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A Low Cost Tester of Glaze Melt Fluidity
A One-speed Lab or Studio Slurry Mixer
A Textbook Cone 6 Matte Glaze With Problems
Adjusting Glaze Expansion by Calculation to Solve Shivering

An Overview of Ceramic Stains
Are You in Control of Your Production Process?
Are Your Glazes Food Safe or are They Leachable?
Attack on Glass: Corrosion Attack Mechanisms
Ball Milling Glazes, Bodies, Engobes
Binders for Ceramic Bodies
Bringing Out the Big Guns in Craze Control: MgO (G1215U)
Can We Help You Fix a Specific Problem?
Ceramic Glazes Today
Ceramic Material Nomenclature
Ceramic Tile Clay Body Formulation
Changing Our View of Glazes
Chemistry vs. Matrix Blending to Create Glazes from Native Materials
Concentrate on One Good Glaze
Copper Red Glazes
Crazing and Bacteria: Is There a Hazard?
Crazing in Stoneware Glazes: Treating the Causes, Not the Symptoms
Creating a Non-Glaze Ceramic Slip or Engobe
Creating Your Own Budget Glaze
Crystal Glazes: Understanding the Process and Materials
Deflocculants: A Detailed Overview
Demonstrating Glaze Fit Issues to Students
Diagnosing a Casting Problem at a Sanitaryware Plant
Drying Ceramics Without Cracks
Duplicating Albany Slip
Duplicating AP Green Fireclay
Electric Hobby Kilns: What You Need to Know
Fighting the Glaze Dragon
Firing Clay Test Bars
Firing: What Happens to Ceramic Ware in a Firing Kiln
First You See It Then You Don't: Raku Glaze Stability
Fixing a glaze that does not stay in suspension
Formulating a body using clays native to your area
Formulating a Clear Glaze Compatible with Chrome-Tin Stains
Formulating a Porcelain
Formulating Ash and Native-Material Glazes
G1214M Cone 5-7 20x5 glossy transparent glaze
G1214W Cone 6 transparent glaze
G1214Z Cone 6 matte glaze
G1916M Cone 06-04 transparent glaze
Getting the Glaze Color You Want: Working With Stains
Glaze and Body Pigments and Stains in the Ceramic Tile Industry
Glaze Chemistry Basics - Formula, Analysis, Mole%, Unity
Glaze chemistry using a frit of approximate analysis
Glaze Recipes: Formulate and Make Your Own Instead
Glaze Types, Formulation and Application in the Tile Industry
Having Your Glaze Tested for Toxic Metal Release
High Gloss Glazes
Hire Us for a 3D Printing Project
How a Material Chemical Analysis is Done
How desktop INSIGHT Deals With Unity, LOI and Formula Weight
How to Find and Test Your Own Native Clays
I have always done it this way!
Inkjet Decoration of Ceramic Tiles
Is Your Fired Ware Safe?
Leaching Cone 6 Glaze Case Study
Limit Formulas and Target Formulas
Low Budget Testing of Ceramic Glazes
Make Your Own Ball Mill Stand
Making Glaze Testing Cones
Monoporosa or Single Fired Wall Tiles
Organic Matter in Clays: Detailed Overview
Outdoor Weather Resistant Ceramics
Painting Glazes Rather Than Dipping or Spraying
Particle Size Distribution of Ceramic Powders
Porcelain Tile, Vitrified Tile
Rationalizing Conflicting Opinions About Plasticity
Ravenscrag Slip is Born
Recylcing Scrap Clay
Reducing the Firing Temperature of a Glaze From Cone 10 to 6
Simple Physical Testing of Clays
Single Fire Glazing
Soluble Salts in Minerals: Detailed Overview
Some Keys to Dealing With Firing Cracks
Stoneware Casting Body Recipes
Substituting Cornwall Stone
Super-Refined Terra Sigillata
The Chemistry, Physics and Manufacturing of Glaze Frits
The Effect of Glaze Fit on Fired Ware Strength
The Four Levels on Which to View Ceramic Glazes
The Majolica Earthenware Process
The Potter's Prayer
The Right Chemistry for a Cone 6 MgO Matte
The Trials of Being the Only Technical Person in the Club
The Whining Stops Here: A Realistic Look at Clay Bodies
Those Unlabelled Bags and Buckets
Tiles and Mosaics for Potters
Toxicity of Firebricks Used in Ovens
Trafficking in Glaze Recipes
Understanding Ceramic Materials
Understanding Ceramic Oxides
Understanding Glaze Slurry Properties
Understanding the Deflocculation Process in Slip Casting
Understanding the Terra Cotta Slip Casting Recipes In North America
Understanding Thermal Expansion in Ceramic Glazes
Unwanted Crystallization in a Cone 6 Glaze
Volcanic Ash
What Determines a Glaze's Firing Temperature?
What is a Mole, Checking Out the Mole
What is the Glaze Dragon?
Where do I start in understanding glazes?
Why Textbook Glazes Are So Difficult
Working with children

Alberta Slip, 20 Years of Substitution for Albany Slip


Alberta Slip makes a great base for glazes because not only is it almost a complete glaze by itself but it has low thermal expansion, it works well with frits and slurry properties can be adjusted.


