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  • Arthur Petch

A Quick DIY Image Transfer

The first step in making a totally DIY decal is to make “waterslide paper” using CMC gum. An image put on this can be immediately transferred onto leather hard clay and, if desired, something else can be put on top of it before the first firing.


Whatever is placed on top of the CMC gum can be transferred to a clay or ceramic surface. This is most easily done by making a decal which requires the application of a lacquer-like lamination layer that adheres to the image placed on the CMC gum.


However, the lamination (lacquer-like) layer must be burned off by a firing of the clay before anything can be put on top of the image. Anything like glaze, underglaze colours or another image because the lamination acts as a resist.


If, for example, you want to transfer the image, let it fully dry, and then add a coat of clear glaze before firing this can be done if a lamination layer is not applied.

This is done by letting the waterslide paper fully dry, so that the image is firmly attached to the CMC gum layer. Then, without wetting the image in any way, the paper side of the waterslide paper can be dampened with a sponge or misting device so that the paper is fully damp but not dripping wet. The image side of the paper can then be applied to leather hard clay or slightly dampened bisque-fired clay so that the moisture in the waterslide paper can be absorbed by the clay and thereby transfer the image and much of the CMC gum to the clay. When the image is fully transferred and the paper is mostly dry the paper can be peeled off the surface leaving the image on the clay. Anything like glaze or underglaze or stain can then be applied on top of the image AS LONG AS MOISTURE IS NOT APPLIED TO THE IMAGE SO THAT IT IS DISTURBED IN ANY WAY.


Note that this method reverses the image (mirror-like).

The CMC gum will disappear and not act like a resist in any way.

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