...easiest methods
...most-commonly used techniques, more techniques
...more info on papers...clays + backgrounds...heating ...fixing bare spots... finishes
.......not wasting paper or ink (paper feeding, etc.)
...places to use transfers
Photocopiers, laser (toner-based) + regular paper
....B&W copier ....gen. info.
........variables, tips ...misc.
........translucent clays, "encased" (transfer covered with transl.clay)
......."faux enamel" (metallic background behind transfer)
....... "etching" tech's (ripped, leaving depressed lines)
Laser printers & laser copiers (toner) --b&w (& color)
....Color copies & copier (or laser)
........water as solvent (or alcohol, booze)
"Transfer papers"
....parchment paper
....transparency sheets
....t-shirt transfer papers
..........decals (opaque transfers) (transparent transfers, mostly)
........suppliers & brands
........Lazertran brand (5 diff. types )
....more types of transfer paper --decal & printer (Invent It)... bought tattoos, decals
Transfer liquids
....Non-liquid clay mediums (decals and/or direct)
.......acrylics (Varathane, acrylic gel mediums, etc
..........using vinegar-ed paper)
....... packing tape + photocopy
.......clear embossing powder (melted)...decoupage
....Liquid Clays
......summary of methods for decal + direct transfers with liq.clays, materials, variables
......brands & types of liquid clay for best results & ink-toner release
......basic instructions (decal + direct transers)
..........(summary.....attaching decals...bubbles, brushstrokes
.......... getting the paper off --soaking, not soaking ...more tips)
......papers (& inks)--more on
.........matte, glossy,coated, magazine pgs., transfer papers ...transparencies
......layers + using other media
Magazine pages + other Slick papers (one of EASIEST) ...also blank slick paper
....with liquid clay (to transfer images from magazines, etc.)
... no liquid clay (slick papers alone, used just as release paper for other inks, etc.)
......rubberstamped ink, inkjet ink .....transparency sheets
Pastels, chalks, dust
.....(+ "encased photo transfers")
Colored Pencils (& graphite pencils )
Colored markers & inks
Rubberstamped images
Newspaper images, comics
Even more ways & solvents to transfer inks & toners off
Misc. re transferring
Image sources & clip art
Books, Video tapes
More Websites
(screenprinting & photopolymer texture plates moved to Paints)


TRANSFERS onto Polymer Clay

There many ways to transfer images onto polymer clay... and there are different combinations of materials and techniques that can work.

This page has been written over a number of years, collecting methods that have come out during all of that time.
Some methods listed below are seldom if ever used now because "better" ways have come along, but all have been left here to help anyone trying to use that particular method/equipment/supplies.
.... It's also just too hard for me to redo the whole page--sorry!--but you may want to look at the "easiest" methods or those using liquid clay.

It can be quite confusing to sort out all the methods from each other (and I haven't totally done that below).

Also, for many techniques the variables will also all have to be exact to work!
So in the beginning, making transfers can require trial and error and time .... then, all of a works!
But transfers can be simple once a particular set of variables is found... and some people will also luck into a perfect combination of variables right from the beginning.
...Seth's listing of many of variables that go into making some kinds of transfers:

(Transfers are great fun!)

Images can be transferred from:
...copies made with
copiers or printers... or pre-printed images (like clay-coated magazine pages)... or other mediums (like colored pencil markings, etc)
Transfers may or may not involve using:
... special papers or certain types of regular paper or photo paper, or transfer liquids.
Also, some transfer techniques will involve "direct" transfers to clay (where the image is first transferred to a photocopy or special transfer paper, and then to raw or baked clay)
....and some techniques will lift and trap the image in a flexible "decal" and which can be then applied to clay (or to other materials)

Easiest techniques

Especially IF YOU'RE NEW .to doing transfers, you may want to start with one of the more foolproof methods listed just below
...or just pick one method (depending on the effect you want, materials you can get, etc.) then stick with that method for awhile to work out the kinks.

EASIEST and most foolproof methods include:
.......transfer from a magazine page (see Magazine category below for instructions)
.......transfer onto baking parchment paper (see Transfer Papers > Parchment Paper below)
.......decal-type transfer using t-shirt transfer paper for dark fabrics (see T- Shirt Transfer Paper > Decal below) transfer of a toner-based image using water as the solvent (see Copiers & Lasers > Water as Solvent below)
.......transfer made with different "mediums" (see Non-Liquid Clay Mediums below)

Most Commonly-Used techniques + More techniques

--photocopier (producing b&w images, or color--harder?) or laser printer/copier --both of which use toner (directly onto sheets of clay....usually light-colored clay, but if onto translucent clay, can use the other side so image is not reversed and there is a thin layer of translucent protecting the image)
......(you can make a photocopy of something you’d previously created using your printer in order to use this method)
......(photocopies can also be used with liquid clays, but inkjet prints and special papers are more often used then)
......."etched" transfers (using regular photocopier image, similar to #1...but using both positive & "tear-away", coloring, etc.)
--inkjet printers onto special t-shirt transfer papers or Lazertran papers ...color or b&w images
.....or inkjet printers with special inkjet papers and transfer liquids like liquid clays (...inkjet on plain paper will make a light image if left in contact overnight, or possibly transfer the black areas well if the print is very very fresh, still wet).
.........also without a printer, images created on t-shirt transfer paper by markers, cayons, rubberstamping, etc. will also transfer
buy these papers at large office supply stores--cost is around $16 for ten sheets .........the resulting image must then be transferred again to clay or to liquid clay decals
--transfer liquids
(some lift images from most any printed material to create a decal)
.......liquid clays (with b&w photocopies, color copies, laser printes/copies, ink jet images on various matte/glossy papers, magazine pages, etc.)
.............note that the term Liquid Sculpey (LS or TLS) below, could usually refer to any brand of liquid clay

--transfer-type papers (preprinted tattoos.. or inkjet printer images on special papers)
--silk screening & PhotoEz (using a fine, stretched mesh, then forcing paint through it) (masked, or stencil) or & polymer plates
............cannot use the new pigment-based printer inks for these

MORE techniques
images, or images on slick papers & gift wrap? (to clay, and LS, and transfer liquids?)
images & comics (direct or transfer liquids)
--rubberstamped images using permanent ink (direct, transfer liquids, or t-shirt transfer paper)
--pastels, chalks...esp."encased" with translucent clay (dusted onto clay, painted w/ water, transferred), (or transfer liquids?)
--colored pencils, crayons, graphite pencils --Prismacolor brand best --draw directly on baked clay, or "color in" a photocopy as if it were a coloring book on t-shirt transfer paper then transfer (to clay, LS, or transfer liquids), or color in a transfer on raw clay.
--colored markers -color in baked transfers with permanent markers, or transfer from t-shirt transfer paper to raw clay

More Info on:
papers, clays, backgrounds, heating, coloring, bare spots, finishes

The type and characteristics of the paper used in printers or photocopiers can be critical to success!
For the "best" types of paper to use for a particular technique, look on this page under:
......that technique's particular sub-category
......Papers & Inks subcategory (under the Liquid Clay)
......Transfer Papers and More Transfer Papers subcategories

Transfers are usually put over white clay, but they can also be put over other colors as well (... transfers may not be easily visible on a dark clay color though).
...for light colors besides white, be aware that the clay color underneath the transfer will affect the appearance since transfers are usually transparent
.......using a brownish light color (ecru, ivory, etc) can create a softer more antique look (or also gold or brownish clay + a b/w image, etc)
...Kato .....Kato Polyclay takes photocopies very well
.......Kato Polyclay may have the whitest white (and definitely stays white after baking), so a transfer over it will be brightest
............ I use Kato clay for my whites because it doesn't discolor with heat as much as Premo white during baking (but "enclosed baking" should help that)
.......Kato can also be rolled out much thinner (without sticking to the pasta machine), so you can get very thin layers of clay. Jan
.......Kato Polyclay may also release the paper more easily than brands with more tooth because its density gives it a very smooth surface.
.......However, I use an iron to do the transfer and then put it in the oven to finish. When I used Kato this way, it was very difficult to get a good "black transfer" (?) because the lettering generally came out blue instead, and it took a few minutes to get the tranfer to take.
...I tried that iron + oven technique with Premo just for kicks, and in seconds instead of minutes I had a nice "black" transfer. The Premo t ook the transfer much faster and the coloring stayed true. It seems that different clays react differently to the transfer process. Dawn S
....Sculpey III has a little bit more porous surface to it though (more tooth), so I like to use it to transfer on and also for adding color with colored pencils after it's baked. .. Syndee
........ White Sculpey III is the clay that Gwen Gibson suggests we use when we want to do her tear-off etching technique.
........ White Premo has some of the same qualities and I've found that if often will etch instead of just transfer.
....Studio by Sculpey ...a laser (toner) worked great on this clay... thought it did even better than my previous transfer choice, Premo! Angela
....translucent clays can have images transferred to them also (and then may be used with the ink side down since the clay background will be translucent and can see image through it
translucent clays (particularly Premo's bleached translucent) are sometimes more finicky to transfer to.

SPECIAL BACKGROUNDS (under-behind transfers) ...can add interest and complexity if they don't overwhelm or compete with the transfer image too much:
..over Skinner blends... or other marbled or multi-tinted clay
..over very fine visual "texture" (like light-colored, tone-on-tone cane slices, etc.)
..over mica clay (for some shine, and "color")
...... could also use mica effects such as ghost image, flattened twisted, etc
..over metallic leaf or metallic powders (for bright shine or pearliness with mica-based powders)
..... if using silver leaf or powder, no"color" will be added --but gold or c
opper, etc. would affect the "color" as well as the reflectiveness

If the clay or surface you're transferring onto is
dark colored, it will be harder to make your image show up well unless you:
--use liquid clay decal method (and color the liquid clay opaquely)
......color a clear liquid clay with white (or light) oil paint or white Pearl Ex or other white powders?, etc.,
...use the old, opaque verison of Liquid Sculpey (rather than TLS)
......use a light-colored Colored Liquid Sculpey, or Polyglo
--brush a layer of light-colored acrylic paint on the back of the decal (or on clay?)
--apply metallic
leaf behind the transfer (on liquid clay or translucent clay
--transfer your image onto a lighter clay first, making the color of the transfer's background the same color as your clay ...then add the transfer piece on top (or leave a lighter empty space for a direct transfer onto the piece itself).
--use an opaque version of t-shirt transfer paper (those "for use on dark fabrics").
Diane B.

