Everything About Ceramic Decals
Decal Seminar and Class Ideas
                                    This is for Decal Lovers!

On the Left, I have the best seminar you ever attended, packaged and ready to go. If you can get 14 other people to attend, I guarantee a good time for all and that your creativity will be boosted to the next level.

On the Right, I have Teacher's Guides for several Beginner's Classes. Decals are fun for all ages and levels of experience. But more than this, they are a satisfying artistic outlet for those were not gifted with the ability to use a brush or a pencil with precision.

Said another way: If you have an Artist's eye, but not an Artist's hand, decals are a legitimate creative solution.


Title: “Everything About Decals”

Time Required: 3 to 3½ hours
(+1½ hour set-up and 1 hour tear down)
Minimum Students Required: 15
       Maximum: Whatever you can accommodate. A six foot table can hold
6 students. An eight foot table can hold  
                 eight students.

Seminar Fees:
$45, all materials included in seminar fee

Classroom Requirements:
       - Tables & Chairs for students          
       - Access to hot water

       - 1 Demonstration Table for me
- 1 Table for Books
       - Access to electrical outlet 
     (heavy-duty extension cords OK)    

Format A (for beginning students):
A Technique Seminar, only there will be many, many samples, overheads, and hand-outs ( plus 3 “make & takes” ).
Decal Party is to follow (attendance optional).

Format B (for studios, potters, or advanced students):
A "Concept" Seminar, meaning firing fundamentals and tips will be included as well as business insights. Plus, there will be many, many samples, overheads, hand-outs, and 3 “make & takes”.
Decal Party is to follow (attendance optional).

When to Schedule: Mornings starting at 9 or 10 am, or, afternoons starting at 12 or 1 pm (no Sundays); evenings are problematic but possible (call to discuss). Saturdays and Mondays are premium days and need to be booked well (6 to 8 months) in advance. Other weekdays are much easier to book.
Commissions for Host of Seminar (YOU):
Call me for more information

+ This Seminar are unlike any other 
    seminar in the industry

    More information - More Samples - 

+ All levels of experience will benefit
+ Jon is Fun and Knowledgeable
+ A selection of Decals will be available
   to purchase at the Decal Party 

+ The 25 minute segment on Firing (in 
   Format B Seminar) is worth the cost of 
   the seminar alone.

I do not recommend direct mailings. These typically have a low response rate. If you do have a existing news- letter that performs well, include a mention or paragraph for 2 months preceding would probably be a good idea.
Good things to try :   
- Put a Brochure in with each purchase 
  (aka. Order Inserts)

- The brochures about the seminars are 
  available to you at no charge. (Be Kind.)

- Put notice on Seminar Board or on an 

- Post enclosed color poster on front  
  door or on check-out counter.

Note: It's OK to sign people the day of the Seminar(I always carry extra supplies.)

I don't have to tell some of you that getting commitments for seminars in general can be like pulling teeth.
- People wait until the week of the 
  seminar before they sign up.

- Seminars scheduled too close to a 
  Ceramic Show are a bad idea.

- No Shows and "I Forgot's" can make 
  you crazy.

- Pre-paid reservations are the most 

I recommend guerrilla tactics...
> “Satisfaction or your money back !”
> 50% off decals for seminars attendees
> Limited seating
> Invitation Only
> Free Gift for first 10  pre-paid

> Free box of slip for pre-paid 
   reservations...  etc.

> Free Piece of Bisque for pre-paid 

> Call to remind attendees the day 
   before the seminar (This is a biggie!)

Further Considerations regarding
Decal Parties:

Decal Parties are selling sessions
that take about 2 to 3 hours.

Schedule only 1 session immediately following the Decal Seminar
Example: Decal Seminar – 10 am to 1pm 
             Decal Party – 1 pm to 4 pm


Below is a Teacher's Guide insert from the right hand side column, not a picture of what will be done in the Decal Seminar.



“Allover” Vase / Box

> 30 minutes to 1 hour

> $20 per person, all materials provided (except the vase / box)

• Needed: Vase or Box. They may make these themselves in the studio, or purchase them from the studio already glazed and fired.
• Cover the outside of the piece with decals
- Do not overlap decals, just position closely together
- Using the same design in different sizes is recommended
- If the vase is too curved so that it is difficult to get the decals on, just use “extra warm” water to soak the decal in. This makes the decal more pliable and easy to stretch. In even more difficult cases, warm the piece being decorated.

