Photographic imagery on clay is familiar to most people through the decal process. Think of Elvis on a plate or Dad’s face on a mug, and you’ll get an idea how the commercial world uses decals for kischt and collectibles.
Potters and ceramic artists have pushed the process in a more creative way, incorporating photographic elements into clay as decorative imagery or post-modern reference.
But making decals is labor-intensive process that involves nasty chemicals and a working knowledge of photoshop and screen-printing.
There are also certain limitations–the need for a smooth surface to place the decal, for example–that make it unsuitable for many on aesthetic grounds alone.
by Keith Holmes 2001
There is a second option, however, for those who want to integrate photographic imagery into their ceramic work.
Photographs, at their most basic, are pieces of paper covered with a light-sensitive emulsion. This emulsion can be bought separately and used to coat ceramic tiles or pots (and other materials, for that matter). There are three varieties available–I use Silver Print (by the Luminous Company). Once coated and dried, the tile is sensitized to light and can be printed upon like any standard photographic paper.
Blogged with Flock