As pottery suppliers based in London in the UK, here at Alec Tiranti, we aim to offer our customers an extensive selection of materials for pottery. Our products are made to professional standard, yet are also suitable for those who practice pottery as a hobby. Today we are focussing on our range of pottery materials, covering the all tools, equipment, and glazes you could need for crafting your own ceramics and pottery, as well as materials for pottery restoration projects.

Pottery Tools and Equipment

We can provide a great array of pottery tools for our customers, including rolling pins, strip tools, wooden ribs, coiler tool sets, handle makers, knives, hole cutters, needles, clay extruders and guns, slip trailers, pallet knives, bow harps, clay cutters, pottery turning tools, stainless steel turning tools and other related tools. More pottery tools that we stock include a deep cleaning tool, sponge, bamboo brushes, twin point spears and fettling tools. For those overwhelmed with options and unsure of where to start, we can also provide a pottery tool set. This set includes everything you need to get started: a wooden potter’s rib, modelling tool, ribbon tool, sponge, needle tool, loop tool, metal scraper and wire clay cutter.

Glazes for Pottery

When you have crafted your pottery piece, the next step will be to focus on what you will use for your glaze, to put the finishes touches on your creation. We offer a huge range  of different glazes, as finding the right finish will mean you can preserve the quality of your piece and produce the best aesthetic to the finished piece. Whatever your medium of sculpting, we can provide a wide range of different types of glazes, in an array of colours. Within each choice, you will be met with even more options, for example, our range of Spectrum Stoneware Glaze is available in 83 different colours. Furthermore, we stock Underglaze Pencils and Spectrum Underglazes. We can also supply you with related products such as body stains, wax resists and more.

Pottery Restoration

In addition to the materials for crafting new pottery works, we are also at hand for any pottery restoration projects you may be undertaking. When restoring an antique pottery piece to its former glory, you will need to use the best materials. We are able to supply everything from the raw materials to the finishing glazes to help you with your pottery restoration project.

Contact Us

To discover more about our pottery products, or any other items, please get in touch with us by completing our online contact form, or by emailing us at You can also find out more details about how to contact us in either Thatcham or London from this contact page. A member of our team will be happy to help you with any queries you may have for us.

Here at Alec Tiranti, we offer a range of products for different artistic practices, offering a professional standard of quality. As part of our range, we include studio equipment and armatures. When it comes to sculpting, armatures are essential items, which exist to provide an open framework for sculptors to mould using clay or similar materials. It’s important to have an armature that is in good working condition, or it could ruin your creation. Read on to find out more about our range of armatures and other studio equipment you may need.


All About Our Studio Equipment


Our range of studio equipment is made to provide the best working environment possible, and this includes the necessary furniture, including both seats and stands. Our offering is designed ergonomically, to ensure you will be comfortable when working at your creations for hours on end. We offer carving and sculpture modelling stands in a variety of styles, including both wooden and metal options, designed to meet the working height on an individual basis. When selecting your work stand, you have to guarantee that the load is adequately supported, or accidents could happen.


Selecting Your Stand


Generally, a student stand is best for smaller pieces, and larger pieces are more suited to the fixed wooden carving stands. For the latter, you need to move around the bench to work from all sides, whilst a turntable increases flexibility, enabling the sculptor to work from the nearside of the load, spinning it to move the work closer. When it comes to work benches, the largest pieces will need a lower bench to improve load stability. Likewise, a turntable will allow the sculptor to work from the nearside, therefore reducing the risk of injury due to the improved load stability.


Nichrome Armatures


When it comes to armatures, a modelling board is the most basic necessity as it enables you to build armatures. The board can be fitted with a wooden ‘Bust Peg’, which acts as a central support and a fixed point of reference. An armature is often built by beginning with a simple ductile wire skeleton, which is built upon with clay or wax. If a wire is ductile, this means that the material can be thin, without losing toughness. An example of ductile wire is nichrome wire, which can even be fired, so if you are creating a ceramic piece, it’s possible to fire it with the armature inside.


Kanthal Armatures


Another option for creating your armature is kanthal wire, which has many of the same properties as nichrome, but it is slightly thicker. An important tip for using kathal wire is to wrap the wire in wet tissue paper before adding the wet clay over the armature. When firing in this way, any paper used will burn away in the kiln, so the wire is able to expand inside the clay.