HEATING (as transfer release helper)
...Btw, for transfers which require or do best heat, rather than using an oven or an embossing gun, you can also use a hot iron of some type to help the ink transfer a sheet of paper or parchment between the iron and the transfer. .....This will completely or partially bake the clay though if it's not baked already, so be aware of that. It's probably not suitable for any transfer areas that aren't flat also.
...susheke uses t-shirt transfer paper and an iron press

COLORING b/w transfers
Black and white transfers can be colored, or colored in coloring-book style, or tinted in various ways (may also work on liquid clay decals).
...see Paints and Letters/Inks > Inks , for many possibilities like paints, tinted liquid clays, alcohol-based inks, chalks and metallic powders, etc.
... also D'UVA ChromaCoal Powders ...a plastic powder pigment which can be applied, then heat-fused, to clay or decal transfer (see more in Powders > Plastic Powders)

BARE SPOTS in transfers
henever I have a transfer that comes out with a bit missing here or there, I always touch up with some acrylic paint or with a very tiny bit of Pinata ink of the right color. Works great
........then I use a glaze overtop, several coats... sand lightly... then use the 0000 steel wool for a lustrous finish. Dotty

There are several ways to give a shine to transfers; however, it isn't necessary unless they need smoothing or unless you want a shine
(a coat of any finish after the final baking will make the colors of the transfer brighten up).
..liquid clays.....
...If you coat it very thinly with (TLS) Translucent Liquid Sculpey may be able to just buff it... but if it's thicker you'll have to sand it pretty well before buffing. It's rather difficult to sand, but once it's done you'll have a nice finish.
...Kato liquid clay bakes up very shiny so it doesn't need further treatment... also Fimo Gel liquid clay.
... Varathane (or Future, or other acrylic liquid sealers?):
......My favorite way is to give it at least 3 coats of Varathane. It only takes a minute or less. Let it dry between coats. Then wet sand it lightly with a 400 and 600 sandpaper.. . . .For a shine, buff it.
........for a lovely velvety sheen, go over the transfer (esp. when the ink side of the image is on the outside) with 2 coats of Flecto's Varathane (satin), drying thoroughly between coats, and then go over it quicky with a piece of 0000 steel wool . ...also if you work the Varathane into every area, it helps hide any dips etc. Dotty
...... I use Varathane over hand-drawn images because I've had trouble with TLS or thin translucent clay (they smear?)..... I've found that this takes less time and is much easier than trying to do either of the others...I also think it looks nicer. Dotty
........may be long term problems with fading or color changes when using only one layer of Varathane though?
.....I coated the my waterslide transfer pins with a couple of coats of Future and let dry overnight.... next day when I turned them over to bake a pinback on, most stuck to the bottom of my foil pan... I also tried this without Future first, and same thing ... do they hafta be coated with liquid clay? Kim K.
....... for a water slide decal, you could create the background without the transfer, add the pinback and bake (then add the decal and Future sealer ...this way you don't have to bake again. ...or place the pin on polyester stuffing in a disposable aluminum pan to bake. Patty B.
.....or bake pin and pinback (right side up) on a piece of cardboard with a small rectangle cut out of it (see Jewelry > Pinbacks)
... very thin layer of translucent clay over the transfer... bake, then sand and buff ... gives a softened image though (see Barbara's lesson below in " Transferring" and in "Faux Enamel"...and in Translucents > Thin Sheets)
Another fun thing to do is to coat the surface of the transfer with Anita's Fragile Crackle for a crackle effect on top of the image..apply the two parts as directed, and let it sit until the next day; then rub burnt umber acrylic paint into the surface and wipe away the excess. You now have a wonderful "old" crackled transfer. Dotty in CA

techniques for not wasting paper or ink

to avoid wasting PAPER or INK

I put as many images onto one sheet as I can since many of the special papers that can be used for transferring can be expensive (t-shirt transfer papers, Lazertran, tattoo, and some photo quality ones).

Or use partial sheets of any paper:

TAPE method
...first, I print the image out on regular paper so I can see where it will fall it when it is printed (as a guide)
.....then I tape a small piece of the paper I want to use exactly over that image ...(place small paper near the leading edge of the side of the regular paper that will be fed in first, then also remember to feed the paper in in the correct orientation for your printer/copier--face up or face down)
then I run that new "sheet" through the printer again. Judy S
FOLD method
Trish H's trick for loading small (or thin or slippery papers like parchment papers, transparencies, tracing paper, etc) into copiers (and printers):
...I came up with away to feed the (thin, slippery baking parchment) paper without having to tape it to another sheet.
...I folded over about 3/8" of the top of a plain sheet of paper, creasing the fold using my finger nail to get a very sharp crease.
...I then slipped the small piece of parchment paper under the fold, and loaded it in the paper tray.
Note: Be careful to design your image (with enough blank paper above it) so the image will fall low enough on the page to miss the 3/8" top of the folded paper.
...necessary? ...{I also used the printer setting for Thick Paper (under the Paper Tab) and kept the Best Quality set (under the Graphic Tab)... this tricked the printer into thinking it was a heavy piece of paper}.
Trish H.

I just print anywhere at top of the page, then cut off remaining paper horizontally and evenly just beneath it and use remaining paper again (it's still usable as long as it's still the full width even if it's shorter)

Just forget the image placement, and select the upper right or upper left corner to print the image.... then use a bit larger piece of good paper than I might otherwise (which should at least give me a lot more than I'd get from one page before)

For just making a "placement" image to use as a guide (especially for larger images and/or more expensive papers):
... I use the "draft" option ....or "lowest quality" ......or b&w option to reduce the amount of ink used in my printer (or copier)
......or I select the "line drawing" feature or something similar in my photoeditor, then printing that image instead
...............(in my Photo Elements, the best selection may be Filters>Stylize>Trace Contours... then Enhance>Color>Remove Color ...don't forget to use the original image when printing on the real paper tho!)
....I just stop the printer after it's printed only a line or two (it can be a hassle sometimes to reset mine tho'...)

Places to Use transfers

PLACES TO USE transfers (pendants, pins, bracelets, earrings, etc.), when covering with clay (Altoid tins, wooden boxes), ornaments (freestanding-framed=-embelliished, or perhaps on clear glass balls, Halloween-themed or maybe planets or bedroom images on glow-in-dark liquid clay or backed wtih gitd clay, or anywhere!
..I use my old photographs in shadow boxes. ... then put in the box anything that relates to the picture (old jewelry, books, anything (made from polymer... ). szaftoo
....frames can be used for placing transfers on cards, scrapbooks, etc.
using transfers to add to freestanding photo cutouts of bodies (or anything), see Kids > Other Items)
....You can also transfer a printed image of your own polymer clay creation onto fabric
(for a quilt... or onto a t-shirt-sweatshirt, tote bag, napkin, pocket, etc.) example ...gone?

TONER-based images
b&w + color)

B & W photocopiers or laser printers

(b&w images can also be printed onto t-shirt transfer paper or Lazertran paper which are usually used for c olor images,
.......or created with decals or liquid transfer mediums such as liquid clays--see Liquid Clays below and other sub-categories)

gen. info

Many of the following techniques will also apply to color prints made in photocopiers and laser printers since they both use toner (rather than "ink"), though colored photocopies on regular paper may be a bit lighter when used for direct transfers also see below in Colored Photocopies and Laser Prints for more

BASIC LESSON ...(on opaque clay)
--make a b&w photocopy on a b&w or color copier (or laser) of your photo/drawing/whatever (actually, make several copies just in case one messes up--you will need one photocopy for EACH transfer you wish to do); make sure the photocopy is reasonably dark and strong
--condition a light-colored piece of clay and flatten it (on a surface which can be baked in the oven if doesn't need to be moved later); try washing your hands first to remove any oil which might resist the transfer --press the ink side of the photocopy onto the clay, and burnish well with your fingers, back of a spoon, etc. (don't let it slide around though)...
(--you can at this point lay something heavy and smooth like a huge book on top of the paper to weight it and maintain good contact between ink and clay)

--wait 10-20 minutes (or longer) ....then peel back ONE corner of the paper to be sure the image has transferred
--when it has transferred you can remove the paper and bake the item (some people leave the transfer on for 6 hrs or more)
to help the toner release: can add heat to the process by baking 5-15 minutes with the paper still on, remove the paper, and finish the total baking time --see just below)
...OR you can use a solvent during the waiting time
(e.g., water or alcohol of some kind), perhaps in several passes
(----if there a re any small, incompletely transferred areas when you remove the paper, you can fill them in with acrylics --watered-down, if necessary-- or black/gray colored pencil.)

partial bake to help transfer
or either type of copy (laser or photocopier) I use a 5-minute method that works for me every time (assuming I follow the process exactly right.)
......Roll out your clay and place it onto the same surface you'll be using to bake the piece (this is an important step! you don't want to move the clay after you burnish the transfer onto it!) PREHEAT your oven to the correct temperature.
.....Cut out your transfer (either from a laser printer or from a copier) and place it face down onto the clay.
.....Burnish the back of the transfer with a smooth object such as a paper maker's burnisher, the dull edge of a dinner knife, popcycle stick, etc. ("burnishing" means to rub over the piece carefully to insure that every bit of the transfer is pressed against the clay. Any place where the paper does not come in contact with the clay will leave a blank spot. Press just enough to adhere the transfer but not so hard you dig into the clay.... Go over it several times.)
.....Place the baking surface into the preheated oven (do not pick the clay up!) and bake 5 minutes.
....Remove the paper slowly and carefully ...then continue baking the clay for the required time. Dotty

long exposure + soaking method:
... the toner and clay will fuse if you leave the photocopied paper on the clay for more than 20 mins or so
you can take advantage of this to get a really dark transfer where every scrap of the toner will stick to the clay ...and it's completely opaque
.........the transferred image will even be a bit elevated above the surface of the clay. .....I learned this from Kathy Amt
....leave the photocopy and the clay together overnight ... then bake (paper and clay)
....then soak them in water (how long?)
....peel and roll all the paper pulp off

solvent "helpers" for transferring image off paper (plain water, rubbing alcohol, cheap gin)
..many people now feel plain water works well... but see more below in "Water, alcohol, booze as solvents" on all types

liquid clays will also act as "solvents" to help transfer images (to clay or other surfaces like fabric... or just to itself yielding a thin, flexible decal)
...FOR ALL THAT INFO, see below in Liquid Clays

Try running the clay through thru pasta machine actually with the photocopy for good contact ... it should roll right on.

CLAYS: (see above in Summary for all info on which clays work "best"
... and also options for varying the background behind b/w transfers)

Lasers will generally give blacker blacks (and possibly crisper edges) than photocopiers.

