Monday, July 23, 2012

Tile Trials - the first batch (fired)

Tile Trials - the first batch (fired)

Here are the first batch of transfer delftware tiles after firing. The images have become completely fused to the surface glaze of the tiles. Scrubbing, scratching, soap and water, fire and ash will not move them (pretty much). All good news.

But for me, the colours are way too dark, alas. I was warned that ceramic transfer decals could appear duller than the original artwork and they weren't wrong. In full sunlight they're not bad, but I really want something closer to the bright cobalt blue one sees on original dutch Delft tiles, if possible.

The images above are all of transfer decals fired onto authentic Dutch delft tiles, which is a white marl-rich clay with a variety of blue-white tone glazes and crackled surface. That below is the same batch of transfer decals fired onto traditional English delft tiles (thicker terracotta with negligable surface crackling) from Fired Earth.


Scott Garrett said...

Great Stuff Paul!.. the world of clay has opened up. I really think you should go the full distance and go the cobalt route. Make these suckers from scratch. Have you moved yet?.. when you do get yourself a little kiln, go and see Andrew and Joanna at
I'm sure they'd offer advice. Very near to Cromer and a separate shop in Holt.

Clive Hicks-Jenkins said...

The English tiles look a little more vibrant a blue, but that's probably just an effect of the light.

With the respect to the above commenter, I can see why you're drawn to the possibilities of the decal. Clearly far more people could afford and enjoy your tiles if they're produced by these means, than could if they were all painted by hand. I can also see that the tiles could be a way of generating income while leaving you time to still work as an illustrator and painter.

You could of course experiment with colour notched up a bit in the original transfer imagery, so that the blue will be a tad brighter when fired. I guess you could even do that on the computer without having to redraw the motifs. It's my experience that as a general rule, mechanical processing dulls colour. When we had the final proofs of my monograph, we found we had to significantly ratchet up the saturation and brightness to get the images close to the originals. Startlingly so really. But the results were then very close to the paintings.

Paul Bommer said...

Thank you both so much.

Hey Scott, no, not moved yet, aiming for the end of August. Little kiln is definitely on the list. I know the shop in Holt and once we're North-folk I shall be bending the ears of anyone with an ounce of ceramic knowledge.

Thanks Clive. Yes, transfers are very appealing (to me at least) and will always be part of the game-plan in some form or other. I adore Sunderland lustreware with transfers, Sailor's Returns, Speed the ploughs, Prepare to Meet Thy God, all that stuff.

My second batch were with the colours notched up a tad,but just came out paler instead. But I have spoken to two transfer manufacturers in Stoke and they are looking into how best (or better) to get the result I am after. More results back this week.

Its a shame about mechanical processes dulling - with a baked tile that is forgiveable but with your work, something of an outrage and a shame.

I really appreciate both your comments.