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1. Bone China
Bone china is a combination of typical ceramics clays and calcinated bone, the resulting ware being immensely strong but also translucent in fired form. Not to be confused with porcelain, which is derived through a much different mix of clays.
An all embracing phrase misused to mean pottery and china. The definition of ceramics is widely accepted to describe pottery and china in all its forms plus industrial ceramics, bricks and tiles, clay pipe, refractory brick, ferrites and alumina in computers and electronics. Some materials in nuclear and laser technologies also fall into the category of ceramics.
Any of a large class of materials with highly variable mechanical and optical properties that solidify from the molten state without crystallisation, are typically made by silicates fusing with boric oxide, aluminium oxide, or phosphorus pentoxide, are generally hard, brittle, and transparent or translucent, and are considered to be super cooled liquids rather than true solids.
Plastic is the general term for a wide range of synthetic or semi synthetic polymerization products. They are composed of organic condensation or addition polymers and may contain other substances to improve performance or reduce costs. There are many natural polymers generally considered to be "plastics". Plastics can be formed into objects or films or fibers. Their name is derived from the malleability, or plasticity, of many of them.
The image, pattern or text to be applied to the surface of the ware. The Keramikos processes apply the decoration by either direct or transfer printing. The decoration is supplied as artwork or created by our art studio to a working brief.
6. Direct Print
By using individually separated screens, the image is applied direct to the moving body of the ware by silk screen printing. The process requires careful screen control, correct print material held in medium and accurate machine setting.
Basically composed of clay, often blended clays, and baked hard, the degree of hardness depending on the intensity of heat. An earthenware vessel is porous and a glaze is applied to render the ware waterproof. If earthenware is fired at a very high temperature the properties of some of the constituents change and the vessel becomes non-porous (vitrification takes place and the ware is sometimes described as stoneware).
Transparent artwork to allow contact exposure of a light sensitive screen material. In separations the films must register perfectly and the grade of film is important. Films produced using printers with high heat elements (e.g. laser printers) can vary in stretch and distortion of images takes place. Films produced in different machines, or even at different times, can result in poor registration and image output.
A smooth glassy coat applied to add colour and decoration plus a hard non-porous surface. Glazes are made from a combination of materials, principally powdered glass and coloured oxides. The methods of applying the glaze vary, but in firing, the glass softens and flows over the surface of the underlying material to make a strong, permanent bond.
Patterns of dots and dot sizes and shapes, the resulting patterns for which can give lights and shades of an original image. Black and white photographs can be printed by half tones.
11. Pre-production Proof
A single printed piece of ware, produced in exactly the form proposed for bulk production. The proof is submitted for approval to ensure correct interpretation of instructions for ware shape and glaze, print instructions, artwork and colours
A random chosen printed piece of ware as a representative sample of a print or ware shape.
A tightly stretched frame mounted fabric coated with a light sensitive emulsion. Through exposure an image yields a negative impression through which the print substance can move to create the print. A separate screen is required for each colour separation.
Breaking a multicoloured image into its print colours. Each resulting separation is output on a piece of film or paper so that when realigned through its registration marks will recreate the full image. For screen printing separation for Keramikos processes, the colours may touch each other but no overlaps (sometimes referred to as traps, chokes or spreads) may be allowed. The exception to the rule is possibly black key lines.
15. Transfer Print
The printing of the separation colours onto paper and finally cover coated. The resulting print adheres to the cover coat which can be separated from the paper after immersion in water. The transfer can then be water slid into place and left to dry. In firing, the cover coat burns away at a lower temperature than the final colour firing temperature leaving the required print in place.
16. Digital Printing
Using technology similar to an office laser printer, an image is printed direct to a specially coated paper in process colour. This is then cover coated, becoming a water slide transfer which is applied to the mug. There are no screen costs, just an origination charge when the design is finalised. You can have one print or hundreds. As with full colour printing, there are limitations on the strength of reds and pinks but with pastel and citrus shades the results are excellent.
17. Dye Sublimation
Dye Sublimation has been used in printing for some time but has only recently become available for ceramic decoration. Special inks are printed onto the surface of a coated paper, but not as a permanent print. The paper releases the print when heat is applied, when in contact with the prepared surface of a beaker.
The Dye Sublimation process uses organic dyes allowing a stunning combination of colours. It is a more versatile finish than fired enamel colours, as it does not have to withstand a kiln firing. However, some loss of vividness can arise if exposed to too much bright light and heat and the protective film can lose its lustre if washed frequently in a harsh dishwasher cycles. Nevertheless, it is bold and with the right artwork opens up brilliant reproduction possibilities straight from computer screen.