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Unfortunately unless you're getting your decal paper from Fired on Decal in North America, you are out of luck.  As of this writing, the owner of that business has taken out a patent on the process, and is very rabid about enforcing it. She has some well known artists in the US  that use decals regularly in their work tied up in lawsuits. Anyone with decal tutorials on their website has been asked to pull them down, and if they refused, they have been issued cease and desist orders via a lawyer. 

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I hope her patent is denied, she obviously had nothing to do with the development of the technique. Glad I bought lots of sheets from bel decal, I'll be teaching everyone I meet how to do it, just because. edit: found some laser decal paper on amazon, after looking at Linda Arbuckle's page on the process I'm thinking they might work, no coating required.

Edited by NancyAmores

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The Amazon link is for decals that aren't fired on. The Linda Arbuckle link is the kind of thing the cease and desist orders are being issued on. I believe the patent is being contested by someone, but it's expensive to take on US patent law.

You may be able to attempt sourcing water slide decal paper from China, but I don't have better information for you, I'm sorry. 

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Her site has no proof of a patent number, just a line that says 'patented'. I did a patent search...nothing except one from 1986 not related to her. Her name isn't even on the site. I'm going to continue my research into this, because I think it's very wrong to go after artists who want to share their process. Sickening, really. I smell BS, and bullying tactics that seemed to have worked, for now at least. When she can give me proof, I'll consider her 'cease and desist' legitimate. If her patent is pending, she doesn't have a leg to stand on.

Edit: the decals from bel decal were for model airplanes and such, they too never mentioned that they should be 'fired on', but they worked. The decals I linked to are the exact same kind, no fixative needed. I'm gonna spend the $11 to find out, because I'll be darned if I'm paying four times as much for someone's money grab.

Edited by NancyAmores

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Fired On Images has a lawyer, and she's not afraid to use it. Here are 2 links I found. The first one is a reposting of one artist's experience last year on the Musing About Mud blog, and the second are some court filing documents citing Bel Decal, Justin Rothshank and the American Ceramic Society (who runs this forum) as defendants. The court documents are from 2 years ago, and I have no idea how speedily (or not) the US patent courts move. My google-fu failed me when I tried to find more up to date information on how things are progressing. 

From some of the comments on the Musing About Mud blog, she may not succeed in defending her patent, but it will definitely take time and money to prove. 

 

https://www.musingaboutmud.com/2017/08/22/technical-tuesday-bad-marketing-plan-page-kelly-piccolo/

https://insight.rpxcorp.com/litigation_documents/11967428?fref=gc

A Canadian ceramic artist of my aquaintance told me today she may have a line on the proper decal paper (she's still testing a batch she ordered from China), but she adamatly refuses to ship to the US for fear of litigation she can't afford. If anyone outside the US is interested, dm me, and I'll point you at her. 

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Years ago I made some fired on decals using China paint on hobby store decal paper. Unless there's some additive in the decal "glue" that doesn't burn off or influence the glazes, what could be proprietary about ceramic decals? 

I would imagine a thin coating of good old Knox gelatin dried onto the shiny surface of butcher paper might be a good thing to test. (Mods, can I get us in trouble for that?)

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The the process she's claiming patent on is the one where you make sepia/black toned decals using decal paper designed for the purpose and a regular printer with enough iron in the toner. These are usually the easiest kind of decals to make yourself. It's why she's going after Bel Decal for selling the sheets you can do this with, and why Bel has stopped selling said sheets.

She's not concerned with anyone silkscreening anything, anything involving China paint, or any of the more expensive commercial decal printers. One of the makers of the fancier printers that handle ceramic pigments and China paints has come out with a basic model that prints only in black for a fraction of the cost of their more usual models. They developed a special ink that doesn't contain iron,  specifically so that they'd be exempt from these lawsuits. I believe they demonstrated at last year's NCECA. 

 @Rae Reich you wouldn't get into trouble for mentioning processes. The description you've given isn't a tutorial.

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Hi Callie, Could you please list or email me as well the new printer you were speaking of?  I have been using the beldecal paper for years, &  I have a small boutique company and now I am outta luck. The price of the fired on is more than double what the beldecal price was. This is a bit of a nightmare. Thanks!

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20 minutes ago, Shawn said:

I have a small boutique company and now I am outta luck. The price of the fired on is more than double what the beldecal price was. This is a bit of a nightmare. 

Respectfully, it's not a nightmare and you are not out of luck. It's an inconvenience, pretty typical of doing business in any sector. Bel was selling sheets at roughly $1 per page. Fired On sells at roughly $3 per page. If you consider how many decals you can fit onto a single sheet (unless you are printing very large/full sheet decals), the cost increase to produce each piece is negligible. The potential savings using another manufacturer's paper is simply not worth the risk of legal trouble. Production costs increase in all types of businesses all the time.

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There are other ways too.  You can buy a glass etching stencil kit like this: http://www.glass-etching-kits.com/mark_440.htm

And use it with glazes and underglazes (instead of acid paste).  It's a bit like screen printing but on a smaller scale and the stencils can be used over and over.  Might take some additional steps in the beginning, but I personally would steer clear of both legal troubles and giving money to a business like that.

Edited by liambesaw

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@Shawn check your inbox.

@Chris Throws PotsI will only be messaging US residents with the name of the company that sells the printer with the iron free toner, and the reason I'm doing it that way is because we can't advertise products or services on the forum, for ourselves or anyone else. This is a forum used by people from all over the world. When purchasing some materials, supply issues and import tax are also considerations. Because the forum is based in the US, I have to be mindful of how I disseminate this information, particularly because I'm a moderator.

For those outside the US, I will put you in touch with someone who sells the decal paper Bel was using, as the patent doesn't extend beyond the US borders. 

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Hey Chris, thanks for the suggestions... but yeah was a bit of a nightmare today. Just moved 500 Miles, set up a new studio in a new state, and had taken an order right before I left. Didn’t realize I had run out of paper, so when I went to order this morning & found out not only was my supplier discontinuing the paper-that no way to get the same paper in the states with out 3x the cost. Our little company runs on tight margins- so yup a bit of an issue. We bit the bullet and bought a small pack of the paper...hoping it applies & fires the same - crossed fingers. I need to take care of my immediate order. But I am looking for other options...just not expecting to make this switch on short notice. Thanks for everyone’s help. 

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