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The French word for slip is “engobe,” which simply means colored clay. Using liquid slip to cover a clay body creates a different color or decorative appearance. For example, a white slip could be used to cover a buff or brick red colored clay body (iron oxide-bearing clay), thereby creating a white surface. Potters and clay sculptors use a wide variety of techniques employing glazes, slips, and underglazes to obtain exciting effects such as detailed painting, sgraffito (scratching through the surface to reveal another underlying color), wax resist, and mishima (contrasting clay slip inlaid into the surface of the clay body).

Underglazes are used as the name implies, and consist of colors (metallic oxides) or color-bearing slips that are used to produce an array of colors and designs under glazes. Blick offers a wide variety of creative underglazes including Mayco underglazes, Amaco Velvet underglazes, Speedball underglazes, and Amaco underglaze pencils.