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ceramic surface decoration
Go ahead and browse this list of merchants, websites, and resources. Enjoy!

Rice Paper Transfers and Decals clay rice paper transfer

ChinaClayArt, also known as Sanbao Studio — Great News! ChinaClayArt has given us a coupon code for free shipping, exclusively for our readers. That’s a $10 savings! Code is in the last line of the next paragraph.

Pottery decals, slip transfers, lovely handmade brushes, gorgeous contemporary pottery. A kind of bare-bones website which could be better with more info, like shipping rates. But their rice paper slip transfer decals are really nice. The patterns are beautiful, the transfer work well and are easy to use if you follow directions. Most are available in red, blue, or black. These folk are happy to respond to questions via their email form. I’ve had great luck with the transfers—and I have fired them all the way to cone 10. Only problem I’ve encountered is with the black colored transfers. They can powder off if you touch them, even after bisque firing. They’ll produce sheets of your custom-created designs, too. Price point is $1.00 per sheet with a 100 sheet minimum. Use coupon code freeshiphbm at checkout for free shipping.

ceramics decalInstar Decals AKA Trinity Decals — Water slide decals in vivid color. Recommended firing temps 1319-1465 Degrees F, though the company says those are not absolute, and they recommend testing your clay body and their decals to get reliable parameters. I have fired at cone 6 with lovely results. Trinity sells decals in various sizes and prices. Collections of images from religious themes to borders and alphabets, animals, flowers, people. They have hundreds of stock images and will also do custom work. Contact them for a quote. These are a piece of cake to apply and almost mistake proof. They ship via Priority Mail from Lake Placid, FL.

Hot Resources—Make Money with Ceramics and Clay Work

Zapp art show connection—online application to several art shows through a central portal.  Upload digital images of your artwork directly to one site for multiple jury review. Your images will be consistent and high-quality, and juries can score online. Very popular site with reports of great results.

EntryThingie—another centralized art portal with differences. For artists, they list Hi there and thanks for stopping by! EntryThingy lives on each organization’s web site – and that’s where you submit your entry. Here, you’ll find:

Current calls with maps
Create a website for your art
Artwork management and review your entries
Video tutorials
Art of the Call podcasts – Watch artists, curators and directors talk about the call for entry process.

Juried Art Servicesanother place to set up a portfolio and make a central location for entrance into juried shows.

Illinois Art Show Directorysince HandBuilders Monthly is based in Illinois, we posted this fairly local resource.

Do It Yourself Clay Surface Supplies

BelDecal InkJet Decal Papers — Make your own DIY water slide, non-firable decals for ceramics. All you need is BelDecal paper and an inkjet printer. About as creative as you can get. Apply these decals on smooth, glazed surfaces after all firing is finished. They will not be food safe or heat proof. For decoration purposes. You can also get BelDecal for laser printers and photo copiers. Same rules: non-firing, not heat-proof.

Amazon online — for underglaze pencils and markers. I use the black Amaco underglaze decorating pencil all the time. They’re great to outline, write words, and sign your pots. I dip the point in water before applying to bisqueware. The pencils come in colors and are shipped pretty carefully so breakage is a tolerable risk. A word about underglaze markers: I dislike them. They’re hard to get flowing. They dry out easily. They tend to blob onto the clay surface. I bet there are potters who love them, but I’m not on that list.

Free Vector Patterns—line art and simple line drawings adaptable to any surface. These are license-free avector art for claynd cost-free. Use them as they are or alter them to suit your taste and needs. All are downloadable and good quality. The site is CraftsManSpace.com. They could have chosen a better pronoun, but the site is a wealth of resources.


Bailey Quick Trim. If you trim your handbuilt pots on a wheel, and many of us do, or you throw pieces of a large work, here’s a cool tool. This gadget claims to center your clay quickly, easily, and no-fail. Seems like it might be a good idea for large portions of clay or for people with hand strength issues.


  1. Claymaven says:

    I love China Clay Art! It is one of my favorite websites for tools! Thank you for going to bat for us and obtaining this coupon!!!

  2. MaryLou Mateja says:

    Im excited to use it. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try! Thanks Maryan and Dan and China Clay Art!

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