Aluminium Armatures


Although aluminium armatures shouldn’t be fired in a kiln, they can be an ideal medium to build armatures, with specially sourced ductile aluminium available in a range of sizes, including both round and square section.


Fixed or Sliding Armature Support


If you feel that your clay structure needs to self-support, we can also supply armatures that offer external support. These are available as either fixed and sliding supports of different sizes. A fixed armature support consists of a steel rod, which is mounted on a plinth that is bolted to the modelling board. The other end of the support rod is shaped into a S, so that an armature can be bolted to the end of the support rod. On the other hand, a sliding armature support differs in that the point at which the armature is attached can slide up and down the vertical support rod. Additionally, if you are employing more complex armatures, you can make up additional sliding components, which can be positioned to best support the workpiece and increase its stability.


Contact Us

For more information about our studio equipment and armatures, or any other products, please get in touch with us by completing our online contact form, or by emailing us at From our website, you can also find out more details about how to contact us in either Thatcham or London, and a member of our team will be glad to help you with any questions you may have for us.

Over time, furniture and artwork can become worn and lose some of their brilliance. Here at Alec Tiranti, we appreciate the beauty of a restored antique and the artistry of applying the finishing touches on a brand-new piece. We offer our customers a full collection of top-quality restoration and finishing equipment to spruce up wood, metals, and ceramics.

Alec Tiranti has been the leading supplier of tools to the artistic community for over 130 years, and we have always strived to deliver state-of-the-art restoration equipment to our customers. We stay up to date with contemporary style and technique, and we are constantly introducing new products and services. We offer personal advice to our customers and provide insight into restoration techniques and products. Whether you are restyling old furniture or repairing major damage, we can help you every step of the way by supplying antique restoration products and offering expert advice.

Not only do our wide range of wood finishing products make reviving furniture simple, but they may also introduce you to a new hobby. From initial sanding to applying finishing touches, Alec Tiranti can provide all the products you will need to restore wooden furniture and surfaces to a new lease of life. Our collection of finishes includes a variety of paints and earth pigments that will complement the unique style of your home. We also provide products such as surgical blades, finishing brushes, and stencil brushes for more precise restoration work.

We offer a variety of metal finishing products, including oils and cleaners to polish your metal to perfection. We are pleased to carry products from Sculpt Nouveau, who specialise in metal patinas. Patinas are used alongside our oils and cleaners to create an aged, colourful surface on metals, resulting in a stunning metal finishing. For maintaining gilt objects, we supply gold leaf and metal leaf to cover the surface, which restores the piece to its original quality. We also offer miscellaneous restoration products, such as steel wool for metal polishing.

Alec Tiranti supplies restoration products to a wide variety of artists, including potters and ceramicists. Pottery restoration entails cleaning and preparing surfaces with acetone, sealing cracks with epoxy, and restoring artwork with paints, pigments, and gold and metal leaf. Alec Tiranti can provide everything you will need for your pottery and ceramic restoration, and we can offer expert advice on the process and the required products.

For more information about our restoration and finishing equipment, you can view our blog, FAQs and videos on our website. You can also view our full list of products for other projects and craft. If you have any questions, then please get in touch by telephone, fax, email, and web form. We will be pleased to answer any questions you may have for us and offer valuable industry advice on your next restoration project.


Here at Alec Tiranti, we offer a range of products for different artistic modes at a professional standard of quality. As part of our range, we have all a budding artist could need in terms of ceramics and pottery, whether you’re undertaking a restoration project or starting from scratch.


Ceramics and Pottery Tools

We provide a great range of pottery tools from our website, including rolling pins, strip tools, wooden ribs, coiler tool sets, handle makers, knives, hole cutters, needles, clay extruders and guns, slip trailers, pallet knives, bow harps, clay cutters, pottery turning tools, stainless steel turning tools and other related tools. Tools that are especially useful when working on pottery project include a deep cleaning tool, sponge, bamboo brushes, twin point spears and fettling tools. If you’re just starting out and not quite sure what to get, and you want to make sure you’ve covered all bases, we can also supply a pottery tool set. This includes a wooden potter’s rib, modelling tool, ribbon tool, sponge, needle tool, loop tool, metal scraper and wire clay cutter.

