We compiled a glossary of common art and hobby terms for your reference. 

Angled Chisel Blade – A light duty blade with a sharp, angled edge. Used for shaping materials.

Aluminum – lightweight silver-colored malleable metal that resists oxidation.

Armature - a framework or a foundation for clay sculpture, character or cosplay accessory

Atelier – artist or creator studio or workshop, derived from French language.

Bead Pins - stiff wires used to create holes in unbaked beads in beadmaking. Beads can be cured on these pins and removed after baked and cooled.

Bent Nose Pliers - these pliers feature a bent tip for more accurate positioning. 

Blade - describes as a flat, thin piece of metal with a cutting edge, either straight, concave or convex. Used to cut, slit, pierce materials like paper, cardboard, various construction materials, vinyl, plastics, wood and other art and craft materials.

Burnishers — These are used to sculpt finer details by smoothing and manipulating small areas of clay and making smoother indentations and adding textures. Common burnishers include ball tip burnishers, which are great for dotting and help to create perfectly round dots and smooth lines. 

Carving routers — Carving routers are available in several shapes or sizes and these tools allow for carving into the clay and removing it to get the desired effect. Larger sizes help to remove excess clay and the smaller ones help to sculpt in details like grooves or reliefs. Made from carbon steel, they will last a long time. 

Concave Carving Blade – Used for shaping materials such as foam core, linoleum, soft materials, soft plastics, balsa wood clay including polymer clay and wax.

Coping Saw – a small handheld saw used to cut precise shapes in wood, soft metals and more. Characteristics include a c-shape or a u-shape frame, a thin blade and a handle.

Cutting Mat - work space surface protector, thin pvc mat that absorbs cuts made by knives, awls and other tools. 

Curved Edge Blade – A light duty blade with added maneuverability due to its curved shape.

Double Honed Blade – Widely used all-purpose blade, is double honed and has a strong tip and flex. Used for foam smithing, paper cutting, paper illustrations, polymer clay and more!

Embossing Inkused in heat embossing, thick consistency and slow-drying

Embossing Powder - used in heat embossing, fast-melting powder in colors or metallics

Embossing Stylus - a tool used for embossing, usually made up of a handle and a tip. Tips come in various shapes or sizes as well as materials they’re made of.

End Nipper Pliers - designed for cutting and trimming rigid materials such as wires and cords. This style of plier uses lever action to cut wires flush with the surface.

Flat Nose Plier - features flat jaws withy serrated tips improving grip. Used to hold small objects, bend wire in jewelry making, electronic repair and more.

Knives — Knives are used to cut clay into smaller pieces, cut away excess while working on a rough form, scoring and sometimes even for adding texture to the surface of the clay. Many blades are available to use with craft knives that can be handy in your project. 

Maul Stick the mahl stick, also knowns as maulstick or mahlsick, derives from the Dutch word maalstock, which means painter's stick. It is a long tool with a soft tip, ours in made from rounded rubber, to support the arm while painting, especially up-close and fine details. 

Mitre Box – a small aluminum guide used for sawing used in conjunction with a pull saw. Features narrow slots at 90º and 45º to help guide the pull saw resulting in a perfect cut. 

Needle Nose Pliers - this type of plier features cone shaped tips, perfect for bending and coiling wire. Typically used in jewelry making.

Painter's Stick – see: Maul Stick

Polymer Clay — Made with a synthetic plastic polyvinyl chloride base, this clay comes in a large variety of colors and textures. It’s soft, pliable and easy to work with. Final pieces require baking to harden and become permanent. You can read more about it in our earlier blog post about how to use polymer clay

Pottery Clay or Stoneware Clay — This is used for ceramic work. Extremely malleable due to its plasticity, this clay requires firing at high temperatures to become solid and is suitable for vases, planters, and other decorative pottery. 

Pyrography – from the Greek language meaning “fire writing” is a decorative wood-burning technique done with a wood burning pyrography penRead more.

Sanding Stick - made from plastic and features a spring-tension mechanism to help install sanding belt and keep it taut.

Scriber or Pick Tools — Sharp and pointy, these tools are great for precise and detailed work and are available in sizes from .030” to .090”. Scribe tools are used to make points, add texture, remove small debris and remove air pockets.

Self-Hardening Clay or Air Dry Clay — This is a moist clay that remains soft and pliable when moistened with water or covered with a damp cloth. Once the clay is air dried, it becomes solid and no firing or baking is needed. This type of clay can be painted once dry. 

Sprue Cutter — also known as a Side Cutter or Flush Cutter. Designed to cut off sprues or other protrusions leaving the surface smooth.  


Wire Brushes - These are a good tool for blending and smoothing out “lumpy” areas where more clay was added.

Wire Cutter Pliers - also known as diagonal pliers, made of carbon steel, this tool is made for precise cutting of metal wires, plastic cords and more. The jaw shape is similar to a scissor edge, but do not intersect allowing for a precise snip of rigid materials. 

Wood Burning Art - also known as "pyrography" - from the Greek language meaning “fire writing”- is a decorative wood-burning technique done with a wood burning pyrography pen.