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Underglaze for Detailed Rubber Stamping


Ben xyz
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Likely the surface will need to be fairly flat and smooth to get a good image on the bisque-ware to start. I’ve tried one commercial underglaze inkpad that I wasn’t that impressed with. The stamp image is fairly detailed. Perhaps making an underglaze formula myself that would adhere to the rubber stamp better and act more like an ink (and perhaps could be used more than once with a sealed stamp pad)? Ideas?

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Good suggestions! In doing some prior research on horsehair raku, the idea of a polished surface seems to make sense (to mimic smooth paper) for a finely detailed rubber stamp print “Burnishing requires either a very fine clay body, of the use of terra sigilatta or similar very fine slip. Therefore, clay texture is very important. Do not attempt to use a clay body which contains grog or sand.”

It appears that “Potters Pad” is the only company that has such underglaze pads available. I was thinking an additive to an underglaze (Gum Arabic?) could make it a consistency of a printers ink, so I could roll it over the stamp with a handheld rubber brayer roller? Perhaps a chemist out there might have a trick? Since I already have these fine-lined rubber stamps, I was hoping to avoid silkscreening, but can go that route as a backup. Thanks Callie! I guess I can try stamping the rice paper and  transfer that way, if I don’t mind the reversed/mirror version. Not sure how clean the lines will be. There are companies out there that will make underglaze transfer sheets for you, but usually has a minimum and only makes sense if doing a larger series. Had not been familiar with the Polish use of stamps and will explore the videos further - thanks Bill!

(Attached an example of a detailed rubber stamped image below). Sorry about the change of font sizes here, btw. It appears a cut and paste throws off the default, and unable to figure out how to correct.

37078DCE-B216-4828-9FAB-C77AF7A46165.jpeg.019681123e6ce0ca64c3065ff58b3f56.jpeg.

Edited by Ben xyz
Tried to make the font sizes match.
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If you want to make your own ceramic printer’s ink similar to something you’d use with a brayer for litho printing, mix equal parts stain, frit and epk or china clay. Slake it in glycerine overnight, and mix all the lumps out. 

It sounds like Roberta’s method with the sponge might work better for you though.

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3 hours ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

If you want to make your own ceramic printer’s ink similar to something you’d use with a brayer for litho printing, mix equal parts stain, frit and epk or china clay. Slake it in glycerine overnight, and mix all the lumps out. 

It sounds like Roberta’s method with the sponge might work better for you though.

I can’t wait to try this!  Ty

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@Juxtaposie Jenand @Ben xyz

I should qualify that you may have to play around a touch with individual stain/frit proportions, and the texture won’t be identical. As always, make some tests before committing to anything you need to put out into the world.

The equal parts mix will work for many stains, but some may need that proportion adjusted, as some are more refractory than others. Also make sure your frit is compatible with your chosen stains. You can check the requirements on the Mason website reference guide  and find the oxides that frits have on the digitalfire materials list. Some stains will have their colour killed by magnesium or zinc, some need higher calcium for best results, etc etc. Making sure that those materials are present in your frit will help set you up for success. 

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It’s usually only an issue with some of the colours that are harder to get via oxides. Greens, blues and blacks you can probably use just about anything with. But if you wanted to do some stamping with one of the pink or violet stains, its something to keep in the back of your head. 

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On 11/16/2022 at 7:45 AM, Callie Beller Diesel said:

@Juxtaposie Jenand @Ben xyz

I should qualify that you may have to play around a touch with individual stain/frit proportions, and the texture won’t be identical. As always, make some tests before committing to anything you need to put out into the world.

The equal parts mix will work for many stains, but some may need that proportion adjusted, as some are more refractory than others. Also make sure your frit is compatible with your chosen stains. You can check the requirements on the Mason website reference guide  and find the oxides that frits have on the digitalfire materials list. Some stains will have their colour killed by magnesium or zinc, some need higher calcium for best results, etc etc. Making sure that those materials are present in your frit will help set you up for success. 

