Superior Slip: How to Make a Paper Joining Slip to Help Attachments Stay Put

This clip was excerpted from Creating Curves with Clay, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Shop!

From decorative handles to functional spouts, attachments are featured in much of Martha Grover’s pottery. Since she works in porcelain, she has to be extra careful to make sure her attachments are stuck on tight. What she came up with to alleviate attachment headaches is a super sticky joining slip made of paper clay and vinegar.

In today’s excerpt from her DVD Creating Curves with Clay, (which is 40% off this weekend!) Martha shows us how she makes her joining slip and attaches a handle. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


grovermugTo learn more about Martha Grover or to see more images of her work, please visit

  • Teresa L L.

    Excellent information and presentation- thank you so much for sharing! Question, have you had success filling cracks (s-cracks for instance) on almost bone dry green ware? My students work in low fire earthenware and sometimes there is cracking on up to 1/2 inch depth pieces even though we were careful with slow drying. I appreciate your thoughts on this issue. Teresa

  • Roberta G.

    A few drops of Clorox would probably keep the mix from smelling. I use clorox in glaze buckets in which I’ve used gum arabic. It keeps the smell down.

  • Craig D.

    Great video Martha, I have one comment, however. Vinegar is a flocculant rather than a deflocculant.
    If you were to take a small amount of liquid slip and add a few drops of vinegar you would observe a thickening of the slip rather than a thinning. Since vinegar is the only liquid in your paper slip it is acting to actually hydrate the clay but this should not be confused with deflocculation.

  • Ayessa R.

    Thank you for the excellent info, and thanks too for the clear instruction.

    Your pottery has a great look to it!

  • Jeanne S.

    I have been using paper clay as a slip for several months and it truly is fabulous for joining pieces.
    The smell can sometimes get very funky, so I think, in addition to the vinegar being a deflockulent, it would also keep the stinky bacteria smell down. Thanks for the tip!

  • Debra H.

    Can paper clay be fired in an electric kiln without hurting the elements? I fire in an old outside shed without any vents.

  • I found that if I store the slip for a few days it becomes very foul smelling. Advice is that the toilet paper has a corn starch component which rots. I now use recycled office copy paper which has a kaolin coating rather than cornstarch and the slip keeps for months.While this paper needs an overnight soak before blending with the clay I think the longer useful life of it is worth the extra step.

  • Kate Smith here on Phil’s log in – Thanks Martha so much, this is so clearly stated and great information. It will change the way I attach especially porcelain.

  • I use this mixture in my porcelain ware construction for attaching handles, repairing chips. In addition to the instructions given in the video I add a couple drops of APT II to the mixture.

  • Eleanor G.

    The tip about placing the slip then scoring was excellent, and extremely well verbalized, thank you so much.

  • Patrick C.

    Thank you Martha, that was excellent quality video. The large screen to your side showing the material and method up closeup was the best innovation in instructional video I’ve seen yet. Pat Cook

  • Wow! thanks I’ve never really given it much thought, but for those unforseen cracks I’ll mix up a batch and give it a go.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Enter Your Log In Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.

Larger version of the image
Send this to a friend