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Japanese Tissue Transfers

Transfers generally fire to a cobalt blue colour, and under coloured transparent glazes they will often appear black/blue black/blue. Some transfers are coloured and generally have the approximate colour as the RAW stage.

 

Always handle transfers with extreme care – do not fold, or expose to moisture or leave in direct sunlight.

Transfers can be applied in a variety of ways:

  • On fresh moist clay, simply place the transfer image-side-down in the correct position on the moist clay & brush the back of the transfer with a moist firm brush and even pressure. Leave for 1-2 minutes, then remove the remaining paper. The clay form can now be stretched and altered, and the image will do the same (breaking up if stretched too far etc) until the form is completed.
  • On leather hard clay or bone dry clay, simply place the transfer image-side-down in the correct position on the firm clay & brush the back of the transfer with a moist firm brush and even pressure. Leave for 1-2 minutes, then remove the remaining paper. Once the image is fully dry, additional underglazes or slips can be applied over the transfer, areas can be treated with sgrafitto etc…..the form is fully dried, bisque fired, glazed with a transparent coloured glaze or clear glaze, then glaze fired to the appropriate temperature.
  • On bisque fired clay, simply place the transfer image-side-down in the correct position on the fired clay & brush the back of the transfer with a moist firm brush and even pressure. Leave for 1-2 minutes, then remove the remaining paper. Additional underglazes can then be applied, and once all decorating processes are dry, a transparent coloured glaze or clear glaze can be applied, and fired to the appropriate temperature.
  • Once firing is also an option. Apply the transfer as per (2) and once fire the clay item to at least 1200-1300 C. This gives superb effects on clays such as terracottas and raku clays which fire to give ‘stone-like effects’. We do not recommend using this method for earthenware temperatures (1100c) as the transfer is still a little powdery/friable at this temp.
  • Maiolica is possible with transfers if you apply an eartheware brush-on glaze to your bisque ware, allow it to dry, then apply the tissue transfer as per (3) on top of the raw glaze, then fire the form to earthenware glaze temperature (1100 C approx)

Tissue transfers used under a clear/transparent coloured glaze can provide interesting layered effects when seen through the additional application of commercial decal images

Tissue transfers are created by printing with a water soluble medium combined with a colourant (oxide, underglaze etc)

Tissue transfers will apply best to smooth surfaces (not groggy, sponged surfaces)

DO NOT LEAVE THE TISSUE PAPER ON THE CLAY SURFACE AND TRY TO BURN IT OUT AS IT WILL LEAVE A PAPERY RESIDUE WHICH IS NOT DESIRABLE.

Simply cut the transfer with scissors

REMEMBER: Transfers will only fit a curve in one direction, they will not easily fit a bellied or domed form. These sorts of forms are best tackled with multiple small pieces of tissue (like a mosaic approach).

Transfers do stretch slightly when wet, but will pull apart if stretched too far.