Ceramics and Pottery Glazes

You have all the materials you need, and you complete the first stage of your pottery or ceramic project. After this, it is important to select your glaze to put the finishing touches on your piece. We have a variety of different glazes to choose from, so you can find the best look for your creation, which also serves to preserve the quality of your piece. Whichever medium you’re working in, we offer different kinds of glazes, in a plethora colours. There are a great many options within each glaze, such as a spread of 83 different colours when you select our Spectrum Stoneware Glaze. Moreover, we also supply Underglaze Pencils and Spectrum Underglazes, as well as related products such as body stains and wax resists.

Ceramics and Pottery Restoration

Aside from sculpting your pottery and ceramic pieces from scratch, we can also help you with any restoration project. So that you can restore an older or antique pottery piece to its former glory, you will require the best materials. From the raw materials to the finishing glazes, we can help you with your restoration project.

Ceramics and Pottery Expertise

We not only stock and supply our customers with the ceramics and pottery tools and materials, but you can also take advantage of our expertise in the field. We will be happy to advise you on your project and offer any information about how the that products we sell can benefit you. If there is a specific product you’re looking for, or you need some advice on your restoration project, we would be happy to help.

Contact Us

For more information about our pottery and ceramics tools and equipment, or any other products, please get in touch with us by completing our online contact form, or by emailing us at There you can also find out more information about how to contact us in either Thatcham or London, and a member of our team will be glad to help you with any questions you may have for us.

Here at Alec Tiranti, we offer a range of products for different artistic practices at a professional standard of quality. As part of our range, we include products for casting, which is the process of using a mould to replicate the features in reverse. A positive reproduction is formed from the negative of the mould.


Casting for Beginners


If you’re new to casting, we recommend beginning with basic casting plaster to make your products. From there you can also use heated wax or a low melt alloy, using resins to chemically activate it. An important note for those starting out is to use release agents, which will help to prevent the casting material from bonding to the mould, and avoid any damage.


Plaster for Casting

Beginning with basic plaster casting, we offer a wide range of products, stocking the basic materials along with related products including bowls, brushes, and knives. Each type of plaster has a different measure of strength and setting times, so be sure to check this. Moreover, we supply high alumina cement, which is capable of setting in just 24 hours, with the added advantage of being suitable for use outside.

Resins for Casting

We provide customers with resins for casting in polyester, polyurethane and epoxy. Polyester resins can be supplied with a variety of different pigments for colouring clear and opaque resins alike, as well as offering a liquid hardener. Whether you are casting or laminating with polyester resin, the use of parting or release agents is also important. Polyurethane resins are best used for casting with model kits, figures, for foundry tooling, and for pattern making. Lastly, the epoxy resin can be used for casting, embedding, cold enamelling and coating, and offers a subtle straw-colour. Additionally, we also supply a selection of resin sundries, which includes items such as laminating brushes and plastic moulds.

Fillers for Casting

General fillers for polyester resin are used for a variety of purposes. For example, they can increase elements such as hardness and scratch resistance. Furthermore, they can offer thixotropic qualities, which means having a viscosity that decreases when a stress is applied, as when stirred. Examples of fillers for casting include marble, state and synthetic onyx, and we also have a selection of metal fillers, including aluminium, bronze, brass, copper and iron.

Alloys for Casting

Tin alloys can be used for both hand and machine casting. This category also includes different tools for tin alloy casting, such as electric metal melting pots, ladles, ingot moulds, sprue cutter, and bearing metal. Whilst it is vital not to overheat the material, when heated at the recommended temperature, the colour will stay the same.

Centricast for Casting

Finally, we supply the Centricast, which is a centrifugal casting and mould-making machine. This is perfect for producing large quantities, that cannot be achieved by hand. In addition to the machine, we can supply mould plates, mould rings, former plugs, mould opener screws, stud clamps, and thumb nuts.

Contact Us

For more information about casting products, or any other items, please get in touch with us by completing our online contact form, or by emailing us at There you can also find out more details about how to contact us in either Thatcham or London, and a member of our dedicated staff will be glad to assist you with any questions you may have for us.

