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justin1287

Decal Help Please!

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I got the word today that I will be making 23 plate/trophies for a local event June 7th.  I have never worked with decals and don't really have much time for mistakes.  Can someone please give me some advice as to where to buy my decals and any tips that may help me out please?  I will be making the plates out of cone 6 red clay. I am aware that the decals will fire to a different cone.  I do not own a laser printer, and am looking for the cheapest place to get both color and black decals (it doesnt have to be the same store.  Included is a rough draft of what I plan on doing.  Thanks!

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I use decals quite a bit and while I can't help on where to get them in the US I have a few tips which may help.

 

I get digital decals (cheaper for small runs and perfectly good enough for my needs) and it seems there are two types - Cuccolini and Zimmer.

 

On the Cuccolini sheets the flux is all over the sheet, and I find that for an irregular shape that I cut out square, if the pot is made of stoneware I get a 'flux outline' (i.e. a square shape round the image) - however they usually work fine on earthenware as the outline generally disappears completely (although sometimes there is a very faint flux outline even on earthenware, only visible when you hold the pot up to the light).

 

On stoneware I use Zimmer decals (unless applying a square image where there is no flux outline problem). The flux is actually in the ink - so no outline problem. I have found that the Zimmer decals I use tend to get more blow-out holes from tiny air bubbles - this could be because the ones I use are much thicker (the Cuccolini ones are really thin once they have been soaked off in water) - or it could be that my stoneware glazes are a bit less smooth. Usually they work OK and I only really get problems on large areas.

 

Generally I would avoid doing huge areas of solid colour as you are more likely to get blow-outs.

 

To apply, I use a bowl of hot water to wet and warm the pots (usually mugs) and a bowl of cold water to soak the decals. Having the mugs wet means I can slide the decals around. I use a dry cloth to get any wrinkles or air bubbles out - I do get failures (this is pottery after all!) but generally it works well.

 

Hope this helps. Lots of my decals on my site at www.cavingpottery.co.uk

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I cannot add where to get them as I did decals so long ago but can add that a nice smooth glazed surface will help you

That means smooth not rough clay will help.

That deadline seems very tight-good luck.

Mark

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I own a digital ceramic decal printer. We can print off food safe, CMYK decals.  If I can create the image, or import your image into illustrator / photoshop we can print it and fire it as a decal. Granted, the image you posted has some very bold colors - with the food safe toner set I am using the colors are a bit more muted. Also, depending on how your pieces are glazed, can really affect the way the decals read. On a red stoneware, the color of the clay is really going to dampen down the color of the decal - I would humbly recommend you try getting them to agree to a black/white version of the artwork as it would present the best.  Also, as long as you are putting them on a glossy glaze, the decal should adhere just fine and if applied and trimmed properly would show very little if any outline.  When you start to apply them to matte finishes, it just doesn't work real well if you don't want them to clash.  In your case, how large are the plates and what size would you like the image to be - best would be to "bleed" the decal into the edge of the round portion of the plate.  

 

I too fire to ^6 and have a very specific Ramp/Hold program for the firing of the decals (a third firing) - which goes close to ^011. 

If you want to see examples of the decals we have done, visit www.handmadegrowlers.com. 

 

If you would like to discuss the outsourcing of the decals, please email me and we could further discuss your project and costs. Turn around time could be pretty quick.

carlburgpottery@gmail.com

 

Tim

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Thanks for the input Tim.....I will be putting the decal over glossy glaze.  Shoot me your number at justinnovel@bresnan.net.  I am also looking at this as well.  I have a lot of projects that i plan on using decals for and I'm sure you will fit in some where.

 

http://www.decalpaper.com/category-s/2.htm

 

anyone have views on this?

 

thanks everyone!

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You can print on any laser decal paper with an hp laser printer. You can do a search to find wich printers work the best.

I think Bel and Decal paper dot com intentionally leave out that detail because someone holds that patent for fired laser printed decals.

It will not work with color, and looks like a sepia print when fired

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For all interested about decals, both commercially printed and at-home laser printed, explore Justin Rothshank's website. His work often features decals, and his website has a full section dedicated to decal resources. http://rothshank.com/justins-work/decal-resources/

 

There is also a Ceramic Arts Daily DVD available that is hosted by Justin and focuses on the use of decals. Here's an excerpt from the DVD showing how to prep and apply full-wrap decal to a mug: http://mobile.ceramicartsdaily.org/bookstore/ceramic-decals-2/

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You can print on any laser decal paper with an hp laser printer. You can do a search to find wich printers work the best.

I think Bel and Decal paper dot com intentionally leave out that detail because someone holds that patent for fired laser printed decals.

It will not work with color, and looks like a sepia print when fired

To determine compatibility with laser printers, look up the MSDS sheet for the toner cartridge the specific model uses. Some laser printers use polymers as the main pigment ingredient. These won't work. Others use iron, listed as ingredients beginning with the prefix "ferr." This what to look for. The HP I have uses 45% iron in the toner pigment.
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wish I could find out more on ceramic toners. There seems to be a company in China that is shipping them but they have no prices or ordering routine setup and calling china seems daunting and possibly confusing. 

 

A few companies package them together with printers offering an expensive 'system' but it really just seems that one could use a mason stain/materials mix that can be put in a color laser printer cartridges.

 

Just not sure what that mix would be to make it fuse to the decal paper. The systems also show them spraying a clear coat over the decal before putting on pot. 

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I bought Justin Rothshanks DVD and it makes the process really easy to understand and I highly recommend it. I bought an HP black and white laser printer for under $100. The toner cartridges are around $65 but last a really long time... Really long unlike ink jet cartridges which do not so its super cheap to print with. I got my decal paper from decalpaper.com I think I paid around $25 for 25 sheets so basically a dollar a sheet. Lay out your sheets in word or some other program and fit as much stuff on a page as you can set the smallest margins etc so you really fill the page that way it gets even cheaper to do.

