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Kristy

colored slips

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Hey All!

I'm new here and very new to throwing clay (6 months in) but have come to LOVE using colored slip on greenware and doing sgraffito.

Now, please excuse my novice questions but I've been looking online for recipes for different colored slips. My pottery mentor told me to avoid buying stains as they are way too overpriced and to make my own colored slips with different chemicals. I found a black slip recipe easily but can't find a purple one or pink or yellow or green...even blue. Are there such recipes? I do love vibrant colors so this may be something that doesn't exist.

Please share what you know about coloring slips without stains.

Thanks! :D

Kristy

Edited by Kristy

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kristy, welcome to the wonderful world of clay.  ask a question of ten people and you will get eleven answers because another person overheard the question and has a different opinion.

there are very few absolutes in ceramics.  most have to do with safely handling all the different things you will encounter.   much of the rest is covered by  "well, it depends, why don't you try it?"

the one thing i have found true is that nobody knows what is in your pocket.  if you need to buy a tool that you will use for a long time, the cost could be low in your opinion and that is the one that counts.   look at lots of options and make your decision based on your own needs and desires.  if you cannot afford something, try looking for a lower price or an alternative. 

if you are interested in colored clay, whether using stains or not, decide now if you like a certain color and buy a quantity of that color so you can use it for a long time to make many things.  stain  prices seem high because they are based on quarter pound amounts.  that is great for testing but if you know that you will always love a middle shade of blue, buy a pound of it, not a quarter pound.   a quarter of a pound is hardly anything if you want to put it into slip and coat an entire pot so you can carve something beautiful. and ask the supplier if there is a discount for quantities above a pound.

your library has great books on this subject but i would suggest you first look at one of our member's websites and drool over the gorgeous colors you will see.  Chris Campbell has lots of great info on her website in addition to a list of workshops she will be doing.    search members here and see her work.  she is in north carolina, hope that is close to you.

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@Kristy, blue, green, orangey tan, black and brown slips can be made with oxides and carbonates. 

rutile for orangish tan approx 5%

chrome oxide for greens, 1 -5%

cobalt carb for blues, 1/2 - 5%

iron oxide for browns, 3 - 10+%

chrome oxide plus cobalt carb for blue/greens

black can be made from an overload of oxides but it's safer to use stain

You can also use underglazes instead of slip with sgraffito, very vivid colours available. 

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I would check with your ceramic supplier and decide for yourself what's cost effective. Pink, yellow and purple are all very straightforward colours to achieve if you're using stains. Some more traditionally trained potters can have a bias against them (it's cheating!), but in my opinion they're just another tool in the box.

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