Work 2018. Exploring slip decorations.

Ceramic box that was slab built with slip decorated slabs. Slabs decorated before building.


This year has been a look into using ceramic slips for decoration. What i have found is that slip decorating is very user friendly and offers a range of surprising results. I started using just porcelain slip but ended up making a slip of each clay i used. I had no problem matching slip to a body at low fire ranges but  did see that if i put a porcelain slip decoration on a stoneware body at temps. from 1220c and upwards, then i did get a slight shrinkage of the porcelain over the stoneware body. I did mix in a small amount of sodium silicate when making up my slips, this i think made them stick better to the surfaces i applied them to. A few of the techniques that stood out for me was, in laying slip into a stamped slab, heat dry a bit and then stretch to distort the pattern. This could be used as is or rolled flat again for a level slab. The next method that i enjoyed was to add slip to a thick walled cylinder on the wheel head, heat dry a bit and then open up from the inside only, using your finger in a sort of hook shape also pulling upwards as well as outwards. This was done with colored slips, mixing colors and adding things to the slip like Rutile, Copper Carbonate and burn out materials ext.  One of the most valuable things i found was the adding of a few drops of saturated solution of Magnesium Sulphate  to gell the slips up if they are too fluid to work with. All in all once the color pigments have been bought then a very cheap method of decoration. Oh yes i also learnt that less color looks a lot better than too much, so in the case of color in slips, less is more.!