Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

Slipping In a New Class

Posted by C Scheftic on 2010/02/24

At last, my Spring class schedule is starting to evolve. While there are several interesting ones approaching, the title of this post refers to the next one up, on March 14. It should be lots of fun!

I call it “Along the Silver Trail” because we will be creating designs in silver using a technique, adapted from a rather widely used practice in the pottery world, known as “slip trailing.”

While writing this post, I did a quick search for some simple sources of information about the pottery-version of this technique. I found two, at and Wikipedia, each with an interesting illustration or two.

In the metal clay version, we start by using regular (thick) clay to make a basic shape, let that dry and refine it as needed, then we add trails of runny (watered-down) clay (known as “slip” or “thin paste”) to create the design.

It is possible to create very controlled drawings that way, but another alternative is to just “go with the flow” and create more “organic” designs.

Those are a few samples of some pendants and earrings I made up a couple nights ago. There are a couple more of my dome shapes, some gentle waves, and some basic flat shapes. As with all my pieces, each of them is reversible. The other side may also have a slip-trail design, or it may be polished very smooth, or it may have a textured pattern. Anything is possible!

This is a great technique for beginners, but it’s also a class where someone with more experience in metal clay can expand their repertoire.

If you’d like to sign up for the class, contact the host site, KoolKat Designs in Mt. Lebanon. If you have any questions about the class, please just leave a comment here.

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