Most potters use slurry, a thin mixture of clay and water, when attaching handles, joining edges, or adding a sprig to greenware. Until I was introduced to the “Score No More” (SNM) slip recipe several years ago by Jan Richardson of Windy Meadows Pottery, I used a mix of slurry and white vinegar. Vinegar retards the drying process. Until recently, I used a 50/50 distilled water and white vinegar mix in my work table spritz bottle to keep work from drying out while working larger forms.
While both, slip and slurry are defined as liquefied suspensions of clay particles in water, slurry is generally thinner, while slip has more clay content.
For almost a decade, I have been using the SNM recipe with great success for joining clay surfaces. This mixture allows varied stages of soft to leather clay surfaces to be joined with an almost diminished possibility of cracking or separation at the joint or point of attachment. It is strong enough to be used like a mortar, when you want to keep from blending or altering.
And, while the name tells you that there is no need to score, I still do, believing it should always precede the addition of slip to create a stronger joint. Besides, good work habits are hard to break!
Can it be used on bisqueware? I have not tried it, but have been told it can. However: you would have to do testing and adjustment to the recipe to fix the issue of shrinkage. Personally, it’s my practice to dump any cracked or broken bisque, having learned the lesson that it takes less time to re-make than to repair.
If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it, it is worth dragging out the Goodwill blender and mixing a batch.
– 1000 grams of your clay body in dry form
– 20 grams Custer Feldspar
– 20 grams Bentonite
– 20 grams Gum Arabic
– 1 teaspoon liquid Darvan (a liquid deflocculant that is often preferred for use with plaster molds because, unlike some other deflocculants, Darvan does not degrade the plaster.)
It is IMPORTANT to disperse the Gum Arabic. Pour boiling water over. Add distilled water to a slip consistency.
When above is well blended, add liquid Darvan.
Can add a tiny bit of bleach to keep odors down.
As my work has shifted from primarily wheel thrown back to hand built over the past six years, I have also switched from SNM to a version of Magic Mud that is also excellent for handbuilding.
Check back soon, I’’ll tell you about Magic Water and Magic Mud, both of which I have been using for a couple of years with even better results!