Homemade Decals

A few weeks ago I discovered that I could design, create, and print my very own decals in my studio! I have been wanting to do this for such a long time, but my only option was to buy a $3000 set up … however, I ran across someone in the Etsy Mud Team forum who was excited about a laser printer that used a black ink (iron oxide) and had begun making his own decals.

So of course there I was ordering the printer and the decal paper online and it seemed like it took absolutely FOREVER to finally arrive. Right away I printed a sheet or two and put them on a couple of items.

The first couple of tries I ruined because I didn’t read the instructions carefully enough. I had fired the decal in TOO low of a temperature. I took it out. I touched it. The ink came off on my fingers. I was horrified!

Then I discovered that the decals work best on cone 08 through cone 6. So I did it again, except this time my glaze was so dark that the decal was hardly visible. I put it aside to work on some teapots and marketing and other projects.

This morning I got out a pad of paper and doodled away. I came up with several drawings, one of which is on the right. I took a photo of it with the camera, uploaded it, reduced it to 2 colors. I did the same with the rest and printed the sheet of paper out onto the decal paper.

Then I took some bright red beads and began applying them. Tomorrow they are going into the kiln. I’m! So! Excited!

I finally figured out that in my kiln that I get good results at cone 04. If I fire hotter, the decal melts into the glaze and begins a slow slide downwards. If I fire less hot the decal rubs off. But cone 04 works GREAT!

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