Rebecca (Beckah) suggests using a color photocopier for b&w images as well as for color ones, considering their images more "stable"

variables and tips

Transfers can be simple once you've figured out a method that works with your materials and tools, and for a pariticular technique. But sometimes unexplained things happen just because there are so many variables for each method.... you may have to experiment and make changes to find a set of variables that works (switch clay colors, photocopy machines, paper --or as Lynn says, just hold your tongue a special way and try, try again :-))..DB

TEST the copier: I took the advice of several other clayers and check out copiers by taking a piece of freshly conditioned clay with me, making a copy on each available copier, and putting a piece of each printed paper on the clay - the good ones will start to transfer pretty quickly. . .

some possible problems with getting a successful transfer might be:
--not using a dark enough photocopy (which leaves more ink on the paper to transfer)... perhaps the level of toner in the copier is low (which you might not be able to tell)
--toner mixture may include too little graphite (or carbon, etc.??)... try a diff. machine
--using a ink jet print (on regular paper), rather than a toner-based photocopy
--using absorbent bond paper (too high a quality?) for the photocopy, which doesn't release the ink as well as a slicker paper
--not burnishing it well enough to the clay (many people put a book on top after burnishing)
--getting too much oil from your fingers on the surface of the clay, which acts as a resist
--clay is too dry (try adding more diluent, or using a softer, "wetter" clay)
......if the clay is too soft or sticky though, it may cause the toner to bond too strongly to the clay and stick to it (see "etching")---using Premo's "bleached" translucent clay (may be more problematic
--doing it in a place that's too cool (or with too much/too little? humidity) ...or the clay is too cool
--not leaving it on the right amount of time

It is critical to find the correct b&w copier... older copiers tend to work better than newer ones. I have found that Canon and Minolta are most likely to give good results. This is not a no fail solution, as the toner is the important factor. Some people do not use the toner of the maufacturer (Canon/Minolta) because it can be quite expensive. Instead, they use a "generic"... Susan
....I have an old Canon 400 series and I love it for transfers
...the cheaper the copier, the cheaper the toner mix they use, and the more plain carbon that is in it..
...the older the copier/printer is, the more likely it is that the toner will release (remember those old copies that stuck together after a few years? and the way copies used to always transfer onto your plastic covered 3 ring binders?) so the older machines that you can find in supermarkets and quickee stores will most often give you the best release - the downside is that their print quality is often sucky.
...thanks for the tip on purchasing the replacement cartridges on Ebay. ...Are the ones you get new? or reconditioned/refilled? Karen FL
...(not drying even after hours) ...I've found that certain types of toner cause this problem . The toner reacts with the clay. My laser printer toner does this. It won't "set" until it's baked. A number of copy shop copiers also use this type of toner. It seems as if more and more of them are. . .
. . . Because of this, I don't put a pin back on a piece until the second baking, and I do my transfer on a fairly thin sheet of clay . . .which I bake first and then set it into a piece of raw clay and then do the adornment in and around it and bake again. DottyinCA

Heat or warmth evidently speeds up the transfer process
....the suggestion was to place the photocopy, face down, on top of the clay and put a Friendly Clay Warmer on top of it..... supposedly get an excellent transfer in about 15 minutes.
...I believe Tory Hughes even bakes her copy on the clay in order to transfer it.

I agree about the heavier bond paper...the heavier the paper, the tighter the weave, and the more ink stays on top of the paper (doesn't sink in)... Karen FL
.....I have been told by many people that copies made on recycled paper don't work as well as first-run paper. I have made wonderful copies from heavy [24lb or 30lb HammerHill] smoothly finished paper... and also glossy paper [clay coated] that came in a Paper Direct sample pack. I'm not sure I'd spend the $$$ but they were wonderful transfers.
.. (another opinion)....She also said that it is not neccesarily the toner or the developer but the paper that makes the difference. To get a good sharp image, you want to use the cheapest paper you can find (??????). It seems the nicer paper (smoother, with a finer "grain") wants to hold onto the toner, while a cheap rougher piece is perfectly willing to let go of its toner. (backwards??)
......I also tried stuff copied onto transparency stock and ended up with gross stringy toner all over the place. Blech!!!
... printer ink may work okay though (using Transparency option), then pressing but not rubbing

...if you leave the paper on the clay for more than about 20 mi utes -- the toner and clay fuse. . .however, you can take advantage of this to get a really dark transfer:
... .I leave them together overnight ... then bake the transfer with the paper and clay stuck together,.... then I soak and wash off the paper -- soak it, then peel and roll all the paper pulp off. Every scrap of the toner is stuck to the clay; it's even a bit raised above the surface, and it's completely opaque. I learned this from Kathy Amt.

I've heard somewhere that if you gently sand it, it will look tinted -- either brownish or bluish, depending on the brand -- but I haven't tried that. Georgia Sargeant

I brushed a thin layer of Sculpey Diluent onto the surface of the clay and left my transfers (plain black and white) on for varying amounts of time (though it's easy to smudge the print with this method, so don't move it!).. . .it seemed to have something to do with how 'wet' the transfer was.
The samples with only a little diluent, or that were left on longer, were crisper images. .the ones with most diluent had the least definition.
..BUT, the wetter ones could stretch with no problems (the nicer images were harder to stretch without cracking).
.....those all lightened when stretched, of course, but you knew that from Silly Putty, right? :)

lots of us have had the same problem with the photocopied lines bonding to the clay then pulling the clay up & etching it instead of transferring.
... It could be your clay if you are using Sculpey III (it's one clay that Gwen Gibson actually recommends for her "tear off" transfers that actually etch the clay because the toner pulls the clay off where ever it touches the clay.
This is a wonderful technique, but not the one you are looking for however)
..... Also, if whatever clay you are using is very soft, it could cause the same thing to happen also. . . here is something to try. Use the firmest clay you can find. Maybe an old package from Michael's which usually has it's stuff on their shelves for some time. Let your transfer sit for several days. Then try the transfer technique again.
....I used Premo Bleached translucent and it clay stuck horribly to the transfer.-- I was using kinko photocopies and I also let the copy sit for a few days...Helen
. . . Also, it could be the toner or level of toner (used in the photocopier). You can go to Kinko's or any copyshop and try theirs. Some work much better than others.. . . Dotty

I've sometimes had a really hard time transferring to translucent clay!
...Poor you,I know exactly how you feel....I recently did some "encased" transfers and had NO trouble whatsoever with 3 of them, but the last 2 were horrors! I used copies done on an old toner type copier and
Premo bleached translucent, and normally just need to rub a little rubbing alcohol on to them to get perfect transfers.
....The fourth one however...a day or so later just would not transfer.... I tried fresh copies, darkened the copy level, used rubbing alcohol plus methylated spirits...did everything I could think of to no avail. It was SO annoying because I was doing exactly the same procedure each time. I finally got the fourth image to transfer by using rubbing alcohol, metho AND some liquid from my container of moist towelettes (and lots of cursing)<G>...I did have to draw over some of the lines with a black pen but it wasn't too bad.
.... The fifth one was just matter what I did it wouldn't transfer. In the end I thought I'd check on the amount of toner in the copier and it was very I added some more and was finally able to get a somewhat reasonable copy. I'm not sure if adding the toner made the difference or not....before adding it I was still getting good copies of other documents so who could be lots of factors including weather conditions..but Low Toner Levels might be worth adding to our list of Transfer Troubleshooting Ideas! Jenny
....I had the exact same thing happen to me when using the Premo bleached translucent. Helen

(see more on types of clay and variables under Etched Transfers below)


(before transferring to solid or liquid clay) you can also color in your b&w image with colored pencils, or even crayons and the colors will transfer also. Dotty
(see below in Colored Pencils)

(after transferring) syndee holt's demo on painting with alcohol inks on a transfer?, coloring book style (click on each)

syndee earlier lesson on coloring in a "sketched"-looking image in b&w which began as a photograph
. . .in this instance, she used a digital photo (but a regular photo could be scanned into the computer as well), then using her photoediting software created a b&w version of it which looks hand-sketched using either the Sketch, Charcoal, or Drawing command. etc. She then made a photocopy of the image, transferred it to raw clay, colored in the image with dull colored pencils, and baked.
. . .she likes Durwent pencils for their flesh colors (she also uses rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to saturate the paper from the back
after burnishing; she then reburnishes to remove any air bubbles, lets dry, then reapplies alcohol before removing transfer--the black lines will be very dark and larger with this method (see also Boozy Transfer section above)

To give the photo the look of an old photo, try using ecru or gold clay (with a b&w image). Dotty
...or use a coloring pencil method

transfers of snapshots of individuals used as tags or book pages or something...

I bought some Sculpy III which was really easy to work with, rolled it out into a rectangle. Used my ink-jet printer to print out photos of my grandkids (then made a b&w photocopy of it from the neighborhood copy place). Placed photocopy face down on rectangle of polymer clay, placed this between two pieces of cardboard and weighted with a book overnight. When I get up in the morning I will trim edges with decorative cutter, put small hole in center top for hanging the ornament and bake according to directions on package. Sure hope it works! Nancy

Donna has a wonderful method that works great also for working on curved surfaces. That is to put the transfer onto clay and let it sit for about 15 minutes . . . . . do the transfer flat, then lift the clay and apply it to a curved or rounded surface. Great for tube type of beads (see in Websites)
...You just have to be careful when handing the raw clay with the transfer already on it as it can smear. However, if you use Sculpey III, the toner may pull the clay with it when you remove the transfer. ..Dotty
I've done curved transfers with an ace bandage.... Put the clay around your bottle--I used a cardboard tube instead, but same thing. Place the paper with the artwork/words picture side down against the clay, burnish in place with your finger or knife handle,etc, then wrap tightly with the ace bandage to hold the paper in place. I baked with it on, then unwrapped. Sarajane

I need to do (some special) lettering. I would do photo transfers with words, but becasue some of the colors of the clay will be dark, they won't show up at all. Therefore, gel pens...?? I need the lettering in specific fonts though, so my own writing wouldn't cut it. ...There is a slight *sheen* to the photo transfer words so I'm hoping to do a transfer, and then just go over the words with a gel pen? The sheen should let me see it ok, even if the clay is black. ( and then I can do any color I choose!) Jeanette

translucent clay transfers ("encased" transfers) & finishes

(image will be viewed through the translucent clay --so image will actually be on back side... this will also keep the image from being reversed)

There are various ways to put a finish over the transfer if you want one (see above in Finishes)
... when these first came out, one of the most popular ways was to use an extremely thin layer of translucent clay over the transfer:
...I love transfering photocopied images to white or light colored clay and then covering it with a very thin layer of translucent. I use this technique on many of my vessels, beads, and amulets.
...Having taken a class from Kathleen Dustin on layering translucents I can tell you that she sparsely sprinkles glitter or powder on half of a very thin layer of translucent clay (she uses Sculpey III translucent, unconditioned, and rolled through only once). She then folds the other half over and runs it through the pasta machine once to thin it out again (for inclusions inside the clay). ...She then uses it like an applique on top of her base layer which is Sculpey III white (used for its white chalky surface) (colored with colored pencils? or over a colored transfer?). jannh1
.....I roll a thin sheet of transluscent, sometimes with embossing powder or Pearl-Ex inclusions. . . .
..When it's cooled, I also color the back side, so the colors show through the translucent, and through the inclusions. . . ..Sometimes I'll have done a regular photocopy transfer onto the front.

