Slip Trailing Underglazes clay, slip application

Slip trailing is a very popular surface decorating technique among ceramics artists. Many potters and handbuilders use slips to add both color and texture to their pots. Slip trailing is the application of slip, which is clay mixed with water, to a clay surface using a bottle or other flexible vessel with a pointed tip. Unlike applying slip with brushwork, slip trailing involves a thicker, more fluid application, which can be used to created beautiful lines and raised textures. Trailing is not limited to slip, however, and can also be accomplished with underglazes, glazes, wax resist, etc.


There are many commercial trailing applicators available. We suggest you experiment with different types to gain a better understanding of their various potentials, as subtle differences in tip sizes and applicator bottles create unique effects. Please refer to each product for ideas on what could be accomplished with the various applicators. Our rubber-bodied Xiem applicators are great for delicate and detailed work, as the sensitive bulbous body allows for a very nuanced control of the slip as you apply it; our precision applicator kit is a hit in classrooms and studies because it comes with multiple bottles and a wide variety of tips.


Slip Trail Bottle, Kemper 4 oz
Item #: KSTB
Slip Trail Bottle, Kemper 4 oz

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