Canvas is used in ceramic studios in a wide variety of ways -- this versatile material is ideal for working with clay because it is absorbent, durable, easy to clean and relatively inexpensive. Here at The Ceramic Shop, we have different types of canvas to fit all of your studio needs!
Canvas can be purchased by the yard and used to cover work tables for wedging. It is a simple alternative to a having a plaster wedging table, as it is light and easy to move and store. It is also an ideal surface for wedging because it won't easily stick to the clay, and it dries quickly. It can be scraped and sponged down and lasts a long time. Even those who have a plaster wedging table will often use canvas on top of it to prevent small pieces of chipped plaster from getting trapped into clay, so even if you already have a plaster table in your studio, you may want to consider purchasing a yard of canvas to cover it. Canvas can also be used to cover ware boards and plywood that are used to store wheel thrown pots while they dry. Most slab rollers also use canvas to prevent clay from sticking to the table and the rollers.
In addition to canvas by the yard, we also carry gridded canvas -- these screenprinted sheets are great for handbuilders, as they allow one to measure slabs of clay and other forms while working, and are easily transported -- just fold up and throw in your bag or store on your studio shelf when you’re done working! Pre-stretched canvas boards are also popular as a portable studio item. Our customers use them as portable wedging tables and workstations. These boards are available in different sizes, and with or without grids. Some are even equipped with handles for easy transport. If you are an artist with limited workspace, these are great solutions to make the most of your space.
Even though canvas is an awesomely versatile studio tool, some ceramic artists aren’t too keen on the textured pattern that it leaves on their clay. An easy solution to that problem is the SlabMat, which is a non-woven fabric that provides a smooth surface for working with clay. It is similar to canvas in that it is durable and will not stick to clay. However, because it is smoother than canvas, it does not leave a texture imprinted in the clay. SlabMats can be used with slab rollers, and are available in smaller sizes for handbuilding.
There are so many uses for canvas in your pottery studio - try it out and see for yourself!