Tool Talk Thursday today is about some tools to use to make nice clean holes in your ceramic beads, buttons and pendants.
I like to use wooden tools on wet clay. So we will start with the wooden tools I use. First choice is always a wooden skewer.
I always dip the skewer tip in water before I make the hole so it will slide easily without dragging any clay with it. For beads I use the sharp tip in the pic above. For holes in pendants I use the bottom of the skewer.
bottom of a skewer for making a hole
I dip the end in water and then press it into the pendant while it is lying flat on my sheet rock drying board. But this is not the end of making this hole. Once the clay is leather hard, I work on the hole some more if it needs it. I will sponge off the front and back and I will then use one of my Kemper tools to further shape it.
These kemper tools that I have come in three sizes. The largest one called a glaze and bisque cutter, is perfect for making holes the size of the bead rods I use for firing pendants on in my kiln.
The other two drill sizes are good for beads or pendants that are smaller and don't need the larger hole since I fire them on high temp wire (17 gauge).
The largest size drill of these Kemper tools is called a glaze and bisque cutter and has carbide chips on the blade. It is great for enlarging holes in bisque too. All of these Kemper hole tools , also called zig zag saws, are great for cleaning out glaze in holes before firing your work.
I use the wonderful and beautiful Chinese Clay Art wooden hole tool for smoothing out any hole that looks lopsided or needs some minor enlarging. It is good for these adjustments since it does not cause the clay to
I hope this little run down of hole making tools has been helpful.