Ceramic screen print

This post is late, it should have been made more than a month ago, when I was doing the work.  Ceramic screen print process was invented at Bower Ashton,  over 20 years ago.  Dave Fortune , Senior Technician and screen printer, was instrumental in developing the idea and it works well, although this now seems to have been superseded by digital ceramic printing which is cheap and can produce full colour images quickly.  In both screen and digital print the print is made onto transfer (decal) paper, which when dry can be cut and the image floated onto a ceramic.

My main aim in trying this is to get an understanding of how it works in practice, what the pitfalls are, what the limitations are.  (The digital process is very simple: create the artwork, send to a digital ceramic firm, get the transfer papers back by post, apply to ceramic, fire at low temperature).

Printing onto transfer paper, the six colour ‘British Wildlife Masks‘,  there are 18 A3 sheets of folex which have had the images printed on and now need to be transferred to the screen.  18 sheets because only one third of the set will fit onto a large screen.  This now seems ambitious and it is not likely that I will complete the print in this way, just too expensive.

Anyway, I am printing 1/3 of the set, twice. The first colour is the hardest, the blue background, and DF  undertook to do most of the work.  We over printed this three times and the final result was good.

The next three colours – grey, red and brown were fairly straightforward, getting a colour match with the ceramic powder proved tricky but the results seem ok, so far.  Unfortunately the colours need to be mixed wet to avoid breathing in ground glass, but this then means that batches of mix may vary in colour.


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