Ceramics and pottery have a rich history in human creation, combining the practical with the artistic. Such items can be seen in all cultures throughout the world for many centuries.  At Alec Tiranti, we offer a great range of products to perfect your pottery and ceramics. When you sit at the wheel with clay and sink your hands into it, you are bringing a tradition that goes back to ancient times into the right now. From ceramic tools that help you craft your items from scratch, to ceramic glazes to aid you to create your finished product, we are sure to have what you need at Alec Tiranti. Additionally, we can help with ceramic restoration, just read on to find out more.

Ceramic Tools and Equipment at Alec Tiranti

We supply all the pottery tools UK artists need, including a range of kilns and equipment, including kiln accessories. Whether you are a beginner or hobbyist, or a professional artist, we can lend a helping hand by getting the right tools to you. As part of our offering of kilns, we can provide Nabertherm kilns from Germany, and extension rings for gas kilns. We can supply ceramic and pottery equipment such as potters’ wheels, pugmills, extruders, clay rollers and spray booths, and tools including rolling pins, knives, cutters and more.

Ceramic Clays and Glazes at Alec Tiranti

We stock a huge range of clays for you to create your ceramics and pottery in a colour and texture that suits you. On top of that, we supply a variety of different glazes, which can help you to obtain a range of different colours and effects. Within each category there is more and more to discover, so simply browse our website to find the clays and glazes you desire the most.

Ceramic Restoration at Alec Tiranti

As well as creating brand new artistic pieces of ceramics and pottery, we can also help for the times where you want to restore a piece of antique pottery to its original glory. As well as having the skills, you will also need the pottery materials.  From raw materials to pottery glazes, UK restorers will be able to carry out any pottery restoration project by using our range of ceramic restoration products at Alec Tiranti. We can help you bring old pottery and ceramics back to life, preserving these pieces of history, ensuring they won’t be lost.

Contact Us

For more information about our range of products available for ceramics and pottery, please get in touch with us by completing our online contact form, or by emailing us at There you can also find out more details about how to contact us in either Thatcham or London, and a member of our team will be glad to assist you with any queries you may have for us.

Whatever you are creating, it won’t be the same without ensuring a smooth surface. Our range of files and abrasives at Alec Tiranti enables you to polish and perfect your creations. We have an extensive range of files and abrasives to select from, with the finish you aiming for depending on the material you are working with. We have a great range of files, rasps and rifflers, as well as subforms, diamond abrasives, cloth and paper, and bars, cutters and drills. Read on to find out more.


Files, Rasps and Rifflers


The first place to start when it comes to the finishing touches, is our files, rasps and rifflers category. Within this range, we offer a wide choice of needle files, which are great for adding detail in sculptures. A rasp is a coarse file, suitable for scraping, filing, or rubbing down metal or wooden objects. We stock machine-cut halfround stone rasps, wood rasps in a fine grade, Italian rasps for stone, marble and wood, a set of three rasps, including flat, rat-tail and round hand-punched, and a bracelet rasp. A riffler is a long, narrow tool with a curved file surface at each end, making it ideal for filing concave surfaces. Our range of rifflers varies depending on your material, including hand cut rifflers for use with stone, marble and wood, as well as ones designed for working with bronze and other metals, which are also suitable for cold cast resin metals and ceramics. We also stock sets of rifflers either for use on wood or soft stone, or stainless-steel ones that can also be used on plaster, clay and more.




Similarly, subform tools can be used as alternative to rasps in order to remove or shape plaster items. They are supplied as a large flat planerfile, round file, or a shaver tool. As well as tackling plaster,  they can also be used on wood, fibreglass, vinyl, thermalite and linoleum.


Diamond Abrasives


Our range of diamond abrasives can enable you to achieve the smoothest finish as they secure real diamond particles to a nickel or resin file. Any rough edges on your items can be worn down, creating a smooth surface. We supply a diamond hand file, as well as a set of diamond rifflers, if you have a diverse variety of jobs to complete. Our diamond file set is also supplied with a different file heads, expanding its range of uses. Diapad® is a patented for its process of attaching the diamond particles in dots either in nickel or resin, implanting it onto a tough fabric, producing this robust and quick-cutting abrasive, capable of producing an incredibly fine finish, used with water.


