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Foam Protector Rings for Ceramics


This system is designed to support ceramic objects with a round and/or damaged base that will be stored on shelving. This inert, cushion support immobilizes the ceramic object so that it does not roll, wobble or knock against another (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Southwest pot on foam ring.



Nancy Odegaard
Arizona State Museum
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721 USA
Tel (602) 621-6314
Fax (602) 621-2976

Photograph: Helga Terives

Illustrations: Karen Ackoff

Publication: 1992



The rings are made of expanded open-cell polyethylene foam that is 11/2in thick. The rings may be cut in various diameters to fit different sizes of ceramic objects.

Several sizes of rings can be cut from one square.

Materials Tools Supplies

  • Electric jig saw or hot wire or utility knife or prefabricated die
  • Polyethylene foam plank, 11/2in thick
  • Sandpaper


  1.  Cut foam into 10in x 10in or 12in x 12in squares.
  2. a.    Cut several concentric rings from the square piece of foam. For example, a 10in x 10in square may be cut in a circle at 21/2in and at 4in from the center of the square. A smaller circular ring and a larger square ring are made from the cuts (Fig. 2). 

    Figure 2. Two concentric rings from 10in x 10in square piece of foam. 

    b.  Alternatively, a 12in x 12in square of foam can be cut four times from the center of the square at 2in, 4in, 6in and 8in. A graduated series of four ring sizes are made from the cuts (Fig. 3).

  3. Sand the inner edge of the foam rings where the ceramic vessel rests to protect the ceramic from abrasion (Fig. 1).


The concentric rings may be cut with a pre-fabricated die. A less expensive alternative is to cut the rings with a utility knife, an electric jig saw, or a hot wire.

The foam protectors may not be appropriate for all ceramics. Surfaces that are friable, blistered, powdery or otherwise insecure could be damaged further by the irregular texture of the foam protectors.

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