..............To use the sheet, I generally put it on a backing of more transluscent clay.
Barbara McGuire's lesson on transferring to white clay for 30 min - 2 hrs., then putting a very thin layer of translucent on top of the transferred image before using it, so it doesn't smear and is protected . . .though the image will be softer . . . ...(she puts her transfer-plus-translucent sheet onto white cores of clay to make sort-of cylindrical beads and bracelets --will need to be sanded and buffed for most clarity?),,HGTV_3229_1396722,00.html,1158,CRHO_project_27246,FF.html

transfers "encased" with translucent clay:
1. .... If images made with chalks on paper (or with colored-in photocopies) are transferred onto very thin translucent clay, (and applied upside-down, usually to a clay backing), then after baking the images will be viewed through the translucent clay (and the image will no longer be reversed)
Donna Kato’s lesson on an "encased" b&w transfer made on very thin sheet of translucent clay, then colored in with "decorator" chalks or (chalk?) pastels... the transferred image is turned over and used so that the image is viewed through the thin layer of translucent (which also un-reverses the image)...hers was backed with a sheet of a gold-leaf-crackled-on-black (hardly visible in photo)...then covers a base bead with it,,HGTV_3239_1375725,00.html
(lesson:)…she does a regular (b&w) transferonto very thin, raw translucent clay sheet (let sit for about 15 min --possibly brushing the paper back with alcohol or waterless hand cleaner to expedite...Fago)
.....then colors in the b&w transfer on the clay by carefully brushing with the chalk or chalk pastels

.....backing ...she backs her clay transfer with a sheet of black clay topped with crackled gold leaf
, as with "faux enamel" (transfer side to crackle side)
.........I think I crackled my gold foil a bit too much, however. If it were left in larger pieces the colors on mine would have popped more. Dotty in CA
.....she presses together lightly, then puts
through pasta machine on thick setting... can enlarge and spread pattern, continue with past machine on thinner settings).
when I saw Donna Kato doing encased transfers on HGTV, she smoothed down the forward edge of the (translucent) sheet with her finger so that it started through the pasta rollers evenly..... I wasn't being careful about that and it makes a difference. Jody

To make an transferred image that is not a reversed image, transfer onto a very thin sheet of translucent clay, then apply that to the finished product with the transfer side down --Kathleen Dustin's technique
...Jeanette's lesson on a transferring and image onto very thin sheet of translucent clay )
....see "faux enamel below for using this technique but also backing the image with metallic leaf)

I also like to spinkle glitter, metal foils, or thin cane slices to the underside of the translucent to add yet another dimension. lala

Barbara McGuire's lesson on using the Shapelet to make a brooch with transfer, covered with translucent clay,,HGTV_3238_1386303,00.html

Jeanette's lesson on using Shapelets to cut out the transfer (made on translucent)
.....(see more on Shapelets as well as making your own stencil and template shapes in Cutters)

(for transfers "encased" with liquid clay, see below in Liquid Clays)

"Faux Enamel"
...transfers with metallic backgrounds...

These are b&w images which are transferred onto translucent clay then backed with metallic leaf (as a background behind the image)
(...the images can be colored with colored pencils though to simulate color images)
...or the same effect can be done more easily with liquid clay transfers (see below)

The technique was first published Gwen Gibson's Ancient Images video
....Karen Sexton's faux enamel pins ...

thin sheet of translucent covering a photocopied image (colored with colored pencils) onto translucent clay ....amber wash (op)... backed with leaf... baked and buffed
Photocopy a b&w (not grey tones) image.
Color it with colored pencils
Roll a sheet of transparent (Fimo?) clay (rolled @#7, sandwiched between waxed paper)... or use any translucent
Remove one wax paper, and stick photocopy to clay.... rub to ensure good contact
Bake (wax paper, clay, photocopy)......... peel off waxed papers.
Apply glue to image side, and apply gold leaf
Back with white clay (use Sobo)
Bake; Wet sand to 1200; can sand edge to generate even white border. –Flint

" faux enamel "--transfer will be on back side of translucent clay; Gwen Gibson
...transfer a b&w photocopied image to translucent clay which is sitting on waxed paper (she leaves it 6 hrs)... paint with an amber wash on front... turn image over onto a sheet of white clay which has crackled leaf on it (for her, the surface is stretched into a dome before it's baked). . . . Hers is sanded and buffed (this is the non-image side of the translucent clay sheet, remember), then framed with clay rope extruded from a clay gun which she covers in gold leaf (see more on using thin translucent sheets for this in Translucents > Thin Sheets)
...also (5 min. clip of Ancient Images video, showing Gwen making her very thin translucent clay sheet in the pasta machine with waxed paper ...see Translucents > Thin Sheets for more on this technique); . . . she also cuts an oval stencil and uses it to cut out a clip art paper image before coloring it in with colored pencils and transferring that to the translucent sheet --need to have, or install there, MacromediaFlash to view)

An easier way to back an (b&w or color) image with metal leaf is by using liquid clay for the transfer rather than translucent clay (see many details below in Liquid Clay)
. .Oh wow! Just got my Transparet Liquid Sculpey and I tried doing a transfer with it so that I would have a very thin sheet backing the transfer. It worked perfectly! This is something you need to do when making Gwen Gibson's Faux Enamel. Much easier than trying to roll out clay on the thinnest setting, even using wax paper. Just this one thing alone makes getting the liquid worth it!! Dotty
... two dandy shortcuts when doing the "faux enamel" technique Gwen Gibson demostrates on her new video. Instead of using translucent clay, create the polymer image with TLS. . . . Instead of using glue/adhesive to adhere foil to the back, use more TLS ...and bake a second time. Carol Overmeyer
...The transparent liguid clay is great when you want to see through the layer, like with Gwen Gibson's techniques (like faux enamel)

over a metallic background
...I think the pebbly look you're referring to is the look of the crackled silver leaf behind the transfer.... I took the idea from Gwen Gibson's "Faux Enamel" look and I really like it with the TLS. It shows through beautifully and makes the colors of the colored pencils really vibrant, I think. Julia

...Jeanette's les
son on making a transfer on translucent clay backed with metallic foil ..(Jones Tones).. rather than with leaf
...Instead of metallic leaf or foil, other colorings could be used for the backing/background
........I roll a thin sheet of transluscent, sometimes with embossing powder or Pearl-Ex inclusions in it (and bake)
........ when it's cooled, I color the back side , so the colors show through the transluscent and the inclusions....(Sometimes I'll have done a regular photocopy transfer onto the front.) ...To use the sheet, I generally put it on a backing of more translucent clay.

("tear away", "ripped" transfers")

a black and white, toner image is (always?) used for this technique....
(but could use a b&w image printed either on a or color copier...or copy shop laser machine or laser printer?)

Gwen Gibson showed that the toner which is deposited onto the photocopies made in photocopy machines will actually bond with the clay to some degree over a short time (especially with heat, and when using soft clays)
...burnish the photocopy onto the clay first....
...(firmly & quickly) peel (rip) the photocopy from the raw clay...the photocopy will take with it any clay which had contact with the toner, rather than transferring it to the clay ....(if you gently lift the paper, you'lll see "taffy threads" of sticky toner stretching between the photocopy and clay ...if you don't have the "taffy threads" then it won't work and you've either left it on too long or too short a time.)
This process creates 2 usable pieces:
1. a clay sheet with a lightly etched (depressed) image on it
2. a ripped-off photocopy image with slightly raised clay clinging to the toner lines (or areas)

The etched clay sheet can then have its depressions colored to bring out the etched lines more strongly
... the colored etched clay sheet may resemble scrimshaw if it's "antiqued" with brown paint

The ripped off photocopy can be used as a gluable paper decal
....or it can be used after baking as a printing plate for printing onto paper with etching inks or paints (more in Carving >Etching?)

I've found that heat has something to do with successful etching ....
temperature is a BIG factor ...the clay needs to be "sticky" (think about it and it's obvious), so to get sticky clay, we warm it and/or add softeners to it, right?
... I put Fimo samples under a light (actually under 2 lights) ordinary light which gives off a lot of heat and another one, halogen, which is cooler. I also did a sample without any heat source. ...the light that gives off most heat produced better results after 5-7 minutes
....After brayering my paper onto the clay real tight, I use a heat gun (or hair dryer) on the paper to warm up the clay - just till clay and paper feel BARELY warm (any hotter and the toner will melt instead of melding with the clay),.then I let it sit for 15 min. ...then warm it again, and let it sit another 15 min. soon as I can see the clay beginning to stick to the ink, I rip it off . Carolyn

Following Gwen's instructions exactly, I, too, had a good etch, even using the "special" toner for the Xerox digital copiers (?). After adjusting my timing a little with the hair dryer (40 seconds on the 2nd dryer time instead of 20), the etching was darned near perfect. ...Cheryl:

Use only strong, dark, line images for your photocopies with this technique, since grays won't have enough toner on them to bond well with the clay. need a nice, crisp, black and white image for this technique... ...older copiers may make the best copies for this?
......also, you must have a very fresh copy (not true for some?). Best the same day it's made (true only for laser copies?). Dotty

Also, the better and heavier the paper, the better the transfer. So I use Great White photo paper, in a matte finish.
....this is a 37 lb. weight paper..because of its weight, the paper holds more ink so I get a better 'etching'. Carolyn
...I am having trouble with the paper ripping when I yank it off the sheet of polymer clay
....…it is possible your paper is too thin
..the cheaper the paper, the more it absorbs the ink before you can transfer it..Karen FL

If the paper is ripped off too fast, the clay may tear
If the paper is ripped off too slowly, the clay may not stick well to the toner.

