What are the 3 S’s in clay?

The “3 S’s” in clay refer to Slip, Score, and Seal – three essential techniques used in ceramics to join clay pieces together securely and create strong bonds.

1. Slip

Slip is a mixture of clay and water, often resembling a thin paste. It is used as an adhesive to join two pieces of clay together. Applying slip to both surfaces creates a strong bond when they are pressed together.

2. Score

Scoring involves creating shallow marks or scratches on the surfaces of the clay pieces to be joined. These marks provide texture for the slip to grip onto, enhancing the bond between the pieces.

3. Seal

Sealing is the final step after applying slip and scoring. Pressing the scored and slipped surfaces together effectively seals the pieces, preventing them from separating during drying and firing.

Application and Benefits

The 3 S’s are especially crucial when attaching handles, spouts, and other additions to clay vessels. They ensure that the joined areas are secure and capable of withstanding the stresses of the firing process.


The 3 S’s – Slip, Score, and Seal – are foundational techniques that play a vital role in creating durable and well-constructed clay pieces, helping artists achieve successful and lasting ceramic creations.

Rate article
Add a comment