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pam, colored slips for decorating

updated sun 30 oct 05


Alisa Liskin Clausen on fri 28 oct 05

Dear Pam,

I had been hosting Ian Currie and I have not read Clayart for a short while.
My legs should be snowboards and my head should three, and I may be able to
contain the energy level I am using at the moment! The workshop was good
and I will tell about that another time. All positive.

The 50/50 Borax/Zircopax may be misnamed a slip, as we of course usually
think of slips as a liquid clay with some glue. However, this mixture is
what I use for white slip. It is very, very white, as you imagine. The
problem I have experienced with heavily opacified slips is that the
refractory nature of the opacifier, in this case Zircopax, can make the clay
slip peel. I use the Borax mixture because it is chalk white and stays put.
Very nicely so by itself or under a glaze that fits. You can color it with
stains and oxides. It also can be used so thickly that you can retain your
brush marks after firing.

On the other hand, you could try this mixture with some clay, Kaolin, and
test it for adhesion and effects. I think I will do that also, 50 Kaolin,
25 Borax and 25 Zircopax. Just for curiosity sake, because I am happy with
the 50/50 mix. Any slip needs a little glue, and Borax does that. If I get
started, would also try frit instead of the Borax in different proportions.
But the Desert slip isn't broken so that is the simple mix I use.

Slip could be a misnomer for this mixture, but it is what I use for white as
well as colored slip applications. I also use it over clay slips for added

It is a decorating base I like very much and is quite versatile for a range
of effects.

Sorry for the delayed response,

Alisa in Denmark

Pam Cresswell on sat 29 oct 05

Alisa, sounds good!
The Guild has about 300 lab's of zircopax that was donated to us, and there
are a few boxes of Borax laying about the glaze room, so I guess I have a
project to play with :-)
I am so envious about the Ian Currie workshop! He was in my area a year or
so ago, Cindy Bracker and her family were hosting the workshop. I did not
get to go, but one of the
Guild's main glaze mixers went, and we have since worked together on a
couple of grids :-)
Thanks again for the help,

Pam in Kansas City, where we are having perfect fall weather, at least while
it lasts. It will probably rain on the little goblins Monday.