are your decals food safe?

Most of our decals are lead free and cadmium free.  However, digital decals are printed with toners that contain small amounts of lead.  Click here to read more about safety and your products.

Can I use your decals with low temperature glass firing (i.e. not fusing or slumping)?

Digital decals: Yes, you can use our decals with glass with some limitations. You can use black decals with good results at 1050F. To get a color image, our colors require of firing temperature of 1465F to mature so you will have to slump the glass. We do not print the color white but we offer a full coverage white glass decal that can be prefired on glass to provide the opacity required for a regular decal to offer its full color range.

Silkscreen decals: We can print decals that mature at 1050F with a white backing and that can be applied either to the front or the back of the glass.

I get some pinholes and craters on my firing?

The pinholes and craters are usually caused by air or water bubbles which are trapped underneath the decals and 

Why are the decals tinted yellow/orange/green?

Decal printers often use a yellow tint in the covercoat or flux to help ensure proper coverage of the decals.  Don’t fret!  The tint is in the finish coating and will NOT be visible after the decal has fired.

I ordered white decals but they look pink!  Why?

We use a pink dye when printing white color to help us properly align the screen on the white paper.

After firing, the decals have pinholes and blowouts.  What happened?

These holes come from water or air bubbles that have remained underneath the decal and burst through it once they expand in the kiln.  A more careful decoration and drying period before firing should help.  Use a rubber/ silicone tool to chase all the air and water out; a squeegee is best, but a silicone kitchen spatula will also work in a pinch.  

Be sure to wipe your work clean and dry with a lint free cloth before firing.   You also may want to consider letting the decal air dry for several hours.  A close inspection under a light after the drying period should reveal any visible bubbles before putting it in the kiln.  You may be able to pop the bubbles by using a clean, thin needle to pierce the bubbles; subsequently use a piece of paper towel moistened with hot water to gently reapply the decal in that area.  Inspect the decorated ware carefully for any remaining trapped air or water.

To prevent pinholes, we have found it helpful to slow the firing down especially below 500F.

I was very careful, but still got pinholes and blowouts.  What else can I do to prevent them? 

With your next decal application, use warmer water and also gently warm up the ware.  A warmed ware to the touch will help soften the decal. You can soak it in a tub of hot water, place under an incandescent light or even a quick toast in a toaster oven.  A note about heating:  if your ware is too hot to hold then it will be too hot to receive the decal. 

If your ware or clay is very textured or undulating then it will likely be difficult to avoid pinholes and blowouts.

Where can I find a small squeegee?

While we use relatively expensive squeegees imported from Germany, some of our clients speak well of Flexible Rib squeegees made by Mudtools which sell for about $7.   We’d recommend the medium or firm flex.

The decal wiped right off after firing?  What happened?          

This can sometimes happen if you neglect to remove the white paper backing or wax paper on top before applying and firing.  This can also happen if you accidentally apply the decal upside down.