I am available to teach workshops at your school or craft center. I have taught and lectured about my decal application techniques at many craft centers and schools around the country. Please contact me if you would like to discuss a workshop.
Ceramic Decals: New Ideas and Techniques is now available for purchase thru ceramicartsdaily.org. This DVD is 1 hour and 22 minutes full of decal techniques and resources that I have used over the years. $49.95
Decal Application Process
My pots are intended for use. Each piece is handmade by me. The majority of my pottery is thrown on the potter’s wheel. I use an electric potter’s wheel that is set upon a stand that I built so that I can throw standing up. I have found that throwing while standing has been more relaxing and healthy for me. The handles on my mugs and pitchers are pulled by hand.
I generally use red earthenware clay produced by Standard Ceramic Supply in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. I use a white glaze also produced by Standard Ceramic Supply. I fire all my earthenware pieces in a Skutt electric kiln.
After each piece is created it is fired, unglazed, for a first firing to cone 04. Each piece is then dipped in liquid glaze and fired to approximately cone 06. After the glaze firing each piece is decorated using custom-made ceramic decals that I design and print on a Hewlett Packard laser printer. The decals are printed onto special decal paper using a normal black ink cartridge. Once the decals are printed they are cut, assembled, and transferred to the glazed ceramic ware using a water-slide technique. After the decals dry the ceramic pieces are then refired (this being the 3 rd firing) to approximately cone 09.
After the first decal firing I consider some pieces to be finished (such as my series of Presidential Pottery). Other pieces require additional decorating processes. These pieces (the pots that have colorful imagery) have additional custom, commercial, or vintage ceramic decals applied. I find these decals from a multitude of sources. Some of them I design myself and have printed by custom print shops, some I purchase from commercial manufactures, others I acquire thru eBay or from friends. These decals are also cut apart, re-assembled, and applied using a water-slide technique. I find decals wherever I can. I have sourced decals from China, Australia, Denmark, South Africa, Great Britain, and the United States. During this stage I might also hand paint some pieces with Gold, Silver, or Platinum luster or China paints.
Once the colorful decals and lusters are applied each piece is then refired (this being the 4 th firing) to approximately cone 015. At this point I consider many pieces to be finished. However, at times, I will add more decals and refire a 5 th , 6 th , or 7 th time. I might even reglaze a piece and start the decorating process over completely. I have used these multifired pieces as a way to get substantial depth to the patterns and decorations of certain pieces.
All of my pottery is meant to be used. It is microwave and dishwasher safe. The EXCEPTION to this are the pieces that contain hand painted metallic lusters. These pieces are still entirely safe to use, and can even be put into the dishwasher. However, they cannot be put into a microwave.
It is my hope that each piece of pottery I produce will bring you complete satisfaction. If it does not, please return it to me and exchange it for a piece that you will be happy with.