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fw: a question about slip

updated tue 28 may 02


vince pitelka on mon 27 may 02

Jennifer wrote:
> I looked up the material in Vince Pitelka's book, and checked the
> but it appears that the usual method involves making slip from the same
> ingredients as one's clay, then adding colorants. At this point, I'm
> using commercial porcelain and have no idea what it contains. My question
> is: can I simply add water to my clay to make it more liquid and then add
> a Mason stain (I have one black Mason stain at the moment) or an
> oxide? How will I know how much colorant to add?

Jennifer -
I thought I'd send this direct to speed things up for you. YES, using your
porcelain clay is the very best thing, as long as you are adding the slip to
damp or leather-hard clay. To make things simple, just slice off a bunch of
slices of clay, let them get bone dry (you can do that quickly in your kiln
with the bottom element on low and the lid open), immerse them in water
overnight, and they will slake down to slurry. Decant off the extra water,
mix them up with a whisk, fork or whatever, add water to get desired
consistency, and you will have the best possible white slip for your
claybody. You can then add colorants. If you use oxides, then use the
percentages in my book. If you use Mason stains, then add 10% stain for a
richly colored slip, and after the work is fired you can decide if you want
more or less stain in the future.

Good luck, and have a great time at the workshop.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Crafts
Tennessee Technological University
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166
Home -
Work -
615/597-6801 ext. 111, fax 615/597-6803