Functional Handmade Pottery and ceramic jewelry

Process

Vintage Ceramic Decals

My work is mostly made with a combination of throwing and handbuilding techniques using an iron rich dark brown clay. I fire to cone six (mid range), and make my own glazes.


 In the last couple of years, I've begun using vintage ceramic decals over my cone six glazes. I also have decals made for me from medieval woodcuts, 16th-18th century illustrations, and scientific diagrams, those ones are printed in black. 


The name "Ceramic Decals" is a bit of a misnomer as they are not stickers, but transfers, printed with china paint. They are fired on in a third firing and are permanently adhered to the surface.  

Once a hugely popular hobby, now outdated and out of favor, these "decals" range from charming to downright hideous. They elicit a nostalgia which is comforting on one hand and jarring on the other. Printed in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, many depict saccharine images of previous times, and ceramic decorating styles  which makes using them a sort of hall of mirrors. To me they reference women's work and women's leisure, (relatively) recent history of ceramics and decoration, midcentury popular culture, ideas about domesticity, and many other juicy topics. Creating compositions by clipping and collaging, I happily recycle these kitsch elements to create something new by applying them to my handmade pieces.