The Steve Tool: Pottery Tool Review

May 24, 2010 § 6 Comments

I took the opportunity to order a boxful of tools while in Los Angeles visiting with H recently. These included a set of pot lifters (for when I don’t want finger marks on my pots), rubber ribs, sharp new trimming tools, and the Steve Tool! It was a bit of a splurge, but I was taken in by the promise of crazy textures, and how it is interchangeable and customisable!

Of course, handyman Simon comes over and tells me, this kinda thing is SO EASY TO MAKE YOURSELF. But then, it’d be so much trouble to make, that all my energy would be expended before I get to trying it out on my pots :p

So the Steve Tool is a sturdy plastic assemblage of many cartwheel attachments and some spokes, on a plastic handle. All this is held together with some nuts and a bolt and some washers.

Basically you throw a thick cylinder, and hash away at it with the tool… and then expand the clay outwards to form something like this:

freshly thrown steve tool madness!

Believe it or not, this took several tries. The first cylinder I made was too thin, and didn’t expand enough to make a pleasing texture. The second I overexpanded (too exciting looking at the texture changing, and didn’t stop in time! haha), and it slumped. And then the third was this!!! The clay I used was rather wetter than usual. I think if it was dryer I’d get sharper, more defined texture. Also, when crazing over with the steve tool, I went at it without a care for pattern/regularity. From what I see on the steve website, it’s possible to get some rhythmic texture if you’re more careful about it. Future pots ya πŸ™‚

My only grouse with the tool is that the nut kept falling off. Maybe it has to do with which direction I hold the tool, but the most intuitive way seemed to be the wrong direction. Well these are the fired results… I can’t wait to make bigger pots like these πŸ™‚

White Lace

Black Lace

Green with White Lace Trim

As for cleanup, you need a brush of some sort to get the clay out of all the nooks and crannies of the tool. Like it is with all other things, the right tool for the job makes life much easier πŸ˜€

UPDATE: Steve says to use all the nuts in the kit so they stay put. My bad, for not following the instructions fully πŸ™‚ thanks for stopping by Steve!


§ 6 Responses to The Steve Tool: Pottery Tool Review

  • DT says:

    Nice post thanks I think I’ll give the steve tool a try after reading your post.

  • preettysandhu says:

    how come simon gets a mention and all I get is a H!!! πŸ˜› hahaha. I love the steve tool!!! it f***s up the status quo of any smooth surface! LOVELY in your hands

  • preettysandhu says:

    oh and for the falling nuts..well thats just part of life now isn’t it πŸ˜‰

  • steve graber says:

    i love your pot! i’m the sick-o stuck on texture and enjoy hearing how others use the tool. it’s a blast and you’ll come to learn the quirks as you explore your new sickness…

    for loose nuts (on the tool) use one of the extra nuts in the tool bag as a jam nut to hold against the first. there’s 5 nuts and a wing nut so some number of all those should keep things tight…

    i find for consistent affects, you’re forced to actually pay attention to the details. i still get lost in the spinning images and forget. but a clean straight cylinder, and rolled on texture keeping track of what your hand-wrist-arm-elbow is doing yields repeatable results. ……sort of….

    enjoy the tool and make more pots!


    the steve tool guy…..

    • inkypots says:

      hey steve! it’s a wild tool you’ve invented πŸ™‚ now i think about it, you’re right – i didn’t use all the nuts. will try it next time… thanks for the tips!

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