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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Back to Mosaics and Organization


English Transferware
I had my clever handyman make more shelves for my tiles. And then I was extremely lucky to stop by a thrift store and find three boxes of canning jars. One box had never been opened! What a score! I've filled up many of the jars today with Opio tiles and will take another picture tomorrow.

And I have some new mosaics in the works. Above is a piece made entirely with English transferware.Or will be when it's finished. Can't decide whether to put a mirror in the middle. I hadn't heard the term until someone at the thrift store mentioned that the plates I was buying were transferware. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about transferware:

Transferware is a style of ceramics including pottery, dinnerware, and other delicate items. It uses transfer printing, a decorative technique which was developed in England in the mid-18th century, particularly around the Stafforshire region.

The process starts with an engraved copper plate similar to those used for making paper engravings. The plate is used to print the pattern on tissue paper, then the tissue paper transfers the wet ink to the ceramic surface. The ceramic is then fired in a low temperature kiln to fix the pattern. This can be done over or under the glaze, but the underprinting method is more durable. The process produces fine lines similar to the engraved prints in old books. Before transfer printing ceramics were hand painted, a laborious and costly process.

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