In the beginning was the rib…
The rib was one of the first tools that Michael Sherrill started making for himself and then shared with others.
A rib is one of the most basic and frequently used tools in clay. Because it acts as an extension of the potter’s own hand, it should function well and be a joy to use.
Mudtool ribs are made from a flexible material that is considered the “stainless steel” of plastics. Unlike rubber, this material will not develop burrs or cracks. In fact, these ribs will burnish themselves as you use them, so, the more you use them the nicer they become.
Available in six shapes, these ribs cover a lot of what hand builders and throwers need from a rib. Each rib shape is available in four degrees of hardness; from very soft to very firm. You choose the shape and hardness that suits your clay and your working style.
Also available from Michael Sherrill is the popular Shredder, MudWire, MudSponge & MudShark:
I have used shure form tools on clay since the first time I saw them at the hardware store, but it did not take me long to realize that the handle did not function well with clay. It would easily clog and then frustrate the user. So, my answer was to design my own handle. The shredder handle is the production version of one that I have used for over ten years. It is one of the most useful and handy tools in my box. I hope you love it as much as I love mine.
Ergonomically designed, this Mudwire cut off tool is a pleasure to use. Made with the same plastic as our ribs, it will get nicer with use. The 15″ wire is a cable of stainless steel that offers clean cuts. We also offer a 15″ Curly Mudwire and a 19.5″ Heavy Duty Mudwire. All Mudwires are easy on your best tools, your hands.
Another Popular Sherrill Creation is the Bump:
The Bump is made with a solid aluminum shaft that is bendable but not flexible. The sponge end is a very dense material that becomes chamois like when wet and it has a hard ball inside that. The whole thing is designed to allow for great leverage to move clay in those tricky places that you cannot get your hand.