 

During my research for a printer I found that HPs printers seemed to have the most iron content for the cheapest price unit. Justin also includes a reference sheet with some printers, websites, and such for getting the materials needed to do it listed. I also found some of this info by just doing general searches on the subject, play around with your wording for the search and different stuff will come up.

 

I have used this process to do photos, pen and ink drawings, pencil art, copyright free clip art, etc and all of them have come out beautifully. I have found that you glaze is important a smoother less mottled texture gives you a clearer image. Next I want to experiment with adding a touch of color with china paints but haven't had the $ to explore this area yet.

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A quick search brought up HPs help site and has a list of toner cartridges with iron oxide and the printers they go to listed.

http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Ink-Toner-Cartridge-Printhead-Issues/iron-oxide-in-current-laser-toner-cartridges/td-p/1711531

 

I do remember from my previous searching on this subject that some companies use

Ferrous oxide

Instead of the term

Iron oxide

On their MSDS sheets

Near as I could tell it's the same thing.

 

Terry

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You can print on any laser decal paper with an hp laser printer. You can do a search to find wich printers work the best.

I think Bel and Decal paper dot com intentionally leave out that detail because someone holds that patent for fired laser printed decals.

It will not work with color, and looks like a sepia print when fired

To determine compatibility with laser printers, look up the MSDS sheet for the toner cartridge the specific model uses. Some laser printers use polymers as the main pigment ingredient. These won't work. Others use iron, listed as ingredients beginning with the prefix "ferr." This what to look for. The HP I have uses 45% iron in the toner pigment.

 

As I understand it the polymers, when melted, are the binder of the colourant to the paper in laser printers.  Originally carbon was used as the colourant for black and this is still used by most laser printer manufacturers.  However HP definitely uses iron oxide (also written as ferrous/ ferrous/ferrite) for their MONO laser printers.  To add to this, the reason a colour laser is not suitable, is that the printer drum has to go to a higher temperature to melt the polymers used for the other colours.  This higher heat melts the laser decal paper onto the drum thus rendering the printer useless. 

Regards

Johanna

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wish I could find out more on ceramic toners. There seems to be a company in China that is shipping them but they have no prices or ordering routine setup and calling china seems daunting and possibly confusing. 

 

A few companies package them together with printers offering an expensive 'system' but it really just seems that one could use a mason stain/materials mix that can be put in a color laser printer cartridges.

 

Just not sure what that mix would be to make it fuse to the decal paper. The systems also show them spraying a clear coat over the decal before putting on pot. 

Stephen, ceramic toners  will not work in a conventional laser printer.  The printer needs to be altered to accommodate the use of the ceramic toners.  I believe some Ricoh printers are retrofitted for this.   The polymers (plastic bead like substances) adhere the colours to the decal paper.  Mason stains are not milled fine enough for laser toners and they need to be mixed in specific proportion with the polymers.  There are also 2 different systems out for ceramic toners.  One has a flux in the toner mix which allows the decal has at approx 800.C.  The other has a flux in the covercoat which is applied after the printing.  This allows the decal to be fired at the temp required, eg for glass, overglaze or inglaze temps.

Regards

Johanna

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You can print on any laser decal paper with an hp laser printer. You can do a search to find wich printers work the best.

I think Bel and Decal paper dot com intentionally leave out that detail because someone holds that patent for fired laser printed decals.

It will not work with color, and looks like a sepia print when fired

To determine compatibility with laser printers, look up the MSDS sheet for the toner cartridge the specific model uses. Some laser printers use polymers as the main pigment ingredient. These won't work. Others use iron, listed as ingredients beginning with the prefix "ferr." This what to look for. The HP I have uses 45% iron in the toner pigment.

 

As I understand it the polymers, when melted, are the binder of the colourant to the paper in laser printers.  Originally carbon was used as the colourant for black and this is still used by most laser printer manufacturers.  However HP definitely uses iron oxide (also written as ferrous/ ferrous/ferrite) for their MONO laser printers.  To add to this, the reason a colour laser is not suitable, is that the printer drum has to go to a higher temperature to melt the polymers used for the other colours.  This higher heat melts the laser decal paper onto the drum thus rendering the printer useless. 

Regards

Johanna

 

Thanks for clarifying, Johanna. I suppose I made a bad assumption when reading the MSDS sheets for incompatible printers. The high percentage of polymers led me to infer that this was a pigment source. Do you know if the polymers can be embedded with iron-based substances? The MSDS sheets I read for Brother printers showed the polymer making up 80%+ of the total toner material and carbon as only 5%-10%. I am surprised that this low percentage of carbon would give saturated enough color for effective printing. But then I don't know how the carbon reacts with the polymer once the polymer melts. I'm curious if you know whether the polymers can hold iron (or other pigment) or if it is simply a vehicle for the carbon.

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I ended up ordering my decals from inplainsightart.com.  They print every Wednesday and ship every Thursday which had me sold due to my very short deadline.  I had to make 23 trophies/plates.  I had never single fired, thrown a plate, or used decals before.  Luckly I only cursed the World a few times.  They came out according to plan!  17 done anyways already with a week to go.

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post-16111-0-39236100-1401534258_thumb.jpg

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Justin, those turned out nicely!

Just for any Canadians out there, Mariko Paterson over at Forage Studios in Nova Scotia has a decal printing division. She'll do commercial stuff, as well as turn any of your drawings into china paint decals. She is awesome, and is worth checking out.

Www.foragestudios.squarespace.com/decal-love

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