I have become interested lately in people's personal throwing tool kits. My friend and past high school art teacher does some very different techniques and uses different tools than I do. I try her way and try her tools, but I can't get accustomed to them. I believe a lot of it has to do with how and who you learn from. I also notice that most people who have learned on a kick wheel swear by them and are never really interested in an electric and same goes for electric users. I have a horrible time when I teach my students on their kick wheels, which I never seem to kick fast enough to center properly. I also notice that they pick up any tool for a certain job and stick with that tool. They search around the classroom for it before using a similar one. I have put together my tools here to share the tools that I cannot work without. There may be a few left out that I don't use daily. I admit that this post will probably be a bore to anyone who is not a potter.
These tools I use while on the wheel. Some are standard like the sponge, calipers, needle tool, and wire tool. I was taught by Dee Schaad of the University of Indianapolis art department to always use a chamois to smooth out my rims and it works very well. The two wooden stick tools are great for smoothing out and shaving and shaping the bottom of a vessel. The stick that has more a curve to it near the wire tool is also great for pulling up gently on semi thick clay walls. The large triangular rib tool is great for pulling up large pieces and smoothing out pieces like large cylinders. If you are not a potter, the calipers are for measuring, the the needle for trim the top of a wet vessel, and the wire is to cut the vessel off the wheel head when complete.
These tools are secondary in that they are not used until the pieces is bisque and/or leather hard greenware. Dee Schaad has also taught me to always use bamboo brushes when using glaze and here I have two sizes. I often use two hole cutters when making teapots or candle holders. I forgot to picture my trusty potato peeler too, which I often use to make pretty mugs. My all time favorite trimming tool is to the right. I have a ton of other trimming tools that I rarely ever use. This tool has a nice straight metal edge at the top that trims very nicely. A few other things I forgot to photograph were my hand held spray bottle and large pump spray bottle which I use to clean my studio with.