Big Ceramic Store Blog

Painting And Trailing Slip For Design

If you've been following our blog, or if you happened to tune in last week, you may have read our post on making slip from your clay body. The question of the day is, what to do with the slip you made?

Hmmm... I have a few ideas! I also have a few orders to fill that I can try those ideas out on. How about you, anything special come to mind?

Well, grab your coffee, put on your creative cap, and let's head to the studio. I'm sure we can come up with some great ideas if we put our heads together! Ps... send us pictures of your designs when you're done, we'd love to see them!We'll cover a couple techniques for using slip in today's post. We will brush it on, trail it on, and glob it on. Glob it on you ask? Yep... it's a pretty cool way to spice up a pot!

Let's start with brushing it on. Here are a few examples.

  • Simple brush strokes to add texture
  • Intricate design
  • Whole piece painting



Slip trailing, I love the way glazes break over the trailed designs, it gives the piece a whole new dimension. Hint... if you practice your design on a piece of poster board (shiny side), you can wipe it off and try again over and over.

  • Carefree trailing
  • Intricate design




Ps... you can use almost any container that you can squeeze the slip out of for this type of application. Some ideas are

  • hair dye applicators
  • catheter syringes
  • ketchup and mustard bottles, be creative.
  • I personally couldn't do it without the Complete Customizable Applicator Kit from Xiem. It's perfect for both intricate design, and carefree trailing!xiemcutomizableapplicatorkit

Ok, here's what I meant by glob it on...

  • After throwing a piece on the wheel, let it set up a little bit
  • Then, fill your hands with slip
  • With the wheel spinning slowly, cup your hands around the piece and let the slip adhere to the pot


  • Here's the fun part... create designs in the slip. You can let it firm up a little before you start to design it, or you can do it while it's really sloppy. Either way, you are sure to love the way your texture and design break the glaze and enhance a simple pot

    • There are all sorts of textured ribs out there like the Mudtools Drawing Rib ... they work great!



Are you having fun yet, or getting frustrated? Remember... handcrafted pottery is NOT supposed to be perfect! When I first started, I would get frustrated and wipe the slip off the pot, then start all over. Don't do it! You'll be amazed how well the glazes cover your mistakes.

Don't forget... send us some pictures so we can share them with other readers. Your simple idea might just be someone else's masterpiece!

Send us your pictures, share your ideas, or have a suggestion for our blog? Send us an email at


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