Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tool Talk - Cutters

I have found a new obsession with a certain clay tool and have started to hunt them down. I actually plan on making them into a collection. I plan to start perusing ebay and craigslist with a newfound passion. I had forgotten that my Mom left me a few in her box of old ceramic tools but now I plan to search those out too! It is a tool that is scavenged from the kitchen (like most of my favorite clay tools). It is the humble cookie cutter!

Now I don't plan on just taking the cookie cutter and cutting away and that is that. I will use it as I do any other tool. I will manipulate, texture, score, attach and who knows what else will happen to the clay on its journey to a final piece that is fired. The difficulty of using the cutters is to find the right size. Clay shrinks up to 15% throughout the drying and firing process so I have to be able to consider the shrinkage when I am contemplating a new cutter. I know how to make my own stamps and textured tools but cutters are a different world to me. I love that they have a sharp edge that cuts cleanly into clay. It is a bit tricky to get the clay out of small cutters without distorting the image, especially since I texture them prior to cutting.

My favorite so far are the vintage animal cutters. I just love my little pig and am waiting to complete my first piggy ring. Hilarious!

I would love to be able to make my own cutters so if anyone out there knows anything about making them please let me know. Otherwise, keep your eyes open for any cool vintage animals. I am on the lookout for bunnies!


Emily Murphy said...

I had a custom cookie cutter made for my clay work by using a circle shaped cutter that was cheap (thin metal) and had a metal smith friend bend it into the shape I drew. It works great, it's was inexpensice and it's one of a kind!

michelle said...

I have the same obsession! I drag my family through William's Sonoma and antique stores looking for cool cutters and things to impress the clay all the time!

I made my own owl cookie cutter out of a strip of thin copper sheeting, but I have only mastered simple forms.

I got an adorable reindeer cookie cutter from Williams Sonoma over the holidays and I salivating over the alphabet cutters from there or the Martha Stewart ones at Macy's, but I think they are too small. I also use vintage letterpress...

Pam McFadyen said...

Brilliant! Keep the ideas coming!