Make Your Own Underglaze Transfers

Make Your Own Underglaze Transfers

Are you tired of buying underglaze transfers for your pottery projects and want to create unique and personalized pieces? Or maybe you are interested in starting your own underglaze transfer business? Making your own underglaze transfers is a fun and easy way to add your personal touch to your ceramic creations. In this blog post, I will guide you through the process of making underglaze transfers for pottery.

Step 1: Gather Materials To make underglaze transfers, you will need

  • underglaze
  • rice paper (I purchased mine from Amazon)
  • (Optional) Silkscreens (I have blogs with several different ways to make silkscreens )

Step 2: Choose a design from my website under “Artistic Resources”.

Step 3:

  • Print out the design from my website on a piece of rice paper.
  • If you ARE using silkscreens then this is where you would make one. 

Step 4:

Rice Paper Print: once you have your design printed you can now use a slip trailer or paint brush to paint your underglaze directly onto the rice paper. There is a delicate balance for this which will require practice. Too little and it won’t transfer, to much and it also won’t transfer. 

Silkscreen: use your silkscreen directly on the rice paper, thicken your underglaze with silkscreen medium OR just let it dry out to the consistency of peanut butter. Push the underglaze through the screen with your finger. You can use the silkscreen multiple times, but it will clog after so many uses and need to be rinsed off and dried with paper towel before reuse. 

Step 5: Transfer your design to clay.  Cut your design out and place it on your ceramic piece. It can be leatherhard or bisque but I do recommend starting with bisque first as it’s a bit easier. Using a damp sponge you can now press the back of the rice paper onto the clay. Use a rib ( I prefer the red one from mudtools) you can run over the rice paper a few times to help with the transfer. 


A few tips:

  • don’t make your sponge too wet, it will cause the design to bleed
  • Peel away the rice paper slowly so you can go back and press any areas that you missed 
  • it takes some practice to get this right
  • underglaze transfers generally won’t transfer perfectly but you can touch them up if spots are missed 
  • you may find a type of paper that works better than rice paper, this is just my method

By following these simple steps, you can create your own unique and personalized pottery pieces with underglaze transfers. Experiment with different designs and colors to create pottery that reflects your personal style and creativity.

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