Should I Slip and Score?


This is a 10 page downloadable PDF of some experiments I ran on connecting handles and knobs and some surprising and practical conclusions.



One of the most common instructions in an introductory ceramics class is: “If you are connecting things you must slip and score.” This is a valid recommendation if you want pieces to stick together without cracking off and an excellent and time-tested practice in pottery.

But there are also real world practices that go directly against this proposition, like in industry where they just use slip to connect a piece without scoring, or production potters who just put handles on cups without slip or scoring. These methods seem like a much easier way to attach things but they goes against one of the primary rules of ceramics- to slip and score. How can all three of these methods work when they contradict each other? There must be a reason or set of parameters that makes each method work, so I set out to investigate.