It might be best to use a thick sheet of clay for the etching process (thicker than #1)

Sculpey III is the one clay that Gwen Gibson uses for her "Tear Off" transfers that actually etches the clay because the toner pulls the clay off wherever it touches the clay... or a softer clay.
.......any bright color like Fimo 'mint' works well..... pearlescent Sculpey is good .Gwen
...I'm not really sure how Gwen does hers, but I came up with my own "tear away" technique before I heard it was a technique, and I used Fimo. LynnDel
....I've tried the tear-away technique with Premo gold, pearl and pearl mixed with other colors with excellent results. Diane V.
Premo will work just fine with a few tweaks. . . the softer, opaque colors work best, and they work even better if you mix some white in with them. Wire4Clay2
.......when using (Premo), after burnishing the paper onto the clay, use a heat gun for just a few seconds to adhere the clay to the paper. This was recommended by Linda in WA

see below in "Using the ripped-off paper(with clay image)" for using (or creating) a mostly black photocopy with white image ... and how to invert the colors

Gwen's Ancient Images video cover, and explanations of her various techniques
(gone) , but this one okay for cover

--Fold up (away from ink) a small corner tab of the paper (which you will need to pull the paper off later).
--Put the paper onto the clay (face down and leaving the folded corner sticking up) and burnish it with a bone folder, wide spoon, etc.
--Leave it on for about 5 minutes (Dotty says 30 min... Gwen now says 15 min after heating with dryer as above, then repeat heating and waiting)
--Grab the corner that is sticking up from the clay and QUICKLY RIP IT OFF (sideways).

using the etched clay sheet-slab

(Follow basic directions above for applying the photocopy, heating/resting, and ripping off the paper)
--Now you bake the clay piece, and let it cool (can color in depressions).
--Sand and buff.

To bring out the engraved image, Gwen squeegees on oil paint (she doesn't use acrylic- the oil falls into the grooves much better). You can just squeeze on some oil paint, rub it gently into the engraving (Burnt umber is a good color to use).
....using a cardboard, or the chisel end of one of those clay shaper tools, remove the excess paint from the surface (you want the paint to be only in the grooves).
...Rebake for about 10 minutes if using oil paint to set it.
...if you can't get all the excess paint off the surface, sand very gently rub with extra extra fine steel wool (or fine sandpaper, then buff)

I rub in burnt umber acrylic paint (to define the etched areas) ...Dotty CA
....Gwen does use primarily oil paints...but they are messier...harder to cleanup. And somebody else said they had some "clay degradation" with oil paint. Quite frankly, I spend enough time on my stuff to NOT want to lose I'm sticking with acrylic paints.
...for the gold/silver/copper paints though, Gwen used acrylics.

I use a tightly packed brush to work oil paint into some of the crevices... and then wipe paint off areas I don't want paint on with a wet paper towel corner!
...and remove the excess with a towel or paper towel

If black or dark clay is used, white paint can also be used to fill in the etched lines ("negative etch" ... a "positive" etch uses white clay as the background for the image).

For an additional effect which will give the image a very soft-color & luminous look, (after delineating the lines with dark paint), you can also take very tiny dots of oil paint and rub them into various areas where you would like some color. Let it get into the etched crevices.... Then use a soft terry towel to rub off the excess.... buff up a soft shine with the the piece for five minutes to set the oil paint. (You can always go back and add more paint here and there... you just want a hint of the colors). Dotty CA

Varying the background clay can be interesting too... e.g., using marbled clays, mica clays, etc., or using over faux ivory

using embossing powder on the etched lines (Linda Goff actually started me off on this)
... Using a fresh photocopy and a nice flat piece of clay, burnish the photocopy onto the clay as you would normally for a copier type transfer. You want to time the transfer, leaving it on for no longer than two hours and no less than an hour and a half. I suggest you leave it on for the longer time the first time so that you can see what I mean.
...Gently pull off the transfer (you will see "taffy threads" of sticky toner stretching between the photocopy and your clay pad. ...if you don't have the "taffy threads" then it won't work and you've either left it on too long or too short a time.)
....sprinkle embossing powder on the etched clay- just tons of it (don't worry, the excess will be put back)
....using a soft paint brush, "sweep" off the excess.... Bake as you normally would.
...You will see that the sticky toner holds the embossing powder, the raw clay does NOT. (the image you transfer will be embossed permanently once you have baked it). Meredith

The etched clay you get after doing the Gibson technique is a great base for a polymer postcard too
...(I usually start my postcards with a sheet of multi-colored clay run through the pasta machine on the next to thickest setting, then decorate like crazy with cane slices, mokume-gane, metallic leaf and powders, copier or magazine transfers and tons of texture from carving, decorative and text stamps and press-on texture like cloth....) Linda Goff

This can be a great way for creating lettering too.

If you are making jewelry, for instance, carefully trim it, mount it on some other clay backing and decorate or embellish to suit you, careful not to disturb the etching and once baked you can rub the smallest amount of oil paint into the grooves of the baked etched part then wipe clean so the oil paints only seep into the tiny cracks. .....the look does resemble fine etching. Karen FL

using the ripped-off paper (with thin clay image)

(Follow basic directions above for applying the photocopy, heating/resting, and ripping off the paper)
...After pulling the paper off the raw clay (as above), we baked the PAPER for 15 min. at 250-260
...we cut or tore the clay paper to the sizes we wanted
...we then used Sobo glue to apply them to a baked clay backing sheet...and finished it as we pleased.

I use the clay-paper image. I've been using Premo for this. The metallics seem to work best;
...translucents and Premo's "Base" don't work at all. is ok with white mixed in it also, maybe about 1/4 white to 3/4 gold.

Then I bake the clay paper for only 1 minute at 275 in the preheated convection oven. Any longer and the clay burns and darkens. Then use the clay paper just like you'd use clay paper with any other type of clay on it .

This can be a great way for creating lettering too.

(to color any white areas) ... after baking it, we soaked the clay paper a little in water, and while wet applied acrylic paint to the paper side of the transfer so the colors came through in the places where the clay did not stick
--after it was dry, we then glued it to baked clay

Linda Goff's pins (made by brayering a reverse laser print onto clay, baking the paper afterwards with a very thin layer of clay stuck to it, and painting the figure from behind with acrylic paints here and there --looks a bit like scratch art
Linda's nightlights, same technique with more of the paint showing through ... clay paper glued to sheets of translucent clay

The photocopy can also be largely black background, with a white image (rather than largely white w/ black image as normal)... this will result in much more clay area transferring to the photocopy (acting as a colored background), and in the image being white (because it had no toner to hold on to the clay)
...... one of Gwen's suggestions was to draw the original on black paper with a silver pen.... then make your photocopy.
...if you have an image (drawn, digital or photocopied) you'd like to reverse (from black-on-white to white-on-black), try doing that in your computer by using one of the tools in photoediting software
........ e.g., in my Adobe Elements, that would be the menu bar at the top: Image > Adjustments > Invert --ctrl+I (capital i)... if it's necessary to remove all color first, in Elements menu bar: Enhance > Color > Remove Color --shft+ctrl+U

...I have art software that permits you to draw white on black...
...your local photocopy shop can make negatives on the color photocopy machine

If the clay used for the ripped-off paper was multi-colored, Skinner blended, marbled, etc., the toner areas will be multicolored as well
....if the photocopy was largely black, lots of the multi-color clay will be transferred to the photocopy (as a background)
Gwen Gibson's "collage technique" using some clay papers with multicolored backgrounds... light colored images are not white tho (oil painted?)

Another thing I do... after I've baked the paper with the clay on it, I use that as a "stamp" (just for clay? or paper too?) works rather well. Dianna
.... I saw some prints made with the tear away etching technique and was impressed. Details came out great.

LASER printers & copiers (b&w and color)

I've used my laser printer for the past six years for making black and white transfers. For me it's much easier than running out to the copy shop all the time. ...Both the laser printer (and laser copier) and the photocopier use powdered (toner). Dotty

(copier or printer?) . . . About lasers vs copyshop copies: some laser toner has that purplish look rather than flat black.... however, some copy shop toner does this also. ..... try other copy shops and see if their copies work better if you have that problem.

I recently tried using laser to transfer an image onto white fimo. The image came out very light. (color laser or b&w though?)
. ..When using the laser printer, try adjusting your copy for a darker print (usually done in your graphics program)
that means more toner is applied and the heavier coating tends to look more black..... When my toner cartridge ran out the last time I sent for a refilled one instead of getting an Epson one. The new toner is blacker than the Epson toner was. Dotty

COLOR photocopier or laser printer/copier

Color and b&w photocopiers and laser copiers and printers all use toner rather than "ink."

Toner often transfers off its carrier easier than ink will, but it seems that color copies don't geneally work as well as b&w copies unless special transfer papers or helpers (like liquid clay, acrylic mediums, Varathane, etc.) are used with them to make them transfer fully.

...a color photocopy from a copy shop will actually transfer if directly laid on the clay and burnished, but usually not too well)
f you bake it with the transfer on the clay, it will transfer, but will usually be quite
.....and, if you let it sit on raw clay for some time, when you take it off it will often "lift" the clay in the area where the toner is --like Gwen Gibson's "etching" technique...see more below on that tech). Dotty

(many of the following techniques will also apply to b&w prints made in photocopiers or laser)

Color transfers can be made in various ways:
....with a color photocopy (directly to clay with liquid clay helper, or making a separate decal with liquid clay, etc.)
.......or with a color laser print or copy (...same tech's as photocopy, or better?)
..those can be more expensive and/or less convenient than these ways:
....with a color inkjet print (only onto special papers) ..then directly to clay, or making a decal
... with a b&w photocopy which has been colored with colored pencils, etc., before doing the transfer
(see relevant sub-category on this page for details on most of these... most of the b&w copier techniques above will also work for color photocopies as wel)

Btw, transfers from toner copies (color or b&w) can also be made onto clear packaging tape, and give a very good reproduction with glossy finish:
(see info and lesson below in Non-Liquid Clay Mediums > packing tape)

water as solvent ...(or previously, booze, alcohol)

(though the image will be reversed if a photocopy unless it's reversed somehow, or use a laser print which can be reversed)
Plain water
works great to help release images from a toner-based image (photocopy or laser print) (b&w or color)
...using a direct transfer alcohol, no gin, not even distilled water, just plain tap water..... and the color is great. Jacqueline G.
Donna Kato's lesson on Jacqueline's process ... she recommends going slowly when get close to the image
Jacquelines' lesson:
.....lay the print face down on a sheet of polyclay and burnish down with a spoon or paper folder
.....then paint water on the paper ...make sure the paper is soaked and burnish again
.... do this a few times (don't worry if the back paper starts to pill )
.... with the paper very wet, pull it off the image on the polyclay
... you'll have to rub some of the paper off with your finger tip until it's all clean (don't worry about rubbing the image won't come up, only the paper will). ....Then trim... and bake.
(the process is the same as the alcohol and gin transfers.... just don't need those materials since water works just as well and it's cheaper. :-) Jacqueline
...(this opinion seems to be shared by lots of other people now too)