Abrasive Cloth and Paper


For large surface areas that may have more precise angles or curves, we provide abrasive cloth and paper. These can offer better precision in this way than files in order to smooth down any splinters or bumpy surfaces. As the paper is waterproof, you work with it even with other liquids involved in the process.


Burs, Cutters and Drills


Finally, we bring you our range of burs, cutters and drills. Burs consist of a small rotary cutting tools with a shaped end, used mainly in woodworking. We provide a range of cutters, which can be used for shaping non-metals, plastics and wood. Lastly, drills are tools with a rotating cutting tip or reciprocating hammer or chisel, used for making holes in the material.


Contact Us


To discover more about our files and abrasives, please feel free to contact us and our team at Alec Tiranti will be glad to answer any questions you may have. You can also reach us by sending us an email at, or call us on +44 (0)1635 587430 to speak to a member of our team directly.

Here at Alec Tiranti, we offer a range of products for different artistic modes at a professional standard of quality. As part of our range, we include a variety of products for mouldmaking, whether you are a complete beginner or a professional requiring mouldmaking materials.


What is Mouldmaking?


Mouldmaking is a process of fabricating moulds for casting, which would involves shaping a liquid or liable raw material. Artists often use mouldmaking techniques in order to create reproductions. The mould uses a negative impression of the original sculpture in order to then recreate the solid form, enabling the artist to easily replicate the original and create a series of reproductions. The mould can be made from a variety of materials, including plaster, liquid latex, silicone rubber or vinyl rubber. We will demonstrate the materials that we offer for mouldmaking, which can be used for a simple one-piece block as well as a complex mould consisting of multiple pieces that connect.


Vinyl Rubber Mouldmaking


Vinyl rubber is a re-useable rubber which is heated to a liquid and poured over the sculpture where it cools back to its original flexible state. It is suitable for casting a range of materials, including plastics, cements, waxes and resins. Vinyl is a good material for small numbers of castings and unlike other materials, it can be re-melted and formed into a new mould. It also has the added benefit of not needing preparation or release agents.


Silicone Rubber Mouldmaking


Silicone rubber is a highly accurate cold curing two-part moulding material that enables the broadest range of casting materials, including plastics, cements, urethanes and waxes. It is possible to cast a large number of reproductions, and we offer a selection of adhesives sealants and release agents for silicone rubber mouldmaking. Most work at temperatures between -20ºC and 250ºC, but there is an additional option that is firmer and can work up to 316ºC.


Polyurethane Rubber Mouldmaking


A third type of rubber used for mouldmaking is polyurethane rubber. This is ideal for casting materials such as plasters, concrete, urethanes and polyesters, and can even cast rubber components. For this type of rubber, you will need to use a release agent such as the one from Ambersil.


Latex Mouldmaking


Moreover, we offer latex mouldmaking material, which is air drying and typically used for casting plasters and cement, and can also be used with waxes and certain polyester resins. It is applied in layers to build up a desired thickness before receiving support in the form of plaster or fibreglass.


Alginate Mouldmaking


Finally, alginate is a safe and fast-setting mouldmaking material, suitable for creating moulds that are highly detailed, yet quick to complete, setting in either 2-3 minutes or 6-8 minutes, depending on the type you choose. As well as being able to create casts of different materials, it is safe for use when creating body casts, and can be used for artists working in the film and TV industry, including make-up artists and special effects departments.


Choosing Your Mouldmaking Material


When considering your option for moulding material, there are many factors to consider. You should think about the material that the original piece is made from, the material that will be used to cast the reproductions, as well as the quantity and the size of the sculptures, and the level of detail of the original sculpture that is necessary to replicate.


Contact Us

For more information about mouldmaking materials and equipment, or any other products, please get in touch with us by completing our online contact form, or by emailing us at There you can also find out more details about how to contact us in either Thatcham or London, and a member of our staff will be glad to help you with any questions you may have for us.

Here at Alec Tiranti, we offer a range of products for different artistic modes at a professional standard of quality. As part of our range, we include products using Jesmonite, a casting material that has grown as time has gone on since its introduction in the 1980s. Artists, sculptures and manufacturers all continue to make use of the material’s versatility and ability to mimick different textures such as wood, fabric or stone.

