why not.  You see I have a Michael Sherrill Mudtools sponge.  I love my Michael Sherrill Mudtools ribs, and I love this sponge.  The shape fits into my hand really well, it distributes water almost as well as a natural sponge but they cost a bit more than the round sponges and when the edge starts to wear it's about done for throwing.  I can't afford to be replacing more expensive sponges very often so I don't.  This is the blue version, they now make an orange sponge but I've not tried that yet.  Have you?

I use the flatter natural sponge and the elephant ear sponge to throw also.  Natural sponges hold and absorb water very well.  They are great for throwing and feel good in the hand.  They also hold up really well.  I love the flat one for detail cleaning in tight spots like handle attachments.  It's a must have.

The larger sponges are used for cleaning the contrasting slip from a pot during the Mishima process.  I use them because they mop off the slip really well.  I assume because of the way natural sponges handle water.

If you've read this entire article you might just be a potter, who else would read four paragraphs about sponges? Hehe.  Whether you're a potter or not you should check out the other potters at Mudcolony.

Comments

  1. Nice to find company in the love of sponges. I buy my big absorbent natural sponges from Benny's a auto supply, hardware, etc. store. My students used to call it my favorite pottery supply store.
    How about a post on where you find, buy tools?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Suzy, that's a great idea. Look for it in a little while.

      Delete
  2. Sponges.
    There are great ones and some that are not so great.
    Seems that when we glaze our sponges get in a tangle with one another, then I pout since there are times that a favorite goes missing.
    I always blame it on that other person and then I look and there it is in another room where I have left it.
    What I miss. the big sponges that use to be well made for sheet rock- now they are crap.

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    1. Hi Meredith, it seems so many things that used to be well made have become less than that. It's sad but it also inspires me to make the best pots I can, so I'm not included in that list.

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  3. A big clean-up sponge that floats in a pail of water is a gem. Easy to find in the pail but not so easy to find to purchase.

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    1. Hi Teresa,

      You're right, it seems so many sponges sink right away. If course a big clean-up sponge is a huge asset to any pottery studio.

      Delete
  4. I use the round sponges for picking up pieces of not so dry ware when I am working on them and they are good for pinch pots too. and I like the natural sponges for smoothing out and moistening small cracks in the surface of the clay. You can't have too many different types of sponges.

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    Replies
    1. You're right Linda, you pretty much can't have too many different types of sponges.

      Delete
  5. My Sherrill sponge was my favorite. I lost it a while back and haven't gotten it replaced. I'll have to check out the orange ones! Thanks for mentioning it!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Brian,

      Yes, I love the Sherrill sponges too. I just wear them out too quickly. The thing is, they make great gifts for anyone who is a friend of a potter.

      Delete
  6. 2 or 3 of the ones here look like the natural elephant ear sponges that NEVER leave my hand :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Gary, I put mine down when I'm not throwing. Hehehe.

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  7. I like a natural sponge when I find just the right one. I mostly use the yellow ones but I cut them in half, I like the smaller size for throwing.

    I also like green upholstery foam. It lasts a good long time and is especially good for cleaning up glaze on pots. You can get a thick square of it and cut your own sponge shapes.

    I have a rubber synthetic sponge that I have had for YEARS. It's my finishing sponge. It works like a chamois. I tried the new mudtools sponge, because I love mudtools... didn't care for the sponge at all. At the price, I think it should have lasted longer.

    Aren't you glad you asked about sponges? lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad I asked Michèle, I didn't know about the upholstery foam, I'll have to try that. Thanks

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  8. love how we all have our favourite sponges! I believe Diana Fayt uses a natural sponge for her mishima, so she said at Clay Push at Gulgong a couple of months ago. I also like makeup sponges for smoothing off leather hard pots without leaving marks.

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