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Mermoose

Learning To Use Colored Slip...help

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I have decided to try using colored slips to decorate my projects with. My only learning tool thus far has been Youtube. 

I mixed up a white clay slip and put it in several different containers mixed with  approx 20-40% minerals. The ones I have mixed are from left overs at the studio where I work. I no longer have a teacher and none of the other potters have ever used this method. So , here I am.... I have decorated two test pieces of green ware that will go in a bisque fire today. I am wondering if you can use colored slip on bisque ware or if you always put it on greenware? My current plan is to decorate several more pieces if these come out well and then use a clear glaze over them. You tube is great but lacks some details. Please engage in this conversation if you have used colored slip and share your thoughts with me. Our studio is very small and we don't have anyone willing to mix glazes at this point. I thought this could be a simple alternative for me. I plan to purchase some commercial glazes soon as I am still very much engaged in learning to make good forms and trying to get a handle on decoration. Hoping to put the chemistry lessons off for a while yet....

Mixes I have done so far are white slip made from wet clay with : Chrome green, Iron oxide (red), Rutile,Yellow Ochre, Cobalt carbonate, Cobalt oxide, Albany, Tin oxide,Burnt Umber and something else that I can't remember just now.

 

I look forward to you comments. :rolleyes:

 

 

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I love using coloured slip with a semi-matt white glaze over the top. I can't remember what percentage I used but 40% seems a lot to me.

 

Do some test going 5% 10% 15% and so on. Different colourants will require different amounts for the colours you are after. I paint my slip when the pot is still on the wheel. A heat gun works wonders for speeding up the drying so you don't smudge it while removing. Sometimes I paint on after turning but that is rare. I do use my coloured slip to stick on handles and it works fine.

 

I have never painted onto dry clay as I find it easier wet on wet. I have a video on my Youtube channel making the mug in my avatar if you want to see how I do it.

 

Don't put off the chemistry lessons for too long. Even if you want to avoid the chemistry there are a lot of glaze recipes that you can find online that would probably be fine for the job. Just look for ones that are for the temperature you fire too. It is a lot cheaper and you can get a nice white or transparent from 2-5 ingredients.

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Here is some good ideas for using colored slip

http://ceramicartsdaily.org/bookstore/narrative-animal-sculpture-with-lisa-naples/

you can search by topic at the Ceramic Arts Daily videos. They are great. I have used them to learn lots of great techniques.

 

Marcia

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I would highly recommend buying Robin Hopper's book "Making Marks" ... It covers so much of the area of how to get the colors you want from chemicals or stains ... as well as how to use slips. You can buy it through links on this site or ask your local library if they have a copy or can get one.

I also agree with Marcia that you should check out the Ceramic Arts Daily area of this site for videos.

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mermoose, your message to me mentioned my avatar. thank you for your kind words.  i have been using colored slips since 1972.  it is a very wonderful substance for decorating pottery. it is one of potters'  favorite methods and has been used for centuries all over the world. 

 

slip is simply very wet clay.  the kind of clay you are using to make the pot will make slip.  just keep the trimmings of your pots dry and save enough to fill a container.  add some to water.  let that container sit overnight to thicken.  you can add color to the wet clay and cover the pot or part of the pot with this wet clay and let it dry.  if you brush this slip onto your wet pot,  you have simply thickened the clay that will become the pot by a layer of additional clay that contains color. it becomes part of the pot, not something additional that might need an adjustment in chemicals.  keep it simple. 

 

this works so easily that there is probably no reason to add other ingredients.  if the clay you use normally is very grainy, you might choose to screen out the large grains before applying the slip.  i used to use this kind of clay but do not anymore.

 

since the slip is simply wet clay, the time to use it is immediately after throwing when you can see the shine of water just leaving the pot you have made.  it can be added later by dampening the pot so it is in a condition to receive the wet clay but it is much simpler to do it when the pot is in the correct condition.  putting pots inside plastic bags and keeping them damp works to preserve the correct condition until you are ready to carve later. 

 

there are many tools and ways to carve through the new layer of color into the underlying clay, the part you formed into the pot.  when you finish your design and let the pot dry totally, you will see that there is a difference between the clay of the pot and the colored covering you put on the outside.  a transparent or translucent glaze will allow this difference to be seen and admired.

 

this is a very simplified version of how to use slip, colored or not.  there are infinite possibilities for the use of slip.  one of the very best books for a newcomer to this style of work is a very old one written by Charles Counts.  it is called Pottery Workshop.  it is not perfect, some glaze recipes have errors in them but it contains basic knowledge that is of value to beginners.

 

if you will S T U D Y this simple book with its progression from how to throw a simple small cylinder to the final decoration of all the styles of pots shown, you will have enough knowledge to take you in any direction you want to go.

