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Mixing: Note that recipes typically add up to 100g. If you multiply all the ingredients in the above recipes by 10, you will get 1000 grams, which will fill about 1/2 of a 5 gallon bucket. You can then divide this up into 5 1 gallon buckets and mix different stains in each. As a starting point, use about 15% of the total grams of stain. (eg 1000 grams / 5 = 200 grams per color, 15% of 200g is 30g, so use 30g of each stain)
The classic method is to pre-mix the dry ingredients, then add them to water. But many experienced potters do not premix their dry ingredients. They simply drop them into the water and mix with a jiffy mixer or paint mixer attached to a power drill. Use about half the volume of the dry ingredients for the amount of water. Mix the ingredients into the water with your hand or a stick before using the drill, to avoid stirring up dust. Depending on how well your mixer does, if the slip is lumpy you will want to push it through a sieve.
The completed slip should be the thickness of cream for greenware, or slightly thinner on bisque. Apply slip with a brush, a slip-trailing bottle, or by dipping. As you work, your piece will dry out, so spritz with water periodically, and wrap tightly between sessions. You can build up multiple layers of slip to make very intricate designs.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|