Process: Slip sliding away…

Following on from AGES ago when I started sharing the steps of making my work (see here or here ), let’s talk about Slip.

Slip is basically watered down clay that can be used to decorate a pot before it dries out. It can be colored just about any color you want and can be used in many different thicknesses. Lisa Naples is a ceramic artist who uses VERY thick slip to texture and color her work.

Slip can be painted on a pot or trailed using fine pointed squeezy bottles or a pot can be dipped into slip. Some slips can even be used to make pots! Kate Westfall uses redclay slip to make the bodies of her gorgeous mugs 😍. (Side note: if you’re ever stuck for a gift idea for me, a piece of Lisa or Kate’s work will do just fine 😉)

Each pot in my studio gets dipped and receives a coat of white slip before it is allowed to dry completely and go through it’s first firing.

This coat of white slip has three jobs to do; it prevents iron from the clay body affecting the glaze, it helps to highlight the textures I make in the slabs AND it provides a perfect, light background for my “Tidal Swell” glaze to show it’s subtle hues of blue & green 😍

Slipping is an essential step in the process of my work… and one of the beautiful steps. A freshly slipped pot is so lovely, just look at those rims and handles, they look like white chocolate!

❤

Shrinkage

Left to Right: Raw clay (“greenware”), Bisqued clay, Glazed clay.

Did you know that clay shrinks as it dries and goes through each firing???

This particular clay (that I adore) has a rather shocking 14% shrinkage rate… which means a lot of math and forward planning to get the right sized mug.

Not the worst thing in the world, but to this math-impaired person it creates some headaches… quite literally.

It’s worth it though ❤

Look at that gorgeous, rich clay coming through the glaze… it’s worth every, math headache, every, single one.

ğŸŒž