Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Answers to questions

Undaunted in the comments has asked: "Is the design produced with decals?" The answer is no, I have developed and refined the use of silkscreens on ceramic. It certainly has been done by others, but I think the specific methods I use work best for me. I teach a class here in Wilmington, NC on how to create silkscreens (very easy process actually), and I have over the year and a half that I have been into ceramics created about 50 screens. I also have learned a great deal about how to make them work with clay and the various tips. I silk screened underglazes onto the leatherhard (sometimes even dryer than that) items. I also have silkscreened onto bisque items, but find doing it earlier, before the bisque firing, makes it easier to correct
smudges, etc.

If you look at the slideshow in this blog entry, you will see numerous items where I have used the silkscreens. My musicsheet silkscreens have produced items that have been very popular and I have sold all that I have made. I did a huge sale in December on my silkscreened Christmas ornaments too and can produce the images in any color of the many available in underglazes. The Peek a Boo kitty ornament used a silkscreen also. I used the same silkscreen on the two vases in this slideshow which sold quickly at that sale. I actually began experimenting with silkscreen on clay in 2007 and you can see some of my early silkscreened items, pendants, etc. here. That should answer your questions. The silkscreens I make are from two companies PhotoEZ SilkScreen and EZ ScreenPrint They supply the 8 1/2 x 11" sheets already covered with emulsion --then I make transparencies with items I want to silkscreen printed in the blackest ink (opaque) as possible, then I expose the screens to sun for about one minute, then place in a waterbath for about 15 minutes, then scrub out the soft emulsion that did not harden by the sun because it was blocked with the black line images, text, etc. then the screen is ready to use. Each screen might cost about $15.00 counting the making of the transparency and cost of blank screens, but each screen can be used countless times! I made silkscreens for the kittybank project and used them over 50 times. These screens are flexible and don't have to be mounted in a wooden frame. You also can screenprint on newsprint then transfer that to the clay items, to include a thrown cylinder for example, that can then be manipulated into complex shape and the image expands nicely. Bonus is that the screens can be used on card stock, paper and on fabric as well with acrylic paint with textile medium. I love using them and create some unique items using them.
Hope this answers your questions, I will try to get some photos made of the screens and some parts of the process so you can see it.
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