What is slipping clay?

Slipping clay, commonly referred to as “slip,” is a mixture of clay and water that has the consistency of a thick paste. It is a versatile and essential material used in ceramics for various purposes, including joining, decorating, and surface treatment.

Functions of Slip

Slip serves several important functions:

  • Adhesion: Slip acts as an adhesive, helping to join two pieces of clay together securely.
  • Decoration: Slip can be colored with pigments or oxides to create intricate designs and patterns on the surface of clay objects.
  • Texture: Slip can be applied to add texture and depth to the surface of clay, enhancing its visual and tactile qualities.
  • Repair: Slip is used for mending cracks or imperfections in clay pieces.


Slip can be applied using brushes, sprayers, or even fingers, depending on the desired effect. It is often used in conjunction with scoring (creating shallow marks on the clay) to ensure a strong bond between joined pieces.


Slip is a versatile tool in the clay artist’s repertoire, offering a range of possibilities for enhancing and manipulating clay surfaces.

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