 

you tube is a valuable tool.  but you need a foundation of knowledge to use any tool well.  please start at the beginning, you will find it a better way to proceed.

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What everyone said above. I will only add that40% is very high, and some of those oxides may flux things out a bit, so put a waster tile under your tests, just to hedge your bets. Also, tin is usually used as an opacifier in glazes, not usually for colour.

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Oldlady, a very simple easy to understand explanation that when heard for the first time verbally seems so complicated, thank you for giving me an AHA moment. So simple take the clay I already use add water to make runny and mason stains for color and brush on a freshly thrown or I am assuming hand built pots as well and you have a lovely new color to carve into and create designs with on your pot.

 

Oh and by the way I found a copy of Pottery Workshop, you had asked and I could not remember if I had.... And no I have not studied it yet. I will put it in the car to take with me while I sit in waiting rooms, a more productive use of my time then playing suduko on my phone.

 

Now to pick a color to try this with when next I throw pots!

 

Terry

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thanks, terry.  concise i am not.  i just hope the reader can understand what i write.

 

the OP has several oxides and other chemicals, not mason stains.  oxides work and can be much stronger colors because mason adds things to make the stains look the correct color all the time.  in the plastic bag you purchase it in the color will look the same way it does on their printed chart, same way it will look in a clear glaze that is made commercially.  this is to make it easier for people not used to oxides.

 

if you ever noticed the color of raw cobalt oxide, it is black.  the color when fired is blue.  depending on the amount of oxide in the recipe, the % used, the color can be dark as navy blue or paler like the sky.  cobalt oxide is extremely strong and has to be mixed very well and sieved thoroughly so tiny specks of dark blue do not appear on the finished product.    

 

when you use mason stains to color slip you will find that some do not work as well as others even if you increase the % of stain.

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Thank you all for the information. I have several greenware  pots ready to be bisques. Should I go ahead and bisque them plain or play with slip for decoration on them and then bisque?(They are completely dry) I like the pots  that are ready to fire and would hate to lose them using them as test pieces. I can glaze them if that is the safest way to go. Also can you tell me if it is safe to use slip instead of underglaze ( on bisque ware)if I like the color of the slip better??

I plan to throw some new stuff tomorrow with the intention of decorating while they are still wet. I am very excited to try decorating this way. I appreciate all the references as well. I shall be reading up.

 

Thanks again.

 

BTW, I recieve Ceramics Arts daily and watch those video often. 

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. Should I go ahead and bisque them plain or play with slip for decoration on them and then bisque?(They are completely dry)

 

Also can you tell me if it is safe to use slip instead of underglaze ( on bisque ware)if I like the color of the slip better??

 

 

If you are using a slip made from the same body as the pots then no I wouldn't slip them when the pots are completely dry or on bisque. You will likely have the slip pop off the pots. With dry greenware you also run the risk of the pot splitting or cracking from the added moisture in the slip if the slip is applied heavily. There are slip recipes that usually include borax that will stick to dry greenware or bisque though.

 

Underglaze will work on greenware, bone dry or leatherhard or anywhere in between plus it will work on bisque. Some underglazes flux more than others, the lower temperature melting ones are easier to glaze if they are applied to bisque then allowed to dry then glazed with no firing in between. (I haven't run into too many of these lower temperature fluxing undgerglazes but there are some in the Spectrum 500 line)

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mermoose, do not use slip on bisque.  it will not stick.  

 

As you say, ordinary slip won't work on bisque, however, I've used a slip made with a 50/50 mix of ball clay and china clay to go on bisque, you can add whatever stains/colours you want.

 

I've only done it once and it was fired a second time before glazing - I don't know if that was necessary or not but it felt like the safest option.

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I did not use slip on bisque. I did use it on two leather hard test pots and it worked out fine. I am now working with the slips on wet pots on the wheel as best recommended. What fun...I feel like a mad scientist/artist person. Now I am trying to come to terms with how the consistency should be.I want purple slip. Looking for a recipe for that. Also I have a good selection of brushes to use but, it looks like squeeze bottles could be a great help especially for using multiple color decorations. Anyone care to offer advice on best, cheapest, tools for applying slip? Thank you all so much. This is a great forum. So glad I found it.

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Are High Bridge Pottery and Youdanxx the same people/person on You Tube? 

I don't think so, one is in Yorkshire, the other in Gateshead.  About 70 miles apart.

 

 

I wish I was Youdanxx  :P I am just an admirer of his videos/work. What made you think I was him? Gave me a laugh this morning.

 

Chilly I think you will find I am in Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead is a whole bridge over the river away!

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If you don't want to use your work for testing, might I recommend you make a dozen or so tiles and try various techniques on them? It's such a fun easy way to learn and at the end you have a nice set of tiles to keep for reference or use as coasters or whatever.

 

I am posting a link to the "using colored slips" area of my site so you can see what I mean.

