Slip glaze

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Chinese bowl
MFA# 13.1430


A thin, decorative clay slurry applied to a dry, but unfired, ceramic pot. Slip glazes, such as Albany clay and Engobe, produce a smooth colored surface when the ceramic is fired. Patterns were sometimes scratched into the slip glazes (Sgraffito) to reveal the different color clay body below. One Korean technique, mishima, filled the scratched designs with black/white slip. Other decoration techniques, such as painting images or designs with the slip were commonly used in Egyptian and native North American pottery.

Synonyms and Related Terms

slip-glaze; slipware; mishima; sgraffito

Resources and Citations

  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Robert Fournier, Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Pottery, Chilton Book Company, Radnor, PA, 1992