Project 1


 work by Don Reitz
Low Fire Technique
Slips on Clay

Problem: Create a series of pieces that use low fire slips combined with glazes for aesthetic expression.  

Objective: Learn how to mix a low fire slip, to become familiar with producing ware that utilizes color variation through slip application at the leather hard stage, and to develop imagery that utilizes the combination of under glaze as well as over glaze decoration. 
Chose a low fire clay body that reflects the quality of scrafitto line you wish to have.

Make several sketches of that explore variations in layering slip, glaze, firing successively high to low for expression of your personal aesthetic. 

Produce a small body of work (5-10 pieces hand built or 15-20 pieces thrown on the wheel) using different variations on slip layering and glaze combination using the surface of your pieces as a “canvas” for personal expression.  

Try colored low fire slips with scrafitto decoration and clear glaze on top after the bisque firing.


Discuss the drawings you have made with your instructor before beginning

Mix a low fire slip recipe and add oxides or stains to make 3 different colors of slip and use them to decorate your pieces.

All pieces should employ the use of incising for surface decoration in the leather hard state as well as brush decoration to create a complexity of surface quality.

-Screen all slip mixtures before use.
-Apply slips to leather hard clay.
-Do not fire low fire clay to high fire temperatures. 
-Do not confuse low fire clay with high fire clay.

Low fire slips 
White Slip c06-04
OM4                                         40
EPK                                           20
Neph Sy                                   15
Talc                                           15
3124                                         10

White Slip c04
EPK                                          12.5
Calcined Kaolin                     12.5
Ball Clay                                  25
3124                                        20
Talc                                          5
Silica                                        20
Zircopax                                  5
Cushing Style 04 Slip
Glo Max                                  15
EPK                                          20
OM4                                        30
Neph Sy                                  5
3124                                        20
Silica                                        6
Bentonite                               4

Yellow                     10% Vanadium Stain or Certic Yellow
Red                          15%        Red Certic Stain

Medium Blue          1%          Cobalt Oxide

Black                        3%          Iron Oxide

                                  2%          Cobalt Oxide

                                  2%          Manganese

Light Tan                  2%          Iron Oxide

Brown                      4%          Iron Oxide
Dark Brown             6%          Iron Oxide
Light Grey               1%          Iron Chromate
Medium Grey         2%          Iron Chromate
Grey Blue                1%          Cobalt Oxide
Medium Green       3%          Copper Oxide
Creamy Tan            6%          Rutile
Purple Brown          6%          Manganese Dioxide
These colorant combinations used in slip will become more intense under a transparent glaze


K.C. Red Earthenware           
Red Art                                    60
Gold Art                                  15
Hawthorne                              15
Talc                                         10
Barium                                    Pinch
Betty Woodman  c04-02 White
Kaolin                                      50
Ball Clay                                  50
Hawthorne                              50
Wollastonite                           12.5
Grog                                        12.5
Talc                                         10
White    #2              c04
Hawthorne                              50
Gold Art                                  50
OM4                                        30
Talc                                         30
CMU BLACK LOWFIRE from spring 2010 class  c04
Stoneware reclaim slop                         100 lbs
Red Art Clay                                            50 lbs.  (dry)
OM4 Ball Clay                                         Add until desired consistency
Black Iron Oxide                                      8 lbs.
Manganese Dioxide                                1 lb.