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Mat Slip Decoration
Obtaining satin-mat surfaces using slips

Slips should be applied to leatherhard, i.e. half dry ware. They can be applied by brush, dipped, sprayed or slip-trailed on. Because the same clay forms the base of the slip you are applying and we have added some deflocculant (sodium silicate), generally you should get a god fit. Any added oxides will help to flux the clay and possibly develop a low, satin-mat sheen. Using slips, a great many methods of decoration are possible, e.g. using wax resist or sgraffito (scratching back into the slip to reveal the uncolored clay beneath). An even veneer can also be applied to the whole pieces, giving the impression of a colored clay body.

Jason Green,  Watershed terra cotta, slip, glazeUsing the slip method of decorating, it is possible to once-fire your work, provided you don't intend to use any glazes. Otherwise, bisque normally and proceed to add glazes as you wish! Firing can also be undertaken in any manner -- in an electirc kiln, gas kiln, woodfired etc. Low temperature firing techniques such as pit firing or raku are probably less suitable, as the slip would not contain enough flux to melt suffiently. However, you could experiment with adding low temperature fluxes, such as lead frits.

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