Elan Underglaze Transfer and Overglaze Decal Application Instructions

Click here to download Transfer and Decal Application Instructions or view below:

We hope you enjoy using our transfers and decals on your pottery. Please check out our Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube for helpful videos and inspiration. We also have a Facebook group called “Pottery Decals” with a great community of potters using decals in creative ways and we are always happy to help! 

Underglaze Transfer Application Instructions 

Applying Transfers to a Flat Surface (Greenware or Bisque) 

Our underglaze transfers are made from lead free / food safe underglaze that has been screened onto rice paper making them great for use on ceramic greenware or bisqueware. They can be fired to any temperature up to cone 10 although the lighter colors like pinks work better when fired to cone 6 and under. For best results use a zinc free clear or translucent glaze on top. If you prefer an unglazed surface the transfers mature and are food safe when fired to cone 6 or higher and will not require a glaze on top. 

Materials Needed 

•Elan Transfer Sheet
•Wet, leather hard, or bisque surface to apply transfer to •Bowl of water
•Plastic rib tool (I use the yellow Y3 mud tools rib) •Sharp scissors
•Pottery spongez
•Tiny paint brush for touch ups

1. Lay your transfer sheet on the slab and starting in the center use a damp sponge (make sure to wring all excess water out) and slowly press the transfer down on to the clay. 

2. Once the transfer is completely stuck you should notice the color change to a darker shade. At this point you can continue to gently press it with the wrung-out sponge. 

3. Pull up a corner to see if it has transferred fully as you go and depending on how wet the clay is will determine how much pressing you will need to do. Sometimes pressing with your finger or again with the sponge is necessary. The wetter the clay is starting out easier it will be to get the image to transfer, the downside is that wetter clay makes it trickier to apply the transfer without smearing it. 

4. Experiment with the amount of water / sponge pressing you need to do, learning this process will get easier the more you do it and begin to know what to look for when applying. 

5. If your clay is dryer or leather hard you can apply the transfer and then use the yellow rib to press it down again similar to how you would apply a window sticker. Using this method can be tricky on wet clay as you can smear the ink if you press and rub rather than press and dab and ribs don’t really help when applying to bisqueware. 

6. Once your design is transferred you can peel the paper off. As you pull go slowly and if you see
spots that didn’t transfer lay the paper back down and use a damp sponge or your finger to rub the area on to the pot. After all the paper is removed you can clean up the smudged areas and fill in the missing spots using some of the ink still on the sheet and your small paint brush. 

7. For greenware application - Wait until your piece is fully bone dry and bisque to desired temperature. Since the underglaze will not be fully fused to the surface at bisque temperature you need to handle it with care as not to smudge the designs. Additionally, do not wash your bisqueware as you would traditionally do, instead blow it off in a well-ventilated area if necessary. Next apply a zinc free clear glaze on top and fire to desired glaze temperature. 

8. For bisqueware application – It is very important to wait at least 24 hours or longer after applying the designs before you apply your glaze. If all the moisture is not out of the clay when you apply your clear glaze it can peel off. After your piece is fully dry apply a zinc free clear glaze on top and fire to desired glaze temperature.

9. Be sure not to use too thick of a glaze coat as not to cause your decals to run. Please see our glazing tutorial on our website for more detailed info as well.

Overglaze Decal Application Instructions

Our full color water slide overglaze decals are food safe and lead free. They should be applied after your ceramic piece has been glaze fired and work best over a white or light-colored glaze as they are semitransparent. 

Materials Needed 

•Elan Overglaze Decal Sheet
•Glazed ceramic piece to apply decal to
•Bowl of warm water
•Plastic rib tool (I use the yellow Y3 mud tools rib) or a roller also works •Sharp scissors
•Rubbing alcohol
•Lint free cloth

1. Begin with using your lint free cloth and clean the area of the piece you are applying decals to with the rubbing alcohol to make sure all the oils from your skin and dust is off the surface. 

2. Remove the white cover paper from on top of your decal sheet (this is there to protect them until you use them) 

3. Cut out the decal you want to use with scissors. We recommend cutting as close to the image as possible because the durable flux top coat will leave a slight line where you cut the decal out.

4. Place the decal in a bowl of warm water and wait about 30 seconds or until you are able to gently slide the decal from the paper backing. 

5. Slide the decal off the paper backing onto your ceramic piece making sure you leave the decal face up. 

6. Hold your decal in place and starting in the center use your rib or roller to press the decal onto the ceramic piece like you would a sticker on a car window. You want to be sure to start in the center and fan outwards to get all the bubbles out. Try to fan from the inside out over the edge so you don’t accidently pick up or rip the decal. 

7. Carefully dry your decal with a new lint free cloth, again working from the center and working out. Allow the decal to dry overnight or at minimum until no moisture is left (about 6 hours). 

8. If you have a programable electric kiln, fire your decal piece using this firing schedule:
•350°F / HR until 788°F hold for 0 min
•400°F / HR until 1616°F hold for 15 min
•Shut off kiln and let cool 

If you are using a manual or kiln sitter kiln please fire to cone 012 and use a slow increase until the kiln reaches 500 degrees F.

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