What is Jesmonite and What is it Used For?

Jesmonite is a composite material consisting of a gypsum-based material in an acrylic resin. Its origins are within the UK, invented by Peter Hawkins in 1984. It is most commonly used for forming sculptures and three-dimensional work. It can also be used with other materials as a ground for painting, or as a surface material in building and construction. Due to its versatility, it can be cast into a variety of mould types, with the best results seen with silicone. Our customers often use the material for a variety of modelling, casting and mould-making applications, and it’s available in a selection of different product groups depending on the required application.

Jesmonite Acrylic Sealer

The Jesmonite acrylic sealer is a pure acrylic addition liquid, which is used for the AC100 compound, acting as a waterproof sealant for AC100 structures for outdoor type applications. It can also be used with pigments as a colour wash for patination or to age casts, and has the benefit of being long-lasting, not requiring a re-coat until between six and ten years.

Jesmonite Acrylic Composite

We offer a choice of two acrylic composites, which includes the AC 100 and the AC 300 range. The acrylic sealer is only to be used with the Jesmonite AC 100, which is a water-based composite material with no solvents or VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). It can be used for castings and carving, as well as a mould casing when allied to Quadaxial glassfibre matting. The AC 300 is similar to AC 100, but offers a lower acrylic resin content, meaning that it is cheaper and best for larger casts (especially when laminated with Quadaxial matting). Its lighter consistency also means that it is better suited for mould casings than AC 100.

Jesmonite Mixing Blades

In order to mix the AC100 and AC300 acrylic composite compounds, it is necessary to use mixing blades. We offer these stainless-steel mixing blades, which have been designed especially in order to reduce the risk of air bubbles developing, ensuring a smooth and lump-free consistency. The blades come in a choice of two sizes (65mm or 105mm diameter), both attaching to a standard 10mm battery drill chuck.

Jesmonite Quadaxial Glass Reinforcement

Developed by Jesmonite to use with its resins, the Quadaxial glassfibre reinforcement is a kind of matting that is ultra-lightweight, yet extremely durable. The lay-up of the fibres makes it perfect for casting lamination, and even more so for mould casings, which are structurally stiff and incredibly lightweight.

Jesmonite Retarder and Thixotrope

Futhermore, the Jesmonite Retarder is an addition liquid to slow the setting process and is suitable for use with both the Jesmonite AC 100 and AC 300, increasing the “pot life” of a mix, especially in environments with extremes of temperature or humidity. The thixotrope is an addition liquid, used to thicken both the AC 100 and AC 300 compounds. It allows you to apply a thicker Gel Coat layer to a mould surface, without the compound running off the sides of the mould. It also avoids the glass reinforcement showing through into the smooth face of the mould, and can also be made into a paste to carry out repairs to existing moulds.

Jesmonite Pigments

It is possible to make use of a plethora of different colour pigments and metal powders to obtain the finish you want. We stock a variety of pigments for Jesmonite in the 200ml size. We offer six colours which can be added to Jesmonite mixed at around 2-5% by weight of mix. As Jesmonite has a naturally pale finish, you can either use a white pigment to keep a consistent tone, or choose from from our array of coloured options.

Contact Us

For more information about using Jesmonite, or any other products, please get in touch with us by completing our online contact form, or by emailing us at There you can also find out more details about how to contact us in either Thatcham or London, and a member of our team will be happy to help you with any queries you may have for us.

5 Tips To Keep Your Woodcarving Tools Sharp

Wood is a fantastic material to work with, and offers its own rewards separate from other materials like stone, clay, wax or plastics. However, when working with wood, it’s important to have the right set of carving tools. Here at Alec Tiranti we pride ourselves on providing some of the most high-quality woodcarving tools and woodcarving supplies in the UK.

One of the main tasks facing sculptors working with wood is keeping their woodcarving tools sharp. After all, a dull tool is only going to cause trouble, no matter whether it’s your straight chisels or your carvers’ adzes. For that reason, here are five tips to help you sharpen your woodcarving tools and get the best out of your carving equipment.


Sharpen before use

When you purchase a set of carving tools, you might think that your chisel or knife is ready to use straight away. However, tools like woodcarving knives are often only sharpened by factories to a ‘standard grade’. As a result, you will need to ‘finish sharpen’ your tool whenever you use it.

