Does Your Pottery Studio Have a Clay Extruder?

How to buy a clay extruder set. Learn techniques for using dies to make pottery with your ceramic extruder.

Extruder - A tool used in pottery to squeeze out solid or hollow shapes of clay; such as square or round tubes, or mug handles.

Extruders come in many shapes and sizes. Polymer clay extruders are tiny and create tiny extrusions. On the other hand, many studio sets are large enough that they must be mounted to a wall. They can press out many pounds of pottery clay into coils and tubes several inches around.

Using Your Extruder

For solid shapes, simply place the die (the die is the plastic or metal disc that has the desired shape cut into it) into the extruder. Load the extruder with clay, and press the clay through the die.

Use a clay wire to cut the clay at the desired length. Solid shapes can be used for coil pot building, handles, feet, or decorative elements.

For hollow shapes the die comes in two pieces, which are held together by a metal bracket. This creates a hole in center of the clay as it is pressed through. Press the hollow shape in the same way as the solid shape.

Hollow shapes can be used for creating almost any shape of vessel, although they are usually used for taller shapes like: pottery coffee mugs, wind chimes, unique vases, or even teapot spouts.

Buying an Extruder

The extruder you buy depends on what you are looking for. If you are just creating decorative elements for your pottery you may only need a small hand-held extruder. These are easy to come by, are easy to use, and are easily transportable.

However, if you are making pottery vessels with an extruder, or doing large volumes of shapes, such as handles, you will want a larger wall mounted version. These are built from sturdier materials, can handle large amounts of clay, and have long arms for better leverage.

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