Monthly Tech-Tip from Tony Hansen SignUp

No tracking! No ads!

1-9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | Frits | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Alberta Slip

Alternate Names: Archie Bray Slip

Description: Albany slip substitute

Oxide Analysis Formula
CaO 5.90% 0.38
Na2O 2.20% 0.13
MgO 3.90% 0.35
TiO2 0.30% 0.01
Al2O3 15.20% 0.54
P2O5 0.10% -
SiO2 53.54% 3.24
Fe2O3 4.50% 0.10
K2O 3.50% 0.13
LOI 9.20%n/a
Oxide Weight 323.81
Formula Weight 356.62


This material was formulated as a physical and chemical substitute for the late and very popular Albany Slip from New York state. Like Albany, it is a low melting iron stained clay. Alberta Slip is more consistent than Albany was since it is made from a blend of raw materials.

Alberta slip has a slightly lower iron content than Albany had so some glazes may not fire as dark (this can be counteracted by adding additional iron oxide). Alberta slip melts as well and works in most glazes that call for Albany. Alberta slip is more plastic (less silty) so recipes containing larger proportions may shrink and crack during drying (requiring the use of a calcine:raw mix).

Plainsman Clays has made this material for many years and it is established in the market place across North America. It has its own website at You can use Alberta Slip at 100% (raw:calcine mix) to create a chocolate brown glossy glaze at cone 10. Many Albany glazes were based on the addition of an active flux that increased melt fluidity so that greenish and yellowish iron crystals grew on cooling. Many black glazes were based on Albany Slip, since it already contained lots of iron only a little more and some extra cobalt or manganese were needed.

The plasticity of Alberta Slip is very helpful in suspending glaze slurries. However if there is more than about 40% (with no other clays), then you must use a raw:calcine mix. The website has information on how to do the calcining and how to adjust for the change in LOI.

The analysis of this material was changed here in Sept 2013, not because the material changed, but because they switched to an actual assay instead of a calculated analysis.

Related Information

An original container bag of Alberta Slip

Melt fluidity of Albany Slip vs. Alberta Slip at cone 10R

Albany vs Alberta Slip melt

Albany Slip was a pure mined silty clay that, by itself, melted to a glossy dark brown glaze at cone 10R. By itself it was a tenmoku glaze. Alberta Slip is a recipe of mined clays and refined minerals designed to have the same chemistry, firing behavior and raw physical appearance (but not plasticity). This is a GBMF melt flow test showing them side-by-side.

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.

Cone 10R beanpot glazed with Alberta Slip (100%).

Alberta Slip base amber-clear glaze on the outside of a Polar Ice cone 6 mug

However this version employs Ferro Frit 3195 instead of Frit 3134 to flux the Alberta Slip. Polar Ice is a cone 6 super-white translucent porcelain from Plainsman Clays.

A metallic, silky crystal black glaze based on Alberta Slip

This is a 50:50 mix of calcine and raw Alberta Slip plus 5 parts Mason 6600 black stain, 5 Mason 6666 black and 7 iron.

Alberta Slip as a base for glossy black glazes at cone 10R

A jet a black glossy glaze for cone 10R is as easy as 1% black stain and 99% Alberta Slip (Mason 6666 or 6600). Of course, the 99% is a mix of calcine and raw material (starting at 50:50).

Melt fluidity and coverage: RedArt Slip vs. Albany Slip vs. Alberta Slip

Melt fluidity testers show similar flow but the amber clear glaze on the mugs shows some differences

These three melt flows and mugs were fired at cone 6 (using the C6DHSC firing schedule). The benchmark recipe is 80% clay and 20% Ferro Frit 3195. The center melt flow and mug (made from a Plainsman 3D-based stoneware) employs the original Albany Slip as the clay portion. The one on the far left uses an Albany Slip substitute that was developed by calculating a mix of RedArt and other materials to have the same chemistry as Albany Slip. The one on the right employs Alberta Slip. Notice that, although the Alberta Slip version has a very similar melt flow, on the mug it is apparent that it needs a little iron oxide for a better match (e.g. 1-2%). And the glaze on the left: The chemistry of RedArt is different enough from Albany that some compromises in chemistry-matching were needed to avoid over-supplying the iron even more (and firing even darker than this). Although this Redart version runs in a very similar pattern on the melt flow, the character of the glaze is somewhat different on the mug (a better match can be achieved by increasing the frit percentage slightly or firing to cone 7).

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.

95% Alberta Slip plus 4% iron at cone 10R

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.

Something is definitely wrong the glaze thickness here!

This is an example of how a glaze that contains too much plastic clay has been applied too thick. It shrinks and cracks during drying and is guaranteed to crawl. This is raw Alberta Slip. To solve this problem you need to tune a mix of raw and calcine material. Enough raw is needed to suspend the slurry and dry it to a hard surface, but enough calcine is needed to keep the shrinkage low enough that this cracking does not happen. The Alberta Slip website has a page about how to do the calcining.

Will this crawl when fired? For sure!

