Still having lots of discussion regarding methods for printing on clay. When I’m down in  a month I’m going to test some methods, eg laser etching.

In the meantime I am halfway through trying screen printing, and ready to cut out and stick on some decals.

Still working out the best glaze medium, Conor suggested I email Penny for ideas, which I have and I will collect the acetate print tomorrow and burn the screen. I’ll paint the photo emulsion tonight.

I copied some text from the passport in Illustrator, I google translated it so I think I have the text 80% correct. It’s in French. I would like to transfer this to the flasks. I’ve used the Edwardian font which is almost identical to the text on the passport. I saw a great example of text on porcelain when I was researching press moulds for ceramics, the effect is similar to what I’m trying to achieve. The text was laser etched onto plywood.

Michelle Swafford is an MFA student studying ceramics and she describes her method as:

Engraved wooden boards with textile patterns and text are used to yield a raised texture when soft clay is pressed onto them.

press moulds text

Her process:


I begin by creating a file in Adobe Illustrator of the engraving for a wood board or the shape I need to cut from acrylic. For the wood texture boards, the laser cutter engraves the pattern from my file into the board. I then bring it back to my studio and press very thin slabs of soft porcelain clay onto the board. The engraved design is then created in relief on the clay. I then use the clay slabs to build figurative sculptures inside of ceramic molds. The porcelain sculptures are fired in their molds in a ceramics kiln to about 2232 degrees F. The thin porcelain is translucent when fired, so the texture/pattern from the laser cut board is strongly visible when the sculpture is illuminated. I also use the laser cutter to create custom clear acrylic wall mounting plates for the finished sculptures. The plates fit over a screw head, and are designed to accept a 5/8” acrylic rod, which holds the sculpture off from the wall. The plates and rods must be clear so as not to interfere with the translucency of the porcelain material.’

I wonder what material her moulds are that she can fire her work in their moulds? It sounds like they are ceramic – as she said they are ceramic moulds? Possibly a strong clay that the porcelain is fired inside but it doesn’t fuse to?

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