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How do you fire decals?

You can fire ceramic or glass decals in any kiln that can reach 1450 degrees F / 787 degrees C. Decals are an excellent beginner’s project, because you can achieve success with your first firing.

You can fire decals onto glazed ceramic cups, tiles, light switches, photo frames, and much more. See your local ceramic supplier for blank ceramic ware and the decals to fire on them.

Don’t worry if you ruin the first few decals. Applying them takes practice. Before starting, clean the ceramic or glass piece with water.

1) Cut out the decal and soak in lukewarm water until you can slide the image from the paper backing onto the ware. Slide the image off the backing rather than attempting to lift the image off.

2) Position the decal on the ceramic or glass piece. The side of the decal that was up on the paper is the same side that goes up on the ceramic or glass.

3) Use a damp sponge or rubber squeegee to squeeze out air bubbles and water from the decal. For flat surfaces, use a rubber squeegee; for curved surfaces, use a damp sponge.

4) Dry the ceramic or glass piece overnight before firing.

5) Fire a glazed ceramic blank on a stilt placed on top of a fireclay shelf. Glazed pieces must not touch each other. Fire glass directly on a fireclay shelf. The shelf must be coated with kiln wash or glass separator.

6) Fire in a well ventilated area. Keep the top vent plug out during the first hour or until the smoke and odor disappear.

7) Fire at a rate of 500 degrees F / 275 degrees C to the recommended temperature for the decal you purchased. Most decals fire to cone 015 - 018. Use the Orton cone chart to convert the cone number to a temperature.

8) After the kiln shuts off, leave the door closed until the kiln cools down to room temperature.

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