Slip, Engobe, and Terra Sigillata Recipes

Explore many options for adding surface designs and patterns to your clay vessels and sculptures at the leather-hard, greenware, and bisque-ware stage using decorating slips, engobes, and terra sigillatas.

We all know from experience that getting ceramic surfaces right can be one of the most frustrating, time consuming (and rewarding!) aspects of the ceramic process. Here we’ve gathered a number of recipes used by artists who have mastered working with ceramic slips, engobes, terra sigillatas, and underglazes as part of their surface design and finishing process. In addition to clay, the recipes collected here will often (if not always) include fluxes, colorants, opacifiers, and deflocculants or flocculants. These help to adhere the slip, engobe, or terra sigillata to the unfired or bisque fired clay surface, give a wider palette of color options, create an opaque ground or layer, and help to change the fluidity so you can thicken the mixture to create textured or relief surface effects.