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Hi everyone :)

I use porcelain clay and I hand paint each work but I'm looking at making a new series of work that I want use the same drawing in multiple pieces say 100. So maybe a decal or transfer?


I want it to be a crisp image and on unglazed work that is fired to 1280 degrees Celsius. I'm happy to apply it at any stage after it's built but would be best on bisque.

I can only think of those glossy 80s decals that need to be applied to glazed work, but I want a more seem less matt finish with no outline.

I wanted to attach an image to this post as an example but I can't work out how..


Oh and these will it be functional works

Thanks Lilly

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I can see why you want to replicate bird image - it's a beauty. I took a class last semester in a university Ceramics department on printing on clay. I agree that a decal will definitely not give you the final surface you want. Two ideas:

1. Make a silkscreen screen of the image of the black lines of the bird and print black underglaze onto newsprint, and use the slip transfer method to apply it to the cup. I used white Piltcher's slip on Jeff Cole Porcelain and could not tell the difference between where the transfer began and the bare porcelain ended, once the edge was sanded down. You can also make a slip of exactly your clay body to make sure there is no color or shine difference. Then add the yellow by hand. Your lines will not be as sharp, at least mine weren't. There is a tremendous amount of set-up, and a larger than you'd like number of transfer failures. By 100 cups you'd have it down, though, I expect. If you want to explore this method further, Google Jason Bige Burnett. He has Youtube videos and now a very good book on the subject, including how to expose the screens without access to a screen printing facility. 

2. Continue to make the image by hand. It is a very playful image that would not suffer from slight variation from cup to cup. That is the only way I can think of to preserve the pencil line quality of the image you show above without the use of decals.


You might consider a combination of the two methods - serial mono prints. You draw the image 100 times on newsprint and then transfer with slip. If it's easier for you to draw flat, this might be an advantage to you. I don;t know if there will be enough underglaze applied by an underglaze pencil to make a good transfer, but it will more accurately replicate the pencil line quality than silkscreen. Remember though that any transfer method will be the mirror image of what's on the newsprint, no matter how you got it there. 


Maybe someone else will have a suggestion I haven't heard of yet. 


Good luck!


Maggie LeFlore

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Thanks maggie,


Some good suggestions though too complex for what this process could have been I think.

Just to clarify that this is not my image, this is someone else's work on a unglazed porcelain cup. It is in fact a mass produced image across all manor of items so I know that it would have been either a decal of sorts or a tissue transfer? As it is a rounded firm I don't think it would have been silkscreened. It was quite an inexpensive item and from a company called bloomingville.

By the way I don't want to replicate the design at all but use the same technique for my own very different artwork eg a tree.


I'm not familiar with matt decals on unglazed work. But for a company to have produced 100s or maybe 1000s of the sane design at that price it would I think need to be a very quick and by the looks of it perfect every time process. There was no variation at all in all the pieces that I saw.

Also I'm only after a black line....





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