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slip-decorated redware?

updated tue 17 aug 04


Kate Johnson on mon 16 aug 04

Hello, all--like someone who wrote yesterday, I've just rejoined the list
after a couple of years' absence when life got _entirely_ too busy. Between
times I've done some sculpting with clay
( and further
explored old pottery techniques (I'm the one who was always going on about
pinch pots. Still am.)

So, over the weekend I did a demonstration of pinch pottery and using slump
molds (isn't that what they're called? Not enough coffee yet this morning!)
at Missouri's Fort Osage National Historic Site. My problem is that until
recently I had been frustrated in my desire to use slip-glazing on redware,
as they used to 200 years ago. My clay supplier didn't have any colored
slip, so yesterday I found the wherewithal to make my own. I had a jar of
Arroyo Slip that the dear Alan Scott sent me a couple of years ago, and a
small jar of dry, pure raw sienna pigment purchased from Daniel Smith Art
Supplies ages ago for another purpose. Mixed them to a creamy consistency
with water, and hoping this will work, because it looks great on the drying
redware I made over the weekend!

I'm wondering about proportions, though...I used about 2/3 Arroyo Slip and
1/3 pigment because I didn't have a feel for how much it took to make a
strong enough color. Now that it's drying, it feels a tiny bit powdery.
Help? Should I have reconstituted the chunk of dry white earthenware to
make slip? Are my proportions entirely off? Other suggestions for adding

Many thanks--I STILL have a file with your helpful answers from the last
time I was part of this group--2001-2002.

Kate Johnson
Graphics/Fine Arts