Have fun with it!

 

http://ccpottery.com/slips.html

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For simplicity, I use 1 tsp. colorant oxide to 1 pint of slip, thinned just to where it settles flat after stirring.  It is simple to adjust that if the fired results aren't the intensity you want.  With Mason stains, the shade is the same as the stain.  "Tres Simple"

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Are High Bridge Pottery and Youdanxx the same people/person on You Tube? 

I don't think so, one is in Yorkshire, the other in Gateshead.  About 70 miles apart.

 

 

I wish I was Youdanxx  :P I am just an admirer of his videos/work. What made you think I was him? Gave me a laugh this morning.

 

Chilly I think you will find I am in Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead is a whole bridge over the river away!

 

Sorry HB, I thought you were on the south bank, I can picture a building that I thought you were in.  Now that I've checked properly, I see that  Baltic centre for contemporary art, Gateshead and Baltic 39, Newcastle upon Tyne are two places.  I'd only "seen" the word Baltic and put you on the wrong side of the river.  No excuses, I should know better than to confuse the two, mum was born on the banks of they Tyne, at a place called "the goose".  

 

For the non-english amongst you - that's as bad as accusing a Canadian of being American, a Kiwi of being Australian......etc

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It is a very strange building that I reside in. Baltic have a small gallery space, Newcastle council have two floors of private studios and Northumbria uni have two floors for their art students. It is funded and run quite badly by all.

 

I am happy you thought I was somehow working in an art gallery  :D although it does say under my avatar where I am from  :huh:

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Are High Bridge Pottery and Youdanxx the same people/person on You Tube? 

I don't think so, one is in Yorkshire, the other in Gateshead.  About 70 miles apart.

 

 

I wish I was Youdanxx  :P I am just an admirer of his videos/work. What made you think I was him? Gave me a laugh this morning.

 

Chilly I think you will find I am in Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead is a whole bridge over the river away!

 

Sorry HB, I thought you were on the south bank, I can picture a building that I thought you were in.  Now that I've checked properly, I see that  Baltic centre for contemporary art, Gateshead and Baltic 39, Newcastle upon Tyne are two places.  I'd only "seen" the word Baltic and put you on the wrong side of the river.  No excuses, I should know better than to confuse the two, mum was born on the banks of they Tyne, at a place called "the goose".  

 

For the non-english amongst you - that's as bad as accusing a Canadian of being American, a Kiwi of being Australian......etc

 

Is English a second language for you guys?/

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mermoose, your message to me mentioned my avatar. thank you for your kind words.  i have been using colored slips since 1972.  it is a very wonderful substance for decorating pottery. it is one of potters'  favorite methods and has been used for centuries all over the world. 

 

slip is simply very wet clay.  the kind of clay you are using to make the pot will make slip.  just keep the trimmings of your pots dry and save enough to fill a container.  add some to water.  let that container sit overnight to thicken.  you can add color to the wet clay and cover the pot or part of the pot with this wet clay and let it dry.  if you brush this slip onto your wet pot,  you have simply thickened the clay that will become the pot by a layer of additional clay that contains color. it becomes part of the pot, not something additional that might need an adjustment in chemicals.  keep it simple. 

 

this works so easily that there is probably no reason to add other ingredients.  if the clay you use normally is very grainy, you might choose to screen out the large grains before applying the slip.  i used to use this kind of clay but do not anymore.

 

since the slip is simply wet clay, the time to use it is immediately after throwing when you can see the shine of water just leaving the pot you have made.  it can be added later by dampening the pot so it is in a condition to receive the wet clay but it is much simpler to do it when the pot is in the correct condition.  putting pots inside plastic bags and keeping them damp works to preserve the correct condition until you are ready to carve later. 

 

there are many tools and ways to carve through the new layer of color into the underlying clay, the part you formed into the pot.  when you finish your design and let the pot dry totally, you will see that there is a difference between the clay of the pot and the colored covering you put on the outside.  a transparent or translucent glaze will allow this difference to be seen and admired.

 

this is a very simplified version of how to use slip, colored or not.  there are infinite possibilities for the use of slip.  one of the very best books for a newcomer to this style of work is a very old one written by Charles Counts.  it is called Pottery Workshop.  it is not perfect, some glaze recipes have errors in them but it contains basic knowledge that is of value to beginners.

 

if you will S T U D Y this simple book with its progression from how to throw a simple small cylinder to the final decoration of all the styles of pots shown, you will have enough knowledge to take you in any direction you want to go.

 

you tube is a valuable tool.  but you need a foundation of knowledge to use any tool well.  please start at the beginning, you will find it a better way to proceed.

I just saw this post. The name Charles Counts caught my eye. I have a couple of his pots that my mom and dad bought years ago. Love them. I didn't know he had a book; I'll try to locate one.  ja

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