Saturday, July 8, 2017

Fun with Decals

wet decal, wrinkled, just after I slid the paper out

At NCECA in March, I bought some glaze decals with which to experiment. I haven't used them before, but I kept seeing them everywhere and was curious. I bought a sheet of cats and some Ernst Haeckel-esque images.

cat decal sheet minus the two I used

I didn't have much of a plan for where I was going to use them, but I figured you can put a golden cat on any old mug and the biomorphic designs would fit in with my work generally.

one of two Haeckel decal sheets

The decals are pretty easy to use. You soak them in warm water, then place them on the glaze fired pottery. Then you slide the paper out from under the image. You're supposed to use a tool to press the bubbles out from under the decal. I used a rubber rib and, as long as it was wet, it worked well.

pressing out the wrinkles/ air bubbles in the decal

After firing, the cats seemed to lose their faces and their feet. I don't know if the fading has to do with how they were applied or how they were fired. I don't actually have the instructions for the decals, but I put these in a cone 06 firing with some other stuff. Perhaps these shouldn't be so hot. 

 faceless kitties

I applied the cats on a flawed jar left over from my Yakima Rotary commission. I like the cats looking up at or through the blue slashes. Next time I'll fire the cats to cone 08 and see how their faces fare.

Haeckel decal after firing

The other decals worked just fine. I applied them onto an already fired jar. I had fired this jar last summer with some cone 6 celadons. The decals don't exactly go with the jar, but they're more interesting than the jar was on it's own.


The jar, as it turns out, is an excellent size for cookies, though once I realized it was a cookie jar, I needed to make some lids. I've since thrown a few lid options, but they haven't gotten into a glaze firing yet. The cookie making schedule and the flies combined to require the lid be used before firing.

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