A process that is new to me is slip dipping. It includes first creating the slip from the same basic ingredients as the white stoneware that I have been utilizing these past couple years. Its a smooth white stoneware with little to no grog that allows the surface to stay free of blemishes. When carving into the stoneware I don't need to be afraid of dragging in the clay with no grit to catch on my tool. This type of stoneware is perfect for slip dipping because it makes the transition from the clay-body to the new media to be more convincing.
I began to use this process lately with a soft cotton fabric. My example fabric is 100% cotton t-shirts, they are very inexpensive and easy to find. Also, the cotton fabric soaks up as much slip as possible which means that the bisque-ware will hold a lot of the texture and detail.
Personally, I use cotton fabric because besides being functional it is also soft. Cotton references a sense of comfort and home. Most comfortable clothes today are made with cotton, as well as blankets and comforters. Most people are very familiar with the feel of cotton fabric and can therefore relate to being surrounded by cotton items. I want to appeal to these memories. My goal is to have my audience experiencing a sense of comfort and consistency.
As I work towards this idea I must first do the dirty work, and here are some photographs of the process!
I hold each piece of fabric in the slip for at least a minute. This allows me to be certain that the slip has truly soaked in and will hold through the bisque.
I lay the fabric gently over each piece and leave them to dry slowly so the fabric and stoneware bind well.
Finally as the slip dipped pieces come out of the bisque I can breathe a little easier. They're still very delicate, but I know that the fabric soaked in well and I kept the desired texture.