Plainsman Clays has manufactured Alberta Slip since 1988 as a substitute for Albany Slip. The project to duplicate Albany was done with an early version of Digitalfire INSIGHT software and is an excellent example of the power of glaze chemistry calculations in creating material substitutes.

However Alberta Slip is much more plastic (and therefore shrinks more during drying) than the original Albany and this has been a concern for some. However on rethinking, the extra plasticity is actually an advantage because it creates the possibility of a shrinkage-adjustable material (by blending raw with calcine). Calcining is not a problem for most companies or people, only red-heat and a short soak are required to destroy the plasticity of a bisqued container full of the powder.

When you begin to experiment with it you realize why the original Albany Clay became so popular and widely used. It worked so well all by itself as a glaze that many recipes employing it specified more than 75% Albany.

High Temperature

The simplest way to utilize Alberta Slip is just mix it with water and fire on a stoneware clay at cone 10. In oxidation it melts to a transparent brown glossy. In reduction it is a tenmoku, a very deep brown glossy maroon that breaks to a rust on edges. This tenmoku works on stonewares and porcelains and fires with a low thermal expansion that is unlikely to craze. It is not quite as glossy as classic tenmokus.

Alberta Slip is a great base glaze for browns and darker colors that employ iron as part of the staining mechanism. Adding more iron to the material produces a progression that goes to metallic and then crystal dominated deep maroon rust colors.

One place where Alberta Slip really shines at high temperature is for black. There is just no better what to make a black glaze. All it takes it 1% Mason 6666 or 6600 to get a jet black glossy in reduction. Adding more up to 5% of either moves toward metallic effects with an increasing silky and then matte surface.

Medium Temperature

All you need to do is add 20% Ferro Frit 3134 and the material melts in a manner similar to what it does by itself at cone 10. Amazingly, you can produce a surprising range of colors from this brown burning material. Adding rutile turns it into a beautiful blue by 5%. Adding Tin lightens the brown color.

The classic Albany recipe was 85 Albany, 11 Lithium Carbonate and 4% tin. This produced a beautifully variegated brown that exhibited all manner of dark and light tones depending on thickness. Alberta Slip I did not work well with this recipe because of its high drying shrinkage, but Alberta Slip II is perfect. However, like Albany, the glazes tends to shiver on many clays. I thus altered it to 5 lithium, 21 Ferro Frit 3195, 4 tin and 75 Alberta Slip. It fires to a very similar effect and is obviously going to be less likely to leach lithium into food or drink. Like the original, it melts to a very smooth and defect free surface even where it is applied very thinly.

Like cone 10, the material excels as a base for black glazes. All you need to do is add a black stain to the 80:20 base. You can add a small amount of cobalt (1%) for a glossy black or large amount of cobalt or copper (10%+) to get a metallic black (larger amounts of stain also increase the degree of black). You can also transplant the color mechanism of one of the many existing black glaze recipes in the public domain. One of the popular ones uses a mix of cobalt, iron and manganese.

Low Temperature

It is obviously possible to get Alberta Slip to melt at earthenware temperatures, but large amounts of frit are required (50%+). I have not experimented significantly with this.

Glaze Recipes and Pictures

See the data sheet on the Plainsman Clays website for pictures and specific recipes.

Related Information

Alberta Slip used in the common lithium-tin cone 6 glaze

This is 85% Alberta Slip, 11% lithium and 4% tin fired at cone 6 in oxidation. Like the original Albany version, it has a very low thermal expansion (because of the high lithium content) and likes to shiver on many clay bodies.

The rutile mechanism in glazes

2, 3, 4, 5% rutile added to an 80:20 mix of Alberta Slip:Frit 3134 at cone 6. This variegating mechanism of rutile is well-known among potters. Rutile can be added to many glazes to variegate existing color and opacification. If more rutile is added the surface turns an ugly yellow in a mass of titanium crystals.

G2451B Alberta Slip cone 6 glaze with 5% alumina calcined added.

How runs of Alberta Slip are compared in production testing

These are two runs of Alberta slip (plus 20% frit 3134) in a GLFL test to compare melt flow at cone 6.

Alberta slip melts well with very little frit at cone 6

Alberta Slip as-a-glaze at cone 10R

This is 100% Alberta Slip (outside) on a buff stoneware (left) and iron stoneware (right) fired to cone 10R. The glaze is made using a blend of roast and raw (as instructed at the product page). Alberta Slip was originally formulated during the 1980s (using Insight software) as a chemical duplicate of Albany Slip. The inside: G2947U transparent. The intensity of the color depends on firing, add a little iron oxide (e.g. 1%) if needed.


Articles Duplicating Albany Slip
How Alberta Slip was created by analysing and duplicating the physical and chemical properties of Albany Slip
About Plainsman Clays
Alberta Slip data sheet at
Materials Alberta Slip
Albany Slip successor - a plastic clay that melts to dark brown glossy at cone 10R, with a frit addition it can also host a wide range of glazes at cone 6.
By Tony Hansen
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