I am not a thrilled about making sponge holders. They seem too much like work to me. But we sure sell a lot of them, even after raising the price to $20. They also can be placed any where in the kiln and take up could be empty space. I even put some of them on the bag wall... especially the ones with shino glaze.
To move things along more quickly, I have a bin of pugged clay that was dropped through a harp to measure each lug to 3/4 of a pound. No weighing or wasting time. Just sit at the wheel and throw those little guys.