Saturday, August 27, 2011
Mixing Mason Stain Slips
Today I'm mixing mason stain slips. Here's one of my new jars filled with aqua slip. I'm so happy I found these wide mouth canning jars to use. I just mixed up a whole new batch of slip and filled each new jar with slip and different stain colors.
I thought these baby food jars would work well but the lid barely makes half a turn and doesn't seal. For over year now I've had a terrible time with the stained slips drying out that I've been using.
See how dry this slip has become in the baby food jar. I end up having to keep adding more water and remixing the slip stains every time I use them.
When I'm working on a piece I scoop a bit of slip out and put it into one of these glass condiment bowls. I dip my brush into these bowls so I don't contaminate the whole batch in the jar. But it's a pain in the neck to keep remixing the various colors of slip each time I use them because they've become so dried out.
So today I started out with some bone dry white clay. In this case I am using cone 6 Frost porcelain clay. I like a nice white clay to mix stains because the colors are less affected by a whiter clay.
I put the clay in a deep stainless steel bowl and add enough water to cover the clay. I use bottled or distilled water to mix my stains. I set the bowl aside to slake down.
Once the clay has slaked down completely I put the bowl in the kitchen sink with a towel to catch the splatters. I don't want any clay going down the sink drain. I mix up the slip with a hand held mixer on low speed.
Here are my new jars, nice and clean and ready to use. I'll be able to mix and store twice as much of each color slip now.
After I have the slip all mixed up I put a measured amount in each jar.
I then add a measured amount of mason stain into the jar of slip and mix it up well with a small rubber spatula. Using a flexible spatula enables me to smooth out any lumps that might form. This frost porcelain usually doesn't get any lumps as long as I mix it well and keep it well covered in an air tight container.
Here's my new batch of slips; I write the color of each slip on the top of the jar. The top photo shows what one color mixed up looks like. As I empty the baby food jars I'll phase them out. I may need to get four more small canning jars to mix up a few more colors. I keep one jar of plain slip on hand. I hope these new jars don't dry out. I'm getting bolder with some of my slip painting so stay tuned. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.