Q: I printed my decal, and soaked it, and can't get it to stick to the side of my piece. It even seems to be disintigrating in the water. What did I do wrong?
A: You probably forgot to pull off the protective sheet of tissue paper before you printed. Pull it off and throw it away and remember that you are not the first person, or even the second, to ask me this question!
A: You didn't fire hot enough. Put it back in the kiln and try going a bit hotter.
A: You went too hot. Try going a bit cooler next time...OR...You used the wrong printer. Is it an HP? Does it only print black ink? See my resources page for information on printers that work.
A: If they are applied to glazed earthenware, try firing to cone 09 with the decals. If it doesn't work, see the questions above.
If they are applied to glazed stoneware or porcelain, try firing to cone 04 with the decals. If it doesn't work, see the questions above.
A: I don't. You probably saw pictures of my work in process, before the decal was fired on. Laser toner decals only fire to sepia (iron spectrum) colors.
A: I don't. See above.
A: I use color ceramic decals, fired to a totally different temperature, sourced from a different source, and NOT printed with a laser printer. See my resources sheet for where I buy them.
Q: I just got my decal paper from BelDecal or decalpaper.com. Their website says:
(a) they can't be used for ceramics or fired in a kiln?
(b) they aren't dishwasher safe?
(c) I can't figure out the cover coat?
(d) I got the inkjet paper?
(e) I got the wrong color of paper?
(f) It says it works with color?
(a) it works in a kiln.
(b) iron is dishwasher safe when it is fired into a glaze. It's also food safe. Many clay bodies also have iron in them.
(c) you don't need the cover coat.
(d) don't get the inkjet paper. Don't get an inkjet printer. Get a laser printer. Get laser paper.
(e) the color of paper doesn't matter. You're just going to throw it away anyway, as soon as you soak the decal.
(f) it doesn't. Your color laser printer does not have ceramic pigments in it, thus it will not make ceramic decals. Only the black ink has iron oxide in it.
A: Iron isn't always listed exactly. Sometimes its ferric or ferrous or some other word beginning with Fe, which happens to be the symbol for iron on the periodic table of elements.
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