Southern Ice Porcelain Slip Recipe

Using Les Blakebroughs Southern Ice

To convert a 10kg pug of Southern Ice porcelain to slip you will need:
• 20 litre clean plastic bucket
• electric drill and robust paint stirrer
• a sieve fitted with an 80 mesh screen
• 5 ml syringe, without the needle
• ideally a set of strong magnets
• 1 off block of Southern Ice Porcelain
• 2.2 litres of water
• 4 grams soda ash
• 12 mls of sodium silicate
• 5 - 10 mls of Dispex 7
• dissolve all of the soda ash in 2 litres of water
• add 10 ml of the sodium silicate and mix thoroughly
• shred clay and progressively add water, use the electric drill to thoroughly mix
• using the syringe add dispex as required. Add small quantities at a time and mix thoroughly
• when all the clay is added and the slip is at a workable viscosity allow to stand for 24 hours
• add the remaining gram of sodium silicate to 100 grams of water
• Thoroughly mix the slip and using a 1% solution of sodium silicate in water re-adjust the viscosity mixture if required
• if you have a strong magnet pass the slip over them
Do not add undiluted sodium silicate to the slip.

Notes from Sandra Black:
I have used the above recipe with success but I have adjusted the recipe by adding 5mls of Dispex
to the initial amounts of water as it helps the breakdown of the clay then adding the remainder as I
am mixing to adjust
I have also used the same recipe on Cool Ice and it works ok so far. This recipe can be used on dry
clay if you prefer but you need to add more water so after drying out your 10 kilos of wet clay
reweigh it to see how much water has been lost then adjust the water accordingly. If you use this
method put the dry clay into the water and deflocculent and slake down overnight before mixing.
You can also add a percentage of casting scraps up to 15% but you may have to adjust the amount
of deflocculent down.

NOTE Always add deflocculant to water before adding clay for ease of slaking and mixing.
I have also been using paper pulp in my slip to help hold forms together and for ease of repair. It’s
been possible to have quite considerable amounts for casting much larger forms as Grace Nickel
has done with some of her pieces for our forthcoming exhibition. Works have been cast up to 63cms
in height and worked on afterwards with little problem around cracking For general usage though I
am adding around 1 teaspoon of paper pulp per litre of slip( use fine quality soft toilet tissue and
disperse well in slip using stick blender). This still enables me to do my piercing and carving without
any problems.

Southern Ice Porcelain is produced by Clayworks

A request came from Marika for this recipe and Sandra Black tracked it down through Trudy Golley in Canada.

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