This high-Alberta-Slip glaze is shrinking too much on drying. Thus it is going to crawl during firing. This common issue happens because there is too much plastic clay in the glaze recipe (common with slip glazes). Clay is needed to suspend the other particles, but too much causes the excessive shrinkage. The easiest way to fix this is to use a mix of raw and calcined Alberta Slip (explained at The calcined Alberta Slip has no plasticity and thus much less shrinkage (but it still has the same chemistry). Many matte glazes have high kaolin contents and recipes will often contain both raw and calcined kaolin for the same reason.

CMC Gum is magic for multi-layering, even for raw Alberta Slip

A glaze that cracks on drying was fixed

The glaze on the left is 85% of a calcine:raw Alberta Slip mix (40:60). It was on too thick so it cracked on drying (even if not too thick, if others are layered over it everything will flake off). The center piece has the same recipe but uses 85% pure raw Alberta Slip, yet it sports no cracks. It should be cracked much worse than #1. How is this possible? 1% added CMC Gum (via a gum solution) was added! This is magic, but there is more. It is double-layered! Plus very thick strokes of a commercial brushing glaze have been applied over that. Yet no cracks. CMC is the secret of dipping-glazes for multi-layering. The downside: More patience during dipping, they drip a lot and take much longer to dry.

Metallic deep purple: Pure Alberta Slip at cone 10R, then refired at cone 6 oxidation

A nice thing about this is that the percentage of metallic oxide is comparatively low compared to other metallic glazes. And, it is iron oxide, which is not toxic at all.

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.

Alberta Slip GA6-B base darkened with iron oxide

Glazed tiles showing darkening with increased iron additions to GA6-B

Fired to cone 6 using the C6DHSC schedule. Top: GA6-B. This recipe is 80% Alberta slip and 20% Ferro Frit 3195 (we used to use frit 3134 but have found frit 3195 works much better). Bottom: We added 1, 2, 3 and 4% iron oxide. At about 2%, the color matches the rich reddish effect you would get if you used an 80:20 Albany:3195 recipe (without an iron addition). An added benefit is that the iron acts as a fining agent to remove micro-bubbles to achieve better transparency.

A commercial bottled brushing version of Albany Slip brown glaze

Albany brown glazed mug

Amaco PC-32 Albany Brown on Plainsman M340S. The inside glaze is G2926B over tissue transfers applied at leather hard. This fires similar to the original G2415E recipe (although they are likely using a much lower percentage of lithium).

Roasting Alberta and Ravenscrag Slips at 1000F: Essential for good glazes

Roasted Alberta Slip (right) and raw powder (left). These are thin-walled 5 inch cast bowls, each holds about 1 kg. I hold the kiln at 1000F for 30 minutes. Why do this? Because Alberta Slip is a clay, it shrinks on drying (if used raw the GA6-B and similar recipes will crack as they dry and then crawl during firing). Roasting eliminates that. Calcining to 1850F sinters some particles together (creating a gritty material) while roasting to 1000F produces a smooth, fluffy powder. Technically, Alberta Slip losses 3% of its weight on roasting so I should use 3% less than a recipe calls for. But I often just swap them gram-for-gram.


Articles Duplicating Albany Slip
How Alberta Slip was created by analysing and duplicating the physical and chemical properties of Albany Slip
Articles 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.
Alberta Slip data sheet at
Materials Jasper Slip
Materials Ravenscrag Slip
A light-colored silty clay that melts to a clear glaze at cone 10R, with a frit addition it creates a good base for a wide range of cone 6 glazes.
Materials Albany Slip
A pure low plasticity clay that, by itself, melted to a glossy dark brown glaze at cone 10R. It was a popular glaze ingredient for many decades.
Materials Alberta Slip 1900F Calcined
Materials Odenwalder Clay
Materials Alberta Slip 1000F Roasted
Materials Arroyo Slip
Typecodes Alberta Slip Glaze Recipes
Alberta Slip is a substitute for Albany Slip that has gained a life of its own so that there are now many glazes based specifically on it.
Typecodes Clay Other
Clays that are not kaolins, ball clays or bentonites. For example, stoneware clays are mixtures of all of the above plus quartz, feldspar, mica and other minerals. There are also many clays that have high plasticity like bentonite but are much different mineralogically.
Recipes GA6-D - Alberta Slip Glossy Brown Cone 6
Plainsman Cone 6 Alberta Slip based glaze. It can be found among others at
Recipes GA6-C - Alberta Slip Floating Blue Cone 6
Plainsman Cone 6 Alberta Slip based glaze the fires bright blue but with zero cobalt.
Recipes GA6-A - Alberta Slip Cone 6 transparent honey glaze
An amber-colored glaze that produces a clean, micro bubble free transparent glass on brown and red burning stonewares.
Recipes GA10x-A - Alberta Slip Base for cone 10 oxidation
Alberta Slip creates a glossy transparent brown at cone 10 with the simple addition of 10% frit.
Recipes GA10-A - Alberta Slip Base Cone 10R
Alberta Slip at 60:40 calcine:raw makes a great tenmoku-like glaze at cone 10R
Recipes GA10-D - Alberta Slip Black Cone 10R
You can make a black glaze at cone 10R using only 1% black stain in a 100% calcine:raw mix of Alberta Slip
Troubles Crawling
Ask yourself the right questions to figure out the real cause of a glaze crawling issue. Deal with the problem, not the symptoms.
By Tony Hansen
Follow me on

Got a Question?

Buy me a coffee and we can talk, All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy