Slip & Dip

During a course I did entitled Cross Materials Practice at West Dean College a couple of years ago, I was introduced to porcelain slip. This course was only a couple of days long so I did not have the time  then to fully explore the medium and ever since, I have been wanting to play with some slip. So I saw this as the perfect opportunity. This weeks sampling took place in the ceramics department Somerset School of Art.  Although Somerset college no longer runs any ceramics course, they still have a ceramics area; it’s small, rarely used but it is fully equipped and I’ve been having lots of fun doing some slip dipping. Is there a technical term for slip dipping?? I’m not sure….. even though the college has a ceramics department, there are no ceramics lecturers so I have no one consult about technical terms. I am learning through playing and I am making up words as I go. Enough words…..more picture; here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been up to.

Various Porcelain Slip dipped fabrics

Various Porcelain Slip dipped fabrics

These samples show the various pieces of slip dipped horse hair fabrics hanging out to dry following being submerged in porcelain. I also experimented with hole sizes as I plan to stitch the pieces once fired.

Experimentation with cutting fabric before dipping

Experimentation with cutting fabric before dipping

Other investigations involved cutting out the fabrics before dipping

Fired Samples

Fired Samples

Here are the bisque fired samples, and the thing that immediately caught my eye is what happens to metal in the kiln. I love the contrast of the dark oxidised lines against the bright white porcelain. I have yet to fire these to the higher temperature, so these lovely marks may still disappear. However this is something I am going to further investigate.

Porcelain and copper pot

Porcelain and copper pot

Obviously still inspired by mending; this sampler is informed by staple and rivet mending of porcelain (see my research in previous blog post)

The contrast of black squiggly lines on the white clay is beautiful and such a interesting way to create marks. Next on my list of samplers to make is further explorations of this as drawing medium…..eeek….exciting!!

stitch me up+

Stitched up perforated porcelain

Other ideas include the linking and stitching up of porcelain fragments. Now that I have tested hole sizes which can be stitched, my next samples will be designed to be fragments that jigsaw together.


Fragments and flaky samples

Not all samples proved successful and most are extremely delicate and crumbled away, but still it is interesting to see the traces of the horse hair fabric which was encased in porcelain. The other smooth layer flakes away to reveal the fabric imprinted surface within.

More experimentations are definitely necessary….stay tuned!


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