I've had such an exciting afternoon I can't tell you. *insert overtones of heavy irony here*
As usual, it started out well enough, with the assemblage of several large bowls, mixing slip for the use of.
My plan, if you can call it that, was to thoroughly mix the new NYDP casting slip which arrived this morning, and amalgamate it with a quantity of old slip, which had started out as white but had a rosy pink flesh tint added to it. As it was just a tad too rosy for my liking, I determined to mix it with the paler French Bisque coloured slip to achieve a perfect vintage doll flesh colour.
Damn fine plan I'm sure you'll admit.
The one imponderable, which I did consider before commencing the exercise, was that although the new slip was advertised as being as close as possible to the original Seeley's formulation, it couldn't be guaranteed to be be absolutely exactly the same. However, having cast and fired both slips individually, I was reasonably confident that mixing them shouldn't present any insurmountable problems.
Mixing slip is an inherently messy business. It lives up to its name by being more slippery than a very slippery thing and spreading itself far and wide with no intervention from anyone. I inevitably end up with slip up to my elbows and tiny splashes all down my front which subsequently dry flake off all over the house.
The new slip had to be poured then squeezed out of it's polybag packaging through a sieve, in order to remove any resistant lumps.
None of my collection of mixing bowls was large enough to contain the entire 3 litres at one go, which didn't really matter as I wanted to mix in the other slip in small amounts as I went along.
After I'd filled FOUR large mixing bowls, there was still a sizeable amount of slip remaining in the bag and the jar so I had to resort to desperate measures and bring the kitchen sink basin into play, after first giving it a thorough scrub to remove any oil/soap residue. Thankfully, it was big enough to take all of the slip in one go, so I could be confident that with just one amount it would all be thoroughly mixed.
Initially, no amount of stirring would bring the two different coloured slips together. A few times I thought I was just about there, but marbled streaks floated slowly to the surface.
After almost 45 minutes of stirring, and close to the point where I wished I could just pitch it outside in the garden and be done with it, I did eventually prevail, and the resulting creamy slip was finally one uniform colour with nary a lump or air bubble to be seen.
Of course, until I have completed enough castings to fill my kiln (so far I've filled just one shelf) I won't be able to do a bisque firing, so I will have no idea exactly what colour I've created, and will also have to keep my fingers crossed that the bisque fired pieces won't have a marbled appearance.
If that turns out to be the case I will have to run away to Azerbaijan and live as a hermit in a cave, eating seeds and nuts, with only the occasional Anatolian leopard, bezoar goat, or little bustard for company.
I will be THAT upset.
However, I'm quietly confident that so long as I stir the slip thoroughly before each casting session all will be well. I've now got 1 3/4 gallons of a totally unique porcelain slip, which at my current rate of casting, I estimate will make approximately 7,594,812 tiny microdolls.
Or to put it another way, that amount of slip will last approximately 12 years, 7 months, 19 days, 4 hours and 37 seconds.
I soooooo hope it's all right.......