Have some old wooden Indian stamps (perhaps used for textiles) to try as well. The brayer roller method would be handy if I get it to work correctly. Since the stamps have some tight detailing, I’m hoping that clay clogging won’t become an issue when imprinting (some clay drying beforehand should help and/or using clay with less grit). Will check out the videos of people making their own stamps to see any pitfalls. I remember having read about the possible use of corn starch (or oil spray?) to help with this. I’m guessing  that any oil residue would burn off the greenware by the time it becomes bisque (c05). Appreciate knowing about the concern for chemical breakdowns in the frit.
 
603E6E6C-77FE-40E6-8F1F-7E83C7E06993.jpeg.8f0f1f543bf034da0ce1bf87533583be.jpeg

Edited by Ben xyz
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You may already know this, but just in case, two great tools for cleaning the Indian stamps are steel dental tools ((get your dentist to give you some) and the super fine needles used for medication injections (make friends with someone who has diabetes and get some of their used pens, & just buy the needles)...they can clean out hair-width spaces.  I don't use underglaze but I use a breyer with matte, satin, and/or engobe glaze.

 

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6 hours ago, LeeU said:

You may already know this, but just in case, two great tools for cleaning the Indian stamps are steel dental tools ((get your dentist to give you some) and the super fine needles used for medication injections (make friends with someone who has diabetes and get some of their used pens, & just buy the needles)...they can clean out hair-width spaces.  I don't use underglaze but I use a breyer with matte, satin, and/or engobe glaze.

 

Seriously? I did NOT know about how to clean them - thanks for the tips. Had planned on just using a regular fingernail scrubber or dish brush. What do you use on the stamps themselves so they won’t stick or clog when stamping? It’s interesting that you use a breyer with glazes: mattes, satins and/or engobes. Looking forward to future experiments. 

Edited by Ben xyz
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  • 2 months later...

I recently saw a sheet transfer technique using just Linseed Oil combined with Mason Stains. I'm thinking of purchasing several larger blank dense rubber stamp pads to use with my bigger wooden stamps. Would be quite handy to be able to stamp (or apply with roller if necessary) this pigment mixture to emboss and stain/colorize at the same time on raw clay slabs. Perhaps liquid soap (or mix equal parts stain, frit and EPK or China clay as Callie suggested previously mixed with glycerin) could be used as well, instead of the oil; oil being difficult to clean the wooden stamps after. The pad w/ lid could then be used multiple times.

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Received this from Amaco after inquiry. Easy breezy to roll on thickened underglaze (after drying somewhat), as several mentioned here on the forum. Easy to clean up, too. Good tip on attaching plastic wrap on freshly printed slab when constructing to avoid smearing.

https://www.amaco.com/clay_how_tos/314

 

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1 hour ago, Ben xyz said:

Received this from Amaco after inquiry. Easy breezy to roll on thickened underglaze (after drying somewhat), as several mentioned here on the forum. Easy to clean up, too. Good tip on attaching plastic wrap on freshly printed slab when constructing to avoid smearing.

https://www.amaco.com/clay_how_tos/314

 

Great videos!  I use saran wrap  for ornaments and jewelry that I have printed on,  but never thought to use it like she does on larger pieces.  

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The Amaco videos are very worthwhile.  I located an image on a commercial rubber stamp that I wanted on holiday decorations, and stamped that carefully into my fresh slab.  After bisque firing, I did sort of Mishima with glaze and a tiny brush into the impressed image.  I did this with convenient sloppiness, then after drying, cleaned it up by scraping and cloth rubbing, then paint and tip-in background color. I found that it was difficult to gauge stamp pressure and depth with the wood block mounted stamp, so I transfer molded the stamp twice: soft urethane negative from the stamp, then hard urethane positive from that, then trim to an outline that allows better visibility and feel when stamping.  After a couple of practice tries, I was astounded to discover the fine detail that was in the original stamp and carried through the transfer mold steps, then into the clay, that was opened up and delineated by careful scraping, and showed clearly in the final fired image.  Stamp was sold as 1.75 inch: small with fine details.

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