So Catalyst tools are made by a company that specializes in artist brushes -- this is why the silicone blades have such nice, ergonomic wooden handles. I have found they just feel really good to use, and that makes a big difference when you're in the studio and go to reach for a favorite tool. Likewise, the wide variety of blades that Catalyst offers can perform a wide range of tasks. These two factors -- ergonomics and function -- really come together in the mini-blades, which have become our all-around studio staple here.
One blade to rule them all.
The awesome blade pictured above is a WORK HORSE. For anyone who does extensive small-batch glaze testing, this tool just might be your next indispensable item. Our tech, Rachel, uses this on a daily basis for mixing up 100- and 200-gram test batches. The small size and angular shape of this particular blade makes the most of your materials, pulling every last bit of glaze out of the corners of your tiny test sieve. The blade also holds up in the long term; forcing glaze tests through a screen can be rough on soft tools, but these high-grade blades really hold up over time. There are several different versions of this blade, too, with shapes that can carry out many different tasks.
Another thing that this blade is awesome for is compressing the bottom of smaller, closed-neck forms. I make a lot of tiny cups, for example; because I have giant hands and can pretty much palm a basketball, my anatomy can, uh, get in the way a bit when throwing. This blade has solved my problems on this front and you would never know the resulting work was made by someone with digits the size of ballpark franks.
Next up! The Catalyst wedge. Like the catalyst blades, these hearty wedges are made from soft, yet tough, silicone. While the patterned edge of each wedge is tapered, the 'grippy' end of the wedge is really thick -- about 3/4" -- so you can really get a good grip on it when you're throwing on the wheel and your hands are covered in water and slippery clay. I just really like the pattern on the wedge pictures above, which is the Catalyst Silicone Wedge Rib 2 -- love those sharp angles! Here's a detail shot of the profile the wedge creates:
Standard 259, bisqued to ^06.
As highlighted in a previous post, these textured wedges, along with the stiffer contour ribs shown below, can also create great patterns in handbuilt slab work -- they're great for making handles, say, that compliment your wheelthrown forms. If anyone has used these tools and gotten a unique/awesome/fun result, we would love to hear from you! In the meantime, I'll be packing up our tools for the conference, just a short six days away!...
We have Contour Ribs for your every need!