After umpteen experiments into producing Delft tiles I have, for now, decided that the most genuine and charming technique is to paint directly onto tiles using cobalt on-glaze and firing them. It has some issues I need to iron out if I can. But for Delftware, transfer decals just don't seem right somehow. That said, transfers continue to wield quite an appeal for me (just not for Delft).
Previous experiments with decals seemed to indicate that a lot depended upon the chemistry, the reaction of firing the transfers onto particular glazed tile surfaces.
So I gathered together 6 different types of tile, sent them to transfer decal manufacturers Digital Ceramic in Stoke-on-Trent and asked them to fire the one particular design onto them to conpare how they each behaved. Here are the results...
All the tiles together; quite a mixed bag!
Delft tile, Authentic (below). The tile I use for painting Delft. But here the transfer has come out quite dark and dull. UNSURE/ REJECTED!
Delft tile, Antique (below). Quite a nice tile this, and a good vibrant colour. Bizarrely, firing the decal has melted the tile surface's crackles away. ACCEPTABLE!
Delft tile, Ivory (below). Also quite a successful result. Transfer a little dull but not much, and the tile's crazed surface remains. ACCEPTABLE!
Fired Earth, Architecture (below). A larger tile I was considering using for a project I am involved in with Tinsmiths gallery in Ledbury (more of that later). A good bright colour, a good clear surface. ACCEPTABLE!
Fired Earth, English Delft (below). A rustic and chunky tile, quite thick and irregular. This has fired very well. One of the two or three tiles I am considering using for a tile suite I will create for the Artists of Spitalfields Life exhibition at Ben Pentreath's in November. One of my favourites. ACCEPTABLE!
Fired Earth, Soho Garden (below). A lovely solid crackled tile, one I'd pinned a lot of hopes on. But the decal firing was, as you can see, an unmitigated disaster - blurred, dull and uneven. Very firmly REJECTED (alas, alack)!
Which do you prefer?