When first using any new woodcarving tools, make sure to give them a gentle rub with a stone or a strop to clean any imperfections. All you have to do then is keep them clean and oiled when you’re not using them, and give them a gentle sharpening before and during use.

Use a stone

One of the common ways of sharpening woodcarving tools is to use sharpening equipment like a bench or slip stone and honing oil.

Firstly, oil the stone and move the tool over the stone’s surface. You’ll need to position the tool so that the cutting edge sits evenly across the face of the stone. Then rub the tool over the stone in a ‘figure 8’ pattern.  Don’t forget to sharpen the backside of the tool to remove any roughness.

Follow it up by stropping

Once you’ve sharpened your woodcarving tool on your stone, you can then hone it by using a strop. Stropping is typically performed by those using a woodcarving knife or chisel to maintain the sharp edge of the tool and prolong its long term use.

A strop is usually made of leather which has a layer of carborundum dressing applied to it. Some people do this dry; others use oil and water. It’s simply a matter of personal preference.

To strop a tool, simply run it back and forth slowly and evenly each side against the strop on a flat and level surface. Don’t use short, sharp movements – this can damage your tool.

Don’t use another method…

It might be tempting to sharpen your woodcarving tools on a power tool like an angle grinder or bench grinder. Whatever you do, don’t do this! Simply put, this is highly likely to overheat the tip of the tool. This could make the metal of your tools soften or harden and fundamentally alter your tool’s character – really not ideal for your straight woodcarving tools.

But don’t be scared of heat treatment

All woodcarving tool steels are heat treated and need to be cared for. Sometimes it’s necessary to have a tool heat treated again from time to time to make sure it stays at its best.

Now that you know how to sharpen your woodcarving tools, why not give it a go? Here at Alec Tiranti we can supply our customers with Flexcut carving tools, woodcarving tool sets and more. Simply contact us today for more information and a member of our experienced team will be able to assist you.

Ceramics have been a popular, cultural artform throughout history and there are surviving pieces dating back as far as 10000 BC. Perhaps it is the ability to carefully hand craft an exact design by the sculptor, or the unique elements of each finished piece when it comes out of the furnace. It may be the variety of finishes one can achieve when applying different glaze effects. Here at Alec Tiranti, we have a wide range of pottery equipment, tools and accessories for the well-practiced exponents and beginners alike. Here, we will be taking a look at some of the different ceramic glazes and pieces of equipment we have on offer on our website, and how they can transform your work.

Pottery glazes

Choosing the right ceramic glaze can transform your ceramic pieces. Ceramic glazing is not only important for creating a colourful and textured finish, but it is also crucial to preserving and increasing the life length of your piece, waterproofing, colouring and finishing the final piece in the process.  Each glaze is unique, and it is up to you as the originator to choose what kind of ceramic finish you want to try and achieve.

There is always an element of circumspect experimentation required when mixing, applying and firing a ceramic glaze, indeed the finished piece doesn’t always produce the same result every time.

Spectrum products sold here at Alec Tiranti Ltd cover a broad range of glazes and finishes, from Underglazes, Low Fire Glazes, to Stoneware Glazes and the Metallic Glazes, Lustres and Crystals.

With a LF metallic glaze, for instance, you can achieve an iridescent metallic appearance to your final piece, but unlike lustres these colours fire in a standard pattern like an underglaze.  You may opt for a brushed bronze, wrought iron, or stunning moonlight finish to your piece; whatever your preference, the outcome is an impressive ceramic piece with the appearance of being forged from metal.

Alternatively, the Spectrum stoneware glazes can be applied along with Glaze Crystals, these react with the glaze during firing to give an attractive mottled finish within the standard glaze.

Lustres can be thinned and applied over a ready fired porcelain, glass or ceramic piece, these lustres are then re-fired at a lower temperature – the result is fine metallic finish in a variety of colours and effects.

Pottery tools and pottery equipment

Pottery tools are designed to facilitate the sculpting and creation process, and as such are a valuable part of any artist’s studio. From the most basic pottery tool sets to the specialist carving, modelling and finishing tools, Alec Tiranti Ltd. aim to provide you with all of the equipment needed for both the beginner and the experienced ceramicist.

