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Underglaze tissue printing for ceramic artists, a collaborative project to re-appraise 19th century printing skills

Hoskins, Stephen; Huson, David


David Huson
Associate Professor of Ceramics, 3D Technologies and Digital Fabrication


Somnuk Sirisoonthorn

Sirithan Jiemsirilers

Siriphan Nilpairach

Thanakorn Wasanapianpong

Pornnapa Sujaridworakun

Nutthita Chuankrerkkul


Under-glaze tissue ceramic transfer printing first developed circa 1850 and involved engraved or etched copper plates, from which tissue was printed with cobalt blue oxides. Under-glaze tissue has a very distinctive, subtle quality – it is an integral part of both English ceramic history and the history of copperplate engraving.
The process was common in the UK ceramics industry until the1980s. However from the 1950s it began to be supplemented, by screen-printing, because it was relatively slow and required skilled artisans to apply the transfers. The authors are collaborating with Burleigh Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, the last remaining company to produce ceramic tableware decorated using the traditional printed under-glaze tissue method. The pottery was recently saved from closure by the Prince Charles Regeneration Trust, who wish to maintain the traditional manufacturing skills for the next 25 years.
The Centre for Fine Print Research in Bristol has been reappraising the use of the traditional 19th Century skills with modern materials and methods for producing engraved plates. This paper seeks to demonstrate how those 19th Century methods can be applied by contemporary ceramic artists, explaining ink manufacture, heating the plate for printing, modern digital methods of making plates and where to obtain the elusive potters tissue.

This conference paper was given at the Advanced Ceramics Session at the International Conference on Traditional and Advanced Ceramics (ICTA2013) 11-13 September 2013, Bangkok, Thailand. Published in the proceedings of the Traditional and Advanced Ceramics in the periodical "Key Engineering Materials"


Hoskins, S., & Huson, D. (2014). Underglaze tissue printing for ceramic artists, a collaborative project to re-appraise 19th century printing skills. In S. Sirisoonthorn, S. Jiemsirilers, S. Nilpairach, T. Wasanapianpong, P. Sujaridworakun, & N. Chuankrerkkul (Eds.), Traditional and Advanced Ceramics. , (335-340).

Conference Name International Conference on Traditional and Advanced Ceramics (ICTA 2013)
Conference Location Bangkok, Thailand
Start Date Sep 11, 2013
End Date Sep 13, 2013
Acceptance Date Sep 11, 2013
Online Publication Date Apr 1, 2014
Publication Date Jun 19, 2014
Publisher Trans Tech Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 335-340
Series Title Key Engineering Materials
Series Number 608
Series ISSN 1013-9826
Book Title Traditional and Advanced Ceramics
ISBN 9783038350637
Keywords ceramic art, underglaze printing, traditional crafts
Public URL
Publisher URL

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