Thursday, June 4, 2009

What do you do when your slip pot is full?


Before metal clay is metal, while it's still clay, it ACTS just like clay. And, since it's silver, and silver prices are in the stratosphere right now, I save every little teeny tiny piece and filing and make slip out of it. (Slip is watered-down clay used to stick parts together, like a glue.) Since I'm meticulous about sanding edges smooth to be sure my finished pieces look their best, I generate a lot of dust and therefore a lot of slip. Well, my little brain has been working overtime trying to figure out what to do with all this slip, besides trying to re-constitute it to a clay state. I've tried that before and it's just not the same. My brilliant idea was to spread out a blob (technical term) of thick slip with a palette knife onto a tefflon sheet and see what happens. After it was dry I sanded the edges (again) to form the shape I wanted. The one above was supposed to be a circle, but a piece broke off. I just left it that way, added a bail and some embellishment and fired it. Voila! A whole new way to use slip! I like the texture that was left with the palette knife and it seems to be a strong piece. So... I did it again, this time pressing a fine silver bezel cup into the blob. The finished piece got a black onyx cabachon and black onyx beads for a chain.

And again!


I also had some shavings from when I carve dry clay and pressed them into the wet blob of slip. That made a very cool texture! And I embedded a small lab aquamarine in the one below.


Of course, all of the sandings that came off the blobs will go back in the slip pot. It's a never-ending cycle. What do you do when your slip pot is full?

10 comments:

Lou said...

They turned out awesome!
The only thing I thought to do with my slip was make some leaves, not very imaginative!

annie said...

Very very nice! I love it when I have a lot of slip. I like it very thick so I can do relief work with it on pieces.Really love the one with the shavings.

HappyDayArt! said...

They look really good! Thanks for showing us.

Catherine

Alice Walkowski said...

Zoe, these are really, really nice. Great way to use up the extra paste. My extra paste usually goes to my students (so I rarely have any left to play with.) But, i do use the scraps from my paper clay to make "negative space pieces" And what I can't use for those, I chop up fine and use to texturize other clay pieces. Thanks for sharing your great work. Been to Blowing Rock but didn't know about the co-op (just the Blowing Rock Alice
http://allys-art.blogspot.com

Zoe Nelson said...

Thanks, everyone, for your kind words. Alice - if you come to Blowing Rock again, get in touch!

Zoe

Jenny Williams said...

Gorgeous pieces! Very creative use of slip. They really are beautiful. Did your friend in the gallery tell you I bought a pair of your earrings after you left? I'm wearing them today!

Zoe Nelson said...

No, he didn't tell me! Which ones?

Lady Leslie said...

This is very cool to hear about, I have had the same problem as I am a saver of dust etc as well. Just the other day I did the same thing, and was happily surprised with my results too. Thank you for your website, I will keep it on my desktop. Leslie

Barbe Beaty, Artisan said...

Absolutely FABULOUS!

Destiny's Creations said...

Zoe, your pieces came out fantastic. I always have an overstock of slip to join pieces together or to make leaves as previously mentioned, but I may need to experiment!