Our range of pottery tools starts with a simple bow harp to cut the working piece of clay from a block of bulk, the wire will allow you to cut large pieces of clay with ease.

Hardwood Modelling Tools are designed to introduce shape and profile, altering the shape of these tools allows the modeller to refine shapes in the design of the finished piece.

We also offer specialist modelling tools in plastic and rubber Clay Shapers, to define intricate imagery such as fingernails, eye sockets, ultra-fine shapes and profiles too.

Metal clay tools are normally made in stainless steel, these are especially good for picking out ultra fine detail from partially fired pieces such as slip moulded cast clays. Metal tools are also good for “Sgraffito” work – this is a form of decoration on ceramics, pottery and plaster which involves carving, scratching and modelling a design into a semi finished piece prior to firing and glazing. Wire Modelling Tools allow the shape and profile to be changed and refined, these are especially good for profiling convex shapes.

Wooden Rib and Rubber Kidneys are useful sculpting tools, they can be used to smooth and set a shape into a piece during hand building or turning operations.

Specialist turning tools for sharper detail finishing work, Pallet Knives for adding clay to hand built models and smoothing profiles, Point Knives for cutting pouring holes and making detail accents.

For the more experienced potter we also offer a wide range of workshop and studio tools such as Potters Wheels for pottery throwing, Pugmills and Extruders for taking block clay and forming regular shaped working pieces of clay, Clay Rollers for forming flat sheets of clay, all the way up to Kilns and spray booths for clay firing and finishing works.


Get in touch

Should you require more information on our stock of equipment for your pottery craft, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Our team has years of expertise in the sculpting industry and are always happy to offer help and advice by answering any remaining questions you may have. You can reach us by sending us an email at, or if you prefer to speak with someone directly, please give us a call on +44 (0)1635 587430.

When it comes to working with materials, having the right tools make an enormous difference. Not only can they make your work lighter and easier, but they can also greatly improve the quality and precision of your technique. Here at Alec Tiranti, we utilise our decades worth of experience in the sculpting and modelling industry to source the finest and highest quality tools on the market. Today, we will be taking a look at the variety of modelling tools we offer depending on the material at hand, how they can be of use to both professionals and beginners alike, and their merits over alternative options.


Wax modelling tools

Working with wax can be precarious work – too much heat will cause the wax to melt, and too little heat will keep the wax brittle and unmalleable. With an alcohol burner, you can easily control the level of heat applied to the wax, by heating up the modelling tool you are working with and making for an easier working method. The methylated spirit fuel burns with a clean flame, an essential when working with modelling wax. The stainless steel wax modelling tools are an excellent choice for this, as they easily conduct heat to warm up quickly without taking damage from the heat of the flame.


Clay modelling materials

Another popular choice of material our clients often work with is clay. Our website hosts some of the most popular modelling tools for working with clay, which are suitable for a number of different clay types. Our clay shapers allow you to make beautiful textures and marks in the clay, adding depth and bringing your sculptures to life. Alternatively, for the earlier stages of your model where you are just trying to remove that excess material, our combination modelling tools with their offset “B” loops will help you do so with ease.


Plaster modelling

For modelling with plaster, we stock many of the essentials for getting you started, as well as tools to help you master the art. For instance, our sets of plaster bandages will ensure you lay the proper foundational mould for your model. Once this has been set, the diverse array of plaster modelling tools will help you refine more intricately the finer details of your model. With Italian plaster spatulas, smaller plaster tools, and stainless-steel griffons, there is something for everyone’s individual needs here. We even supply tool boxes and suede tool rolls, if you need something to store your new tool collection in.


Get in touch

Should you have any remaining questions on our modelling materials, please do not hesitate to contact us. Operating in the industry since 1895, our team at Alec Tiranti will be happy to provide you with any further information you may need when deciding on the best tools for you. You can reach us by sending us an email at, or if you prefer to speak with someone directly, please give us a call on 020 7380 0808.



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  • Company Registration: GB 02354827
  • VAT Registration: GB 488906974
  • Tiranti trading as Potterycrafts Ltd, Campbell Rd, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 4ET, UK.
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