Once and a while I like to buy interesting fruit from this local grocery store just to try something new. A few weeks ago I picked up this small golf ball to tennis ball sized fruit called a "mangosteen". The day that we started to prepare it for eating I noticed the bottom of the fruit had an almost perfect flower pattern. Additionally the pattern is rounded and protruding from the fruit, perfect for pressing into pottery! I cut out the pattern and glued it to some hardwood stamp stock I had lying around. Then I rounded off the edges with a sander and painted all but the actual stamp with boiled linseed oil to make it somewhat waterproof. My hope is that these will make nice stamps for doing mishima inlay. Pictures of the results to come!
This other tool is a piece of brass that once was a 30-06 casing and will be used for poking tea strainer holes in a teapot. I rolled one end tightly and sanded the brass thin to make a small hole cutting tool. The wire rod that you see came from a flag that a utility locator man placed in our yard. It's stiff and almost the perfect width to fit in the brass hole. It should work to clear out any clay that gets lodged in the tool after poking several holes through the clay. The sachet that they're slipped inside is just a scrap piece of leather I've stiched together with some wax thread (my wife had it on hand). It doesn't look pretty but it should keep this hole tool from getting damaged and the braided cord (also made from wax thread) should keep these three items from getting seperated. I'll eventually use this for creating small teapot strainer holes which should let the tea pour easily but also keep the leaves in the pot. If your a potter and want to make something like this I recommend using brass or copper. Brass and copper seem to stick less to the clay and make it easier to poke holes without making a mess of your work.