Screen print ceramics

This is a somewhat belated post as I did this work two weeks ago. Having used the wildlife mask images in a number of ways already, I thought I would try ceramics. The images have six colours which seemed likely to push the boundaries a little…

Hare, on a 100mm x 100mm tile, ready for firing
Hare, on a 100mm x 100mm tile, ready for firing

..and so it proved.

The images are Illustrator files which I bought into Photoshop and rasterised.  Having separated the colours – in Photoshop – and made them proper blacks I printed them onto Folex, a total of 18 A3 sheets, 3 sets of six.  Dave Fortune at UWE screen print offered to put them onto a screen by photo transfer, he did one set which has four images and four plain colours.  So at this time I have 12 unused Folex sheets with the images on them.

Once the screen was ready, just over a week ago Dave helped me set up and print the screen, onto Uwet transfer paper, colour by colour.  We began with the most used colour, blue, which forms the background.  The process is set out in Dave Fortune’s book, Water Based Screen Printing and Safe Ceramic Decals’.  Mixing the onglaze enamels proved tricky; the ground glass is carcinogenic and must be used  with care but the main issue was colour matching.  If I ever get round to making the rest of the images (12) it is unlikely I will get any colour matches to this first group.  Mixing entirely by eye is quite exciting but not going to give accuracy.

The ‘ink’ dries quickly (speed of printing is essential) but it wasn’t until last Thursday that I was able to transfer the decals onto tiles.  These are now waiting to be fired.