(the following no longer used as much)

I used rubbing alcohol for the transfer medium on my color copier print and it worked pretty well, although I can see that a medium that lets the paper stay damp for a bit longer would be more successful. Jacqueline
...Ann M's lesson on making b & w photocopy transfer with rubbing alcohol and burnishing
... lay sheet of med. thickness clay on small piece of waxed or other paper ... place photocopy face down on clay...brush back of photocopy with alcohol (using paintbrush)... burnish... dry.... then repeat with alcohol, but peel off photocopy while still wet,1789,HGTV_3352_201376
...Syndee's technique is to burnish the back of the transfer on the clay... saturate the back of the image with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol ... reburnish to remove any air bubbles... let dry... reapply alcohol before removing transfer (copier or ink jet?)
...Jeanette's lesson on making a transfer using rubbing alcohol (71%) (click on NEXT)

...Maribel's lesson on using alcohol to transfer lettering from a b&w laser print, but rubbing alcohol on back of paper just a bit firmly, then removing

boozy transfer ...the alcohol seems to help embed the colored toner from the print into the clay (better than what though?), so that when you wet and rub off the paper, it stays in place and doesn't smear easily. can transfer onto raw clay, or onto baked clay
(lesson) --have your image copied on a color copy machine (at a copy shop)
--lay it face down onto your clay, and then burnish it well.
--brush on the booze, pat the transfer, then blot it with a paper towel.
--burnish again, then brush more booze on it . . . let it sit for a bit
--then begin rubbing the paper off with your finger...if it's too dry, dip your finger in more booze and continue rubbing in circles until you remove all of the paper you can without disturbing the image.
--After baking, if there is still a bit of paper on the surface, soak it in water, and rub it off.
I demoed this technique at Sandy Camp several years ago. It's been around for a long time. I didn't use it in my transfer video way back when because I was afraid that some people might not like the idea of drinking alcohol.
. . . {LATER tho'. . . I'm not now a fan of the gin transfer however. It's a very old technique that has been around for about ten years. I've experimented with both Gin and Vodka as well as other alcholic beverages, various forms of rubbing and other alcohols, and did a number of demos and classes that I called "The Boozy Transfer" four or five years ago.
....What I don't like about that method is the paper have to be careful rubbing or you can rub some toner off along with the paper.
...Rebecca's lesson on her way of using gin (her "Transfer Liquid") to transfer photocopies from a color photocopier or laser printer
.....she rubs the back of transfer on the clay with fingers... after 30 sec's, covers the back with cheap gin, then blots with paper towel... burnishes with spoon about 20 sec's ....rubs paper off by rolling from center outward (don't rub too hard)... can remove any remaining lint with fingers just dampened slightly with gin if needed ... bake (colors will darken during baking) (may need to re-color any spots where ink was rubbed off with alcohol-based pens) ...she seals with acrylic sealer (add bit of watercolor to tint sealer first, if desiered),1789,HGTV_3352_1399715,00.html (gone)
.......she feels higher quality copier papers and cheaper brands of gin work best (keeps the image on top of the paper rather than saturated into in somewhat)...the paper comes off layer by layer
.....if you want the background opaque, she suggests mixing Omni Gel (see her website) with a metallic powder and painting it on the back, or using acrylic paint. gin is not as distilled as the good gin, which makes it more effective. Robin S.

acetone alone can also be used to lift the toner from a photocopy onto a sheet of shrink plastic, so it might work as well on baked clay (which is also plastic)... be sure though that the acetone is completely gone before heating, of course,1983,HGTV_3352_1382666_ARTICLE-DETAIL-PRINT,00.html

One solvent I really must try is that aerosol stuff for removing self-adhesive labels' slime - it seems to be a perfect combination of wetters and volatile solvents may also be worth adding a little of it to an alcohol and see if it improves its efficiency of transfer.
Alan V.

Diluent can be used, but may be easier to smear so don't move after burnishing

( parchment paper, "t-shirt" papers, Lazertan papers, decal papers for tattoos, & misc.)

Transfer papers can either transfer their images directly to clay,
....or they (some at least) can be used to create a removable decal which can then be placed on clay.
Transfer papers can also be used with liquid clays (directly or decal... see "Liquid Clays" below for much more)

inkjet_transfers (a Yahoogroup) ...great source of information on transfers of all kinds, not just inkjet.. check out archives or ask questions.

(baking) PARCHMENT paper
(best with laser printers, photocopiers--toner, or "permanent" inks in some inkjet printers...not as good with reg. inkjet)

The type of parchment paper used for baking is coated with silicone (on both sides)... and nothing much sticks well to silicone!

...This method involves using baking parchment paper, and creates a direct transfer (could also work for decals?).
...No liquid clay required.
...No solvents/release agents, soaking, or heat required, though the brand of parchment should be as smooth as possible (Reynolds is a bit too textured/bumpy for best results).

...This technique works best when using laser printers (color/bw), probably photocopiers (color/bw, esp older ones--these use toner), and some inkjet printers (the ones using "permanent" inks like Claria inks...most print in color).
... regular inkjet printers (those using regular "ink") don't seem to work as well (not as high-quality a transfer), though they will often give prints yielding 2 transfers

(specific technique orig. suggested by Valerie Aharoni for creating a direct transfer)
Valerie's lesson: (?)
...print image onto parchment paper --reverse image if want, or if it contains words/letters/numbers
......(you won't see the image well on the baking parchment at this point because the parchment paper is translucent. Trish H.)
...cut the paper to the image (size?)
...lay the image onto a sheet of raw clay ..once the image makes contact it begins to immediately transfer-- can't reposition the paper (so I always use a large sheet of raw clay, then trim excess later)
...burnish (usually won't need to be too firmly or long)
...remove paper... all of the ink will have transferred! (while burnishing you can see the ink moving off the paper, leaving it looking more like plain parchment paper). Valerie
(or, lift one corner to make sure it's transferring, then burnish more if not)

Trish H's video lesson (slightly different?--DB check)

more info, mostly from Valerie:
For printing the image onto paper, I've tried different equipment:
...Brother bw laser and a Samsung color laser, with great results (laser printers use toner like a photocopier does, rather than ink)
...Epson inkjet with (special) Claria inks, with great results
...(old) Canon b&w photocopier's great for plain paper black transfers that you rub on and leave sit for 15 min to 3 days depending on effect you want and brand of clay. No water, alcohol, etc. (she tried with parchment though?)
...later I tried a regular inkjet (HP) --it does transfer, but not as vividly (color not as saturated, and whole image not as concentrated or a complete transfer)
the "best" results with a regular inkjet were on Sculpey III since it's very white (Premo Pearl seems to have been second, with white Kato and and gray FimoClassic last of the 4 she tried)
.......Canon inkjets seem to be the most temperamental I hear, so some adjustments in the process may need to happen. I am hearing that the print is transferring but that the transfer is not permanent so a layer of liquid clay set by heat gun should work (or in oven?) to make the transfer permanent.
.......I tried both my Epson and Canon (regular inkjet) printers and although the image looks clear on the parchment, the ink kind of beads up. I got a half successful print with my Canon, but if burnish too hard with either Epson or Canon and the image inks bleed together. Tina
.......don't make your ink (or toner?) setting too thick on paper bec. may then smear (author?)
I have used 3 different brands of baking parchment paper
...all 3 brands work but one worked better. ... the smoother the parchment paper, the better the transfer. parchment paper choice is Bak-O-Matic by Dixie... it's silicone' treated "from vegetable oils"?
...... Bak-O-Matic is available thru restaurant and commercial kitchen suppliers.... it's used to line huge pans (and comes in a box?)
.......Valerie is also selling this paper at cost through her etsy site:
.......Baking Parchment online is one place I found it, but the shipping charge was $25 ...cost of the papers over $100. The smallest quantity I found is 1000. ...comes in 16.375 X 24.375in flat sheets. I then cut the sheets to fit the printer
....Reynolds brand parchment paper from the grocery store has a little too much texture on it for perfect transfers...not all parts of the paper will lie completely flat on the clay, and may leave parts not transferring. anonymous
..."baking" parchment paper is the same on both sides... reports of paper being used that is different one side from another has me wondering what paper is being used in those cases (probably "freezer paper")
...The paper I use is flat.... when I tried the papers on a roll, I simply put the cut sheet into the printer with the curl opposite to the feed path
....... Some who are using paper from a roll are finding that if you take a plain piece of copy paper and put a fold about a inch from the short end, then tuck the baking parchment into that (see just below for details), it will feed better, but I simply use the (single-sheet, manual feed) "'straight' feed path, the one where the paper does not need to go around the roller ...the opening for that feed may be in the back, or a drop down door in the front.

It's amazing how good the transfer is (using this method), and I was also able to apply texture (stamping) on top of the transfer since toner stretches and gives with the clay --other transfer methods leave more of a decal on the top of the clay then stamping cuts and tears the transferred image. Susan

(Valerie Aharoni's blog

Could also use parchment paper for making decal-type transfers by using liquid clay (on copies printed with toner, or with other non-water-soluble mediums on them)?

Trish H's trick for loading small-size, or thin, or slippery, papers into copiers (and printers):
...I came up with away to feed the (thin, slippery baking parchment) paper without having to tape it to another sheet.
...I folded over about 3/8" of the top of a plain sheet of paper, creasing the fold using my finger nail to get a very sharp crease.
...I then slipped the small piece of parchment paper under the fold, and loaded it in the paper tray.
Note: Be careful to design your image (with enough blank paper above it) so the image will fall low enough on the page to miss the 3/8" top of the folded paper.
......necessary?...{I also used the printer setting for Thick Paper (under the Paper Tab) and kept the Best Quality set (under the Graphic Tab)... this tricked the printer into thinking it was a heavy piece of paper}.
Trish H.
(also see tape technique for using smaller papers above under Summary > Not Wasting Paper or Ink)

(see also Transparency Sheets just below, and Slick Papers, which could work in a similar way)

Transparency sheets

I would think that if you use clear acetate or "overhead" type transparency sheets and just print it out on a regular setting (with an inkjet printer --toner copies don't work on transparency paper?), you can get the same results and actually watch the transfer go onto the clay. secret is, you can later just wash the ink off of the sheet when you are done, and keep re-using the transparency sheet (....I made this discovery while printing on a piece of holographic paper...the ink was not drying for more than 30 minutes. That is when it hit me.)
...... I tried a flat piece of clay. Low and behold full color! Brillitant too! Amber Dawn

It works even better if you sand the paper before (printing), and put the printer setting on "economy" .....start with Economy anyway, and work up to more dots psi (does reach a point where it puddles on the paper/film). kelly

I printed a clip art image onto a clear acetate sheet using the "Transparency" option of my printer
..laid the image face down on a sheet of Pearl colored clay
. I gently pressed my finger on each portion of the image (I had to be careful not to rub or it would smear, but turned out okay). Connie
...could also stamp onto these sheets, then transfer (as on Magazine & Other Slick papers below)?

