Ken Horstman Studios

Magic Water Part Two

In the previous post, Magic Water Part One (see link) I discussed what is magic water.  In this post I will discuss how I use magic water and several links on other ways to use magic water.

The way I like to use Magic Water to attach items is as a slip.  

Step1: Take a cup of Magic Water and put it in a container (one with an air tight seal/lid, so you can close it when to in use)  

Step 2:  I will take clay that has dried and grind in a powder. Or take clay when it is leather hard and use a food grater to grate it to the medium fine side of a grater box.  Then let this clay completely dry.   

Step 3: Add some of the dried clay from step 2 to the magic water from step 1 and mix in the container using an imersion  blender mix until smooth.  

I usually use a consistency of cream.

To use this mixture I score where I want my attachment and brush a coat of the slip to with er or both sides and press together.   I also do the same for attaching handles.

If you want your slip mixture thicker add more clay, thinner add more magic water or regular water or distilled water.  Playing with various thicknesses you will soon discover what works best in your studio  practice.

Here are a couple of different ways studio artists use magic water in their studio practice.

here is a good article from  also included in the article is making paper clay. It’s very insightful.

Next is Marion Williams pottery and she use the magic water straight which is a method you may prefer and you may find it to be just as effective.

Next I will explore more uses for magic water. 

As always if you have any questions or appreciate this content, please sign up for my my mailing list on the contact page   

Magic Water, Part One

Ever wonder what the best way to attach your handles?  Ever wonder what many potters use to make sure the slabs attach when hand building?   Well the answer you may be looking for is Magic Water.

In an over simplified world Magic Water is  Darvan 7 , a  deflocculant , and Soda ash (flux) mixed with water.  it’s basically a casting slip without clay.  Darvan 7 nd the soda ash both act like a flux and strengthen the clay.

There are several recipes out there and here are couple that I have used.

Magic Water Recipe  One

1 Gallon Water

3 Tablespoons of Darvan 7

1 1/2 Teaspoons of Soda Ash

Magic Water Recipe  Two

1 Gallon Water

3 Tablespoons of Sodium Silicate

1 1/2 Teaspoons of Soda Ash

I’m not sure if there are any real advantages to either recipe.  I’ve read sodium Silicate is a better glass former and may be stronger.  Darvan 7 is recommended for use in porcelain.  Since I use Porcelain a lot I use the Magic Water Recipe One.  I Encourage you to explore your options and what works best in your studio practice.

Next time I write about some of the ways Magic Water can be used.

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Here are links to the sources I used.  lakeside

New Years Resolution

Sorry I haven’t been too active with my notes from the studio I’ve been busy with so many holiday projects.  I do have some ideas and plans that you’ll be seeing in the next several weeks.  So thanks for sticking with me.   If you have ideas or things you’d like to see discussed just contact me at

or check back.  Thanks for your patience

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