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    Janson Pottery

    Decorating the ceramic surface with rice paper transfers

    One of the beautiful things about working in clay is myriad of ways that you can decorate a surface. Rice paper transfers are one way to do that. It is a very thin, lightweight material, which allows for smooth and even image transfer onto flat or curved surfaces. When placed oxide-side down onto clay (bisque or green ware) and the back of the paper is moistened with water, the image will transfer onto the clay.They work very similar to fake tattoos. They should be treated as underglazes, so once the decal has been transferred, it can be covered with a clear or transparent glaze. While these fire to a broad range of temperatures, we recommend testing them with your own glazes and firing parameters. 


    When applying them to the surface of your piece, cut your decal to the size that you would like for the application, line it up on the area and with a slightly wet brush stroke the decal from the centre to the end of your decal. Keep an eye on the drying process as you don’t want it to dry completely. I have found that if I go over it a second time with the brush, I get a better application. 

    When the decal is starting to look slightly dry, begin pulling back the decal paper to see if it has adhered to the surface of your piece. If it isn’t to your liking, you can go over it again with a slightly wet brush. 

    Once the decal has been applied, if you try to clean it up, it will smear even after it has been bisque fired.