I tried the wet-media acetate (same as overhead transparencies?), but that ink never did dry. Two days after printing, it was just as wet as when it printed, and breathing anywhere near it made it smear :-( If you try it, I'd recommend printing just a small area at a time. Elizabeth
(...could have been a new type of printer though which actually uses a "permanent" ink?)

Could also try various types of "shrink plastic" sheets?


"T-SHIRT" transfer paper

T-shirt transfer paper can be purchased at office supply stores, Walmart/etc., sometimes craft stores or fabric stores, and online
...they are more expensive than some of the other papers & techniques used for transferring, often $1-1.50 per sheet (but less than Lazertran papers at $2).
...see above in Summary for ways to save paper ( "Don't Waste Paper or Ink")

Images are usually placed onto the t-shirt transfer paper with an inkjet printer
... the image can then either be transferred directly to raw clay (or baked clay)
..........or be used with liquid clay or other transfer liquid to create a decal
....or some t-shirt transfer papers can be used to create a decal (those for "dark" fabrics, Inkjet Lazertran Textile Dark, etc.)

There are at least a couple of types of t-shirt transfer paper:
...regular transfer papers ("for light fabrics") create transparent image transfers comprised of ink-only
...... the types of paper we've mostly used for polymer clay in the past; best on light colored backgrounds; printed in correct orientation
...opaque transfer papers ("for dark fabrics") create opaque images which are decals (to be placed onto clay separately)
......can use on dark or light backgrounds, must print in correct orientation

Other slick, clay-coated papers can work like t-shirt transfer papers sometimes too:
...blank brochure paper.... some special glossy or matte papers for inkjet printers
...when not using liquid clay, even pre-printed magazine pages, catalog pages, some ads in the mail printed on these types of papers, and some types of gift wrap paper will work as release surfaces
(see below in Magazines,. Types of Papers, etc.)

... Transfer papers for inkjet printers cannot be used in machines that use heat
(such as photocopiers, and printers that actually use toner instead of "inks", etc)...the hot platen
will melt the plastic coating on the papers, gunk up and ruin those machines
....Companies that make t-shirt transfer papers are forever changing their formulas , so older or newer versions may work differently!

Decal transfers
using t-shirt transfer papers "for dark fabrics"

Transfer papers intended for use on dark fabrics will create an opaque transfer rather than a transparent one
....these yield "decals" which can be basically decoupaged onto polymer clay (...rather than having only the ink transfer into the clay as with the transfer papers intended for light fabrics)
...print image onto transfer paper with inkjet printer (ink will be embedded into a plastic carrier on the transfer paper
) not use printers which apply heat during printing (e.g., HP DeskJet 1200C or 1600C)
.best to use a printer setting for Photo Quality Paper, or Transfer Paper (or 360 dpi?)
...after printing, cut out around the exact edges of the image (so no "plastic" margin will show outside the image later)
...peel the image+carrier decal from its backing by making a small tear at one edge (no burnishing or heat required first)

the image should be printed in the correct orientation --not reversed (...liquid clay decals, however, can be printed and used in either orientation because they're transparent)
...decals made from opaque transfer papers should be able to be put onto raw or baked clay since they're intended to be set on fabric with 350 F heat
...they probably need to be sealed to prevent wear on the image (which is on the surface), and to hold them down
.......could use an acrylic finish (Varathane, etc.), clear embossing powder, or an epoxy resin... or I assume even liquid clay if the object were later baked.
(see Liquid Clay Decals below)

All decal types of transfer will often have a discernible raised edge around it (as opposed to a transfer made onto the clay itself, or liquid clay pressed firmly, or Lazertran Silk).
To deal with this:
...use a frame around the edge (either on top or around the image, or use a slightly larger backing sheet to act as a framing element)
...make the decal reach over the sides of a backing element (bead, pendant shape, etc.) so that its raw edges aren't showing or so that it stops at the base of the backing element
...cut out and use as is, maybe coloring the edge
...or smooth the edges as Lynn K and Donna W suggest, by dusting cornstarch on your hands and the decaled item and gently rolling in your hand or just smoothing the edge with your fingers
.... would heat and pressing work to thin the edges?
....what about using turpentine to "melt" the edges? (Dotty had said this about using Lazertran Regular:. . .OR, you can coat the clay with turpentine, place the decal over it, and then coat the top of the decal with turpentine. The turp doesn't seem to hurt the clay, but it does melt the decal into the surface.... it's almost impossible to smooth or move afterwards though it as it begins to melt immediately.)
...sand and buff

...see more ideas and examples of covering the edge of transfers in Liquid Clay > Decals below
and in Frames-Mirrors > Small Frames supplier of this type of paper says to heat
in a well-ventilated area (at least for transferring at 350 F onto fabric).
6.... also to avoid water for at least 24 hours... do not dry clean (or use solvents?)... keep in closed package between uses, in cool/dry place.

(for suppliers, see below in Suppliers & Brands)

Ink-Only transfers
using t-shirt transfer papers "for light fabrcs"

These are the types of paper we've mostly used for polymer clay in the past
...this type of t-shirt transfer paper releases only ink into the clay
(no decal)
... since these transfers will be transparent best to put them on light-colored backgrounds
....... images must be printed onto the transfer paper in reverse if the correct orientation is desired later
...allow prints to dry well before using (30 min. or more)

The way inkjet T-shirt papers work is that they mimic the particle system of photocopiers by absorbing the dye ink onto tiny plastic beads, which are then transferred (released) onto cloth or clay. Alan V.
....the t
ransferred images are waterproof, even though inkjet ink alone isn't

I've found that t-shirt transfer paper will also transfer almost anything put on it
... for example, you can also use crayons, and colored marking pens, and rubber stamps (using any type of ink?), and a number of other materials to make marks or images on the paper (and they will transfer)... Dotty

I've done curved transfers with an ace bandage....
...Put the clay around your bottle--I used a cardboard tube instead, but same thing. Place the paper with the artwork/words picture side down against the clay, burnish in place with your finger or knife handle,etc... then wrap tightly with the ace bandage to hold the paper in place.... I baked with it on, then unwrapped. Sarajane
(see also transferring image to a tube bead below in "Direct transfer to raw clay --using glue, Diluent, etc., as helper?)

My transfers came out best when I baked with the transfer on the bottom
....and then used some tiles and weights on top of the tiles ensure no movement during baking and removal (and to add pressure)..

(for suppliers, see below in Suppliers)

"Dotty's Picture Perfect…," Dotty McMillan -explanation plus pictures at:

Dotty McMillan’s color photo transfer pins

Christel's color transfer pendant with framing
Parrish's transfers with frames (pendants) --

Jenny Dowde's transfers with frames, for pendants

direct transfer to raw clay (no helpers)
(may not be quite as effective or reliable as using helpers, as in sub-categories below)

transferring from t-shirt transfer paper directly to clay
--Select an image to scan, or an image created --or already in-- your computer.
--Print the image onto "t-shirt transfer paper" --this is a special paper which is made for transferring images from a computer, to the paper, to fabric. It generally comes in a box of ten sheets for around $16, but check around for the best deal. HP paper (and the older Canon paper) both seem to work well; others may as well **. (You can have your image printed onto the paper at a copy shop as well, but you'll need to take your own transfer paper.)
--(don’t worry if the image on the paper appears a little dark or unlovely compared to the original image; it will brighten and clear up in the final step)
--Use white (or light-colored) clay to make a sheet or at least a flat area for the image to be placed on; put the clay on a rigid baking surface (so it can't be jostled on the way to the oven)
--Cut out the portion of the image you want to transfer can leave some space around the image if the clay will be smaller than the image
....or cut exactly around the image; the paper will probably cause a small indention around the edges
-- leave a raised tab to help with removal if you want
--Place the image on the clay and burnish well on all parts.
--Put in a pre-heated oven (at the temp. recommended for your particular clay) and leave it for a few minutes (4-8?)
--Remove from the oven and carefully lift off the paper from one corner (I leave my finger on another corner, so that if any part of the image didn't transfer, I can replace and reburnish) --all of the color should have transferred off the paper onto the clay
--Put back in the oven (without the paper) and finish baking for the normal remainder of time
--Turn off the oven, and leave in till cooled.
-----if there are any small, incompletely transferred areas when you remove the paper, you can fill them in with acrylics (watered-down, if necessary) or colored pencils.
----you may want to consider getting an extra photocopy of your image if you go to a copy shop, just in case something happens with the first one???

heat + weight ...(for graphic b/w image of photographed faces onto a clay tile, as pendant)
.. print off (inkjet) image onto t-shirt transfer paper, then cut clay tile to the right size (can add a screw eye or eyepin through the top center of the tile now if want) transfer paper on clay tile with image facing down, then put something somewhat heavy on top of the paper
...put in the oven (full baking temp for 15 min)......take out and peel the transfer paper backing off. sweetxnxlow

direct transfer to raw clay (using liquid clay as helper)

lessons (liquid clay + heat):
...(after printing on the t-shirt transfer paper), I cut out the printed images leaving a thin border (1/4-1/2" around each printed image)
...... I also cut out a 'tab' somewhere to use in peeling the paper away from the clay
...cut light-colored clay (could be the shape you want), and cover it with a thin layer of liquid clay
...lay transfer print on clay with the tab bent up toward you... rub back of transfer a bit
...bake at 265-275 F for 10 min ...let clay cool
....peel back the paper carefully (.. a few transfers don't 'take', but it's pretty rare)
....rebake the clay for the required amount of time to fully cure it
........I usually re-bake my items over and over because I bake at each step (if I add a border, or put it on another piece of clay, and so on).
...I also add a number of coats of Fimo Gel (Fimo's liquid clay)... very clear adds amazing depth to the transfer.... I always finish my items with Future. Tess (why?..for more gloss?)

My first go with transfers was using t-shirt transfer paper from the computer shop. I printed out my stuff on my inkjet colour printer... Let the t-shirt transfer paper prints dry well
...lesson (this is a very quick and effective way of transferring from transfer paper):
..... I cut the printed inkjet images out, and then put a good splob of liqiud clay on the paper and sort of squeegeed it out with the side of an old credit card (make sure that it covers every bit of the transfer evenly and thinly...and there are no little dimples in it where the paper seems to resist the liquid clay sticking to it....but keep it as THIN as possible).
...Place the print face down on the clay....burnish it VERY well....and bake with paper intact
...Take it out of the oven.... and GENTLY peel back to see what you have.
...Then, trim off excess clay (while clay is still warm?... or use smaller clay than image).
With this way of doing need to keep the liquid clay away from the blank edge of the paper which is resting on the clay... otherwise the whole lot will just peel off with your paper. Tania

(liquid clay + waiting... no heat)
...(2008 Avery t-shirt transfer paper) + liquid clay + Premo or Sculpey.... I have about 95% success rate with this method... works best with fresh prints; for older prints let sit longer

.... I have about 95% success rate with this method... works best with fresh prints; for older prints let sit longer
....spread a very thin layer of liquid clay onto the raw clay
... cut out transfer on transfer paper with a small margin around image.... place face down onto liquid-clay coated clay
....burnish lightly to make full contact, then WALK AWAY! ...wait 10 minutes or more
....burnish again, really well with your finger tip or even the edge of your nail.
......notice that the liquid clay has been absorbed (into the paper) and the paper is sticking well to the clay
... when you think you are done, burnish again
....slowly peel away (part of the) backing... the ink layer is now sticking to your clay
.......if you see any white spots (where the transfer wasn't complete), replace and burnish in...a tiny amount of additional liquid clay on the white spot may be needed... if there are any little flaws, scratch off the ink from the paper backing with a pin then place onto the tiny white spot tp patch it.
....cut out the clay to the final shape
....spread a very thin layer of liquid clay on the (transfer) surface .... bake. BlossomArts

(more lessons, info below in Liquid Clay)

direct transfer to raw clay (using glue, Diluent, etc., as helper?)

(on a curved surface) ...transfer technique on a tube bead
.... I used the t-shirt transfer paper and printed some blue and white designed wallpaper on it.
....rolled a thin sheet of white clay (#6 thickness on the pasta machine)
....then painted the surface with foil glue ("size" or "sizing"...could use tacky glue or regular white glue?)
.. . I used this on the white sheet of clay to make the transfer paper stick to it while rolling it on a knitting needle. (I noticed that the transfer paper sticks to the clay better when doing a cylindrical shape coz' normally the transfer paper is stiff enough to detach from the clay )
...When the glue was tacky, I put the transfer paper on top (face down), then burnished the piece.
... I turned/flipped over the sheet so that the clay is now on top....then i painted this side with the glue also.
....i covered a premade tube/cylinder of clay (still covering the knitting needle) with this sheet, making sure the edges met (cut out the extra clay but leave the extra transfer paper)...and taping the edge of the transfer paper in place with a tape.
...i baked it for 20 min., and while still warm, I took out the paper backing.
...The transfer paper left a slight texture.... to remove this,I baked it again to melt the residue (looks like plastic).
( While it was cool, I did a crackle finish on it to give it character and age, then antiqued it with burnt umber paint.)
Lastly, I covered it with a translucent sheet of clay (#7 setting),(...or you could use liquid clay instead), baked again
...(for gloss) then I sanded and buffed!.... I still have to cut this cylinder into 1 inch tubes... Tanya
(see Lazertran paper & other techniques)

Re the difficulty I had with the photo transfer technique... finally figured out my clay was too dry
......I ended up adding alot of Diluent-Softener, and baking the initial time (before removing the paper) for 20 min instead of 5-7.
(also functioned as helper?)

see also using acrylics like Varathane, acrylic mediums , fingernail polish, and also vinegared paper, etc., as helpers... below in Transfer Liquids )

decal (transparent or opaque)... using .liquid clay + t-shirt transfer paper

I have 100% sucess with this method of transferring (using regular t-shirt transfer paper --"for light fabrics")
lesson: .....cut the transfer out with a tab, but don't bend it up
.....cover t-shirt transfer paper with a thicker layer of liquid clay than you'd use for making a transfer directly onto clay
..........(do not cover the tab with liquid clay though, you'll use that to peel it back)
.....bake for no more than 10 min... let transfer cool ... peel paper off ... (place on clay? with more liquid clay)
.....rebake decal (and clay) for the full amount of time to ensure proper curing. Tess

(I also seal and add gloss) ....after the transfer is done and placed how I want it with whatever border I want, I add a number of coats of Fimo Gel (Fimo's liquid clay) on top (I don't use Fimo Gel on anything I'll have to sand, like transfers, but it's very clear for covering things you want protected ... and it adds amazing depth to the transfer).... I always finish my items with Future (why?.. adds more gloss?) Tesselene

This transfer method is great for flexible, tough bookmarks, and for putting on curved objects like glass votives... Tess

to hide or eliminate the raised edges of decals, see techniques above under Transfer Papers > T-Shirt Transfer Papers > Decal

If I want to put a (transparent) decal-type transfer onto dark clay,
...(after baking the transfer decal initially) I mix liquid clay with white oil paint or with white Pearl Ex
then coat the *back* of the decal (I usually consider the side that *didn't* touch the paper to be the back, but you can choose) with a thin layer of this white liquid clay
...then rebake (making the back of the decal an opaque white will enable you to place it on the dark clay). Tess
(... or just use t-shirt transfer paper for dark fabrics for an opaque transfer)

direct transfer onto baked clay (heat + pressure only)

I used regular iron-on t-shirt transfer paper (like I would do on fabric)
..... I placed the printed image, face down, onto my tile (or flat piece of baked clay)
..... then I placed a (thin?) towel over the paper, and ironed over it on the highest setting
......the transfer went on okay and the pic turned out WELL. springhopes protect the transfer from the iron, could also use sheet of sticker-backing paper or silicone paper or parchment paper, etc., between iron and back of transfer paper

more info on t-shirt transfer paper

inclusions under translucent clay
... I love covering my transfer image with a very thin layer of translucent clay that has glitter, metal foils, or thin cane slices underneath it to add yet another dimension (then sand and buff?) lala

I'm now using a thin coat of liquid clay over the transfer, then baking again
...then sanding and buffing too (just for gloss?).... Looks great!

T-shirt transfer paper can also be used to transfer a printed image of your own polymer clay creation(s) onto fabric (for a quilt.... or onto a t-shirt-sweatshirt, purse, tote bag, napkin, pocket, etc.)

Inkjet ink (even on t-shirt transfer paper) can change color
.....?????? from exposure to some chemicals... for instance when glazing the inkjet transfer with Varathane, I've had blue nearly disappear, leaving the image heavily red and yellow. Elizabeth
.....or over time
.......Ink jet ink is notoriously fugitive. In fact, ink jet ink can fade measurably and visibly in only a few days when exposed to UV lighting (and all the colors won't necessarily fade equally, so maybe your gorgeous purples and teals lose only the cyan, first - perhaps leaving you with tangerine and bright yellow on the ink jet portion of the work, then after a while, maybe only bright yellow. Probably won't fit your original vision very well. ;-))
...........I found that coating a transfer with about four coats of Varathane seems to help keep it brighter longer.... in fact, I accidentally left a piece in a window sill and forgot about it for a long time. No fading.... I'm wondering if the Varathane filtered out some of the UV rays.
.................the piece I had that faded so much had only one coat of Varathane on it. Margaret Ball
...fading could depend on the printer ink and/or the brand of transfer paper??
....I'm also wondering if the newer inks for the photo printers which are waterpoof (such as the Epson 890) are more light-fast?
. ...Is it just the ink, or just the paper, or a combination of both that is important. Can we find a paper and ink that will help to avoid any fading?
....Also, when we transfer with Lazertran Silk it's just the ink that's transferred. When we use Lazertran Regular, it's the plastic decal and the ink that transfer. I wonder how light-fast these are. Dotty
.... We haven't covered this topic very much in polymer clay circles, but the miniature world has been discussing and testing and experimenting with inkjet printables for several years with an eye to longevity of the ink on paper and fabric. One person has done extensive testing on his own:
There's a considerable amount of ink/paper longevity discussion in the SmallStuff archives, as well:

Suppliers & Brands .....(except Lazertran)

SUPPLIERS for opaque transfer papers:
...Wal-Mart sells the opaque papers (for dark shirts) at $9.975 for 5 sheets
...fabric stores?... office supply stores?
...various online suppliers, including Coastal

...Polymerclayexpress carries the dark fabric type of Lazertran Inkjet

SUPPLIERS for transparent (most-common-type) t-shirt transfer papers
....Wal-Mart & other discount supply stores... drug stores... fabric stores...model-railway, vehicle-kit hobby shops (usually near the model paints)

....many places, online, including Coastal

My favorite t-shirt transfer paper so far is the plain old Avery kind
........ you can get it at Wal-Mart ....and it's cheap, for t-shirt transfer paper anyway. Tesselene
....I used Avery t-shirt transfer paper on plain raw clay, and I also did a couple with liquid clay (TLS). . I was amazed how clear and crisp the pics transfered and the colors were bright too. Lisa old formulation of Avery paper? ....I just bought brand-name Avery paper and have had LOTS of problems with it. .....also clay cannot be baked again without turning brown.....( I usually apply the image & bake, and then do my clay embellishments or trim, and re-bake....but with this Avery, after rebaking the white background (around the transfer?) s now a light tan, and where the transfer paper didn't stick completely is white. catbyte

....HP t-shirt transfer paper works very well with the clay. I use it for transferring inkjet copies to get bright transfers.
.... HP has changed the formula on their transfer paper, and now I *love* the results (didn't use liquid clay ).
.......I use my HP inkjet printer, let the transfer bake for 7 mins... it peels off clean, with a nice matte surface. I've never made such attractive transfers before! Lisa
...older formulation?.. I've had mixed results ...often I get wrinkles that are difficult to remove.

I've found that Epson T-shirt Transfer Paper works better than HP (which formulation)

Canon used to work well, but I think they changed the formula because I don't get as good a results as I did about a year ago. Dotty CA

Some of the other t-shirt papers just don't work. But of course, I haven't tried them all yet. Dotty CA

I'm also using silk and cotton transfer papers(?) from Jacquard which is producing some really neat results. DottyinCA (paper-backed fabric fed through printer)?

. . .not all inkjet printers have water-based ink nowadays. Many of the new photo type printers have waterproof