Please visit my Publications page for information that has been published about my work with ceramic decals and other studio practices. It is the most comprehensive listing of information that I have prepared about these processes. Listed below is more reference information that I have found helpful over the years.
Printer Models/Inks that produce ceramic quality decals:
YOU MUST USE A LASER PRINTER. Not Kinkos (unless they have an old HP laser printer), not an inkjet printer.
HP Laserjet Pro M130fw — a newer model printer that I have tested
- HP LaserJet M1212nf MFP — This is the printer I currently use
- HP LaserJet 1022 — This is a printer I have used in the past
- HP laserjet 4L
- HP laserjet 5L
- HP P1005 laserjet
- HP P1006 laserjet
Printers that accept HP LaserJet print cartridge 12A, 85A, 17A
Here is the HP site for MSDS sheets. You want cartridges that have at least 30% Iron in the toner.
Color Decal Printer:
Color, Luster, and Commercial Decals:
In my experience most laser transfer decals fire permanently onto pre-glazed ware at cone 04 when using glazes that mature at cone 6 and higher.
Most glazes that mature at cone 04 will accept laser decals fired to cone 06.
Most commercial decals, china paints and lusters fire to maturity between cone 015 and 017.
Testing is important! Variations in kilns, humidity, glazes, clay bodies, and application techniques can create unforseen results. Test, Test, Test.
Designing Laser Decals:
Line drawings at high resolution (300 dpi) in black and white with high contrast work best. Great sources for images are clipart files, sharpie marker drawings, and google image searches.
Sometimes regular water can leave a silhouette mark around decals. In this case, buy distilled water from the store to use in applying the decals.
I have discovered that with certain glazes/clay bodies will dunt/crack after being fired several times. I’m still figuring out what causes this, and how to avoid it. However, some things that have worked include slowing the firing process down when doing the decal firing, doing a slower cooling process, reformulating glazes. I haven’t found any fantastic resources for this, but this is definitely something to be careful of.
Clean your work space BEFORE adding decals. Muddy water, dirty surfaces, and clay sponges are bad for decals.
Good Books and Videos:
Digital Decals for the Ceramic Artist — By Michaelann Tostanoski
Graphic Clay — By Jason Bige Burnett
Ceramic Arts Daily has a comprehensive DVD library featuring numerous image transfer artists including: Jason Bige Burnett, Forrest Lesch-Middleton, Meredith Host, Erin Furimsky, Paul Andrew Wandless, and others.
Image Transfer on Clay – By Paul Andrew Wandless
Ceramics and Print – By Paul Scott
Ceramic Transfer Printing — By Kevin Petrie