When I began making pottery, I would visit other potters’ studios. One potter made interesting toothbrush holders. She wrapped a slab of clay around tubes, creating compartments for toothpaste and 2 to 4 toothbrushes. She made hers from cream-coloured clay with speckles. The tube compartments were the same height across the top.
I came home and proceeded to make these. Little did I know how popular they would be.
I tweaked the design. My top is slanted giving people better access to remove toothbrushes and I make them in a variety of colours.
THIS IS HOW I MAKE TOOTHBRUSH HOLDERS
I roll out a slab of clay and cut it to a length of either 23” or 27”. I cut the slab straight across the bottom. I measure one end 7” high and the other end 4”. I lay a straight edge from the top of the 7” mark to the 4” mark and cut across it, angling the top. This creates compartments at different heights.
I wrap plastic around my largest cardboard tube. I save cardboard tubes from food wrap rolls. Starting at the 7” end of the slab of clay and I wrap it around the tube until the end meets the slap. I paint on clay slip and score it, which sticks clay together, then I firmly press the end to the slab.
I stand up the clay that is around the tube and place it on a slab of clay that I painted ‘magic water’ on it. I continue to wrap the slab of clay around a smaller cardboard tube, covered in plastic. Again, I slip and score where the tubes meet and press them into each other. I wrap clay around a third tube. I cut off the extra clay. I slip and scored where the end butts against the slab. I roll a pony roller up the seam, smoothing the edge of the clay and pressing the clay together. If I don’t firmly press the joint together, they can come apart during the kiln firing, like this blue one. I use one big tube and 4 small ones for 4 toothbrushes.
I cut the bottom slab about 1/8” from the edge of the toothbrush holder. I fold the clay up the sides. I smooth out the ridge of extra clay by rubbing a plastic rib around the bottom edge.
I set the tube aside for it to be firm enough to hold its shape, then I removed the cardboard tubes and peal out the plastic.
The cardboard tubes stick to the clay, preventing them from being removed without breaking the toothbrush holder. When I wrapped the cardboard tubes in plastic, I can take the tubes out first. Then, I only had to twist the plastic and pull it out.
Here is a video of me making black, white and brown coloured toothbrush holders.
Another problem I had in the beginning was that I left the cardboard tubes until the following day. Clay shrinks as it dries. With a tube around it, there was no place for it to shrink. As a result, the clay broke. I have learned that by the time I finished making a few of them, the first ones were stiff enough to remove the tubes.
I have made hundreds of these as they are my best seller. They can also be used to hold kitchen utensils, hairbrushes, pens, pencils, rulers, etc.
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My pottery journey, my passion, didn’t start until my 40’s. Creating pottery is my happy place, especially decorating, vases, cups, bowls, trays, and creating sculptures. The more I create, the more my imagination is spurred on. I will be sharing how I make pottery here.