I score, add a little water, then score again. No slip.
This would discourage the small shrinkage cracks I sometimes get??
But I guess that you know EXACTLY when to do this ie wetness o fhte leatherhard pieces and join just then!
I'm going to try this might lessen the tidying up of smeared areas.
It's mostly out of laziness. I just don't want to maintain containers of slip. The wetter the pot and drier the handle, the less cracks you'll have.
We eliminated slip containers in our teaching studio and went with straight magic water for the same reason...not wanting to maintain containers of slip. As long as the joint is thoroughly scored and slipped then wiggled together well, I don't see much difference with the clay bodies we use. I've seen all the methods mentioned here used in workshops, and I think one of the determining factors is the clay body being used. Some are forgiving and will take less effort, some are more demanding and require more attention. I use a dark brown body which does not do well with water only. I know one porcelain user who eliminated many joining problems by switching to magic water and another who swears by paper clay slip. Magic water recipe: 1 gallon water, 3 TBSP sodium silicate, 1.5 tsp soda ash.