• Fire the piece (cone 017 for ceramic pieces, cone 016 for porcelain pieces)


(for all Teacher's Guides)

• Remove any wax paper that might be on the decal.
• Trim around decal so it no parts of other decals are next to it. It is not necessary to trim closely to the decal, just around it.
• Place decal into a shallow pan of warm water. If it wants to curl up, let it.
• After about 30 seconds the decal will slide on the paper. Remove it from the water. It is ready to bemounted.
• Position the decal, paper and all, face up on the area to be decorated.
• Holding the decal in place with your finger, slide the backing paper from underneath.
• Adjust the position of the decal and remove water using a rubber squeegee. A paper towel or a sponge maybe used instead of a squeegee, but a good squeegee makes things twice as easy.
• Stroke from the center of the decal towards the outer edges until all the excess water has been removed.  
  Start lightly at first, then go a little heavier as the decal becomes more firmly mounted.
• No wrinkles or bubbles should be allowed to remain (if not removed, white spots will appear in firing)

• Let dry for 12 to 24 hours before firing.


All classes should have the following list of supplies available:

• Decal Squeegees
• Scissors
• Kleenex
• Inexpensive water trays (aluminum or plastic)(Not the same trays that are used for rinsing brushes. These have a trace residue of color particles that will scum-up your projects.)

• Close-out/inexpensive decals

• [Single edge razor blades or 25¢ razor knifes can be very handy][Of course, not for children.]

These are introductory/fun projects. They are designed to challenge without being intimidating. Don’t worry about using inexpensive decals. When a person finds out how much fun decals are, and, how completely beautiful the finished project is, then they will inquire about better decals, especially the ones you have made display pieces with (hint, hint).


  A Mosaic that doesn’t
need to be grouted

> 30 minutes to 1 hour

> $20 per person, all materials provided (except the tile)

• Have person bring in 9 - 4x4 tiles
  (Gloss White is best)
• They are to cut decals into interlocking mosaic shapes
- Diamonds, squares, rectangles, triangles, and circles are easiest.
- Tip: Use sets 4 or 6 of the same identical design and cut them in the same identical place. This creates a kaleidoscope effect.

• Starting from the center, build the mosaic outwards to the edges
- Do not overlap decals, just butt them together (over-lapped decals will blister)
• Fire tiles (recommend cone 016; lean tile upright against inside wall of kiln)
• Suggest that they put cork on the back of the tile to use as a table center-piece which can also be separated for use as hot plates or coasters.


Layered Mugs

> 30 minutes to 1 hour / 2 visits

> $20 per person, all materials provided (except the mugs)

• Needed: 2 or 4 mugs. They may make these themselves in the studio, or purchase them from thestudio already glazed and fired.
• Cover the outside of the mug with decals          
- Do not pack the designs closely together. Instead, leave about a 1” gap around each design. This will allow for “filling in” on the second visit.
- Leave about a ¾” empty space from the top lip of the mug all the way around as a place where one may put their lips when they drink.
• Fire mugs (cone 017 for ceramic mugs, cone 016 for porcelain mugs)

• On second visit have them fill in the voids, overlapping the already fired designs according to taste, 
   while still maintaining the ¾” empty space around the top lip of the mug.
• Fire mugs again (cone 017 for ceramic mugs, cone 016 for porcelain mugs)


Decal Balloons

> 30 minutes

> $20 per person, all materials provided (except the piece to be decorated)

• Needed: A piece to decorate. They may make these themselves in the studio, or purchase them from the studio already glazed and fired.
• They are to draw “balloons” on the backside of their decals
• Cut out the balloons and mount them on the piece

- Be careful not to rip off the ends of the balloons by squeegeeing too hard. Repetitive light squeegeeing accomplishes just as much as fewer strokes with a heavy hand. As always, squeegee from the center out.


Gingerbread Man

> 30 minutes to 1 hour

> $20 per person, all materials provided

  Additional materials: 1 – 6x6 tile; 8½ x 11 sheet of clear acetate (used to make transparencies); felt tip marker; pencil or pen

• Have person draw a gingerbread man outline onto the acetate.
- It must be no larger than 6” square, so that it will fit on the tile
• Cut out the gingerbread man and draw a few straight lines across him, as if to make a simple jigsaw puzzle.
• Cut up the gingerbread man along the “puzzle” lies
• Now you have “templates” you can use to draw on your decals to make gingerbread man puzzle pieces out of your decals.
- You can trace around the templates with the marker, or, using a pencil, turn the decal over and trace on the backside (the paper side) of the decal. The marker won’t hurt the front of decal and should fire away. An indelible marker (i.e. a Sharpie) works best. The only reason one might prefer to go the pencil route is that fingers can get messy when trying to trace  
around the templates with a marker.
• Reassemble the gingerbread man with the decal pieces and mount them on the tile.
• Fire the tile (recommend cone 016; lean tile upright against inside wall of kiln)

• Tile may be felt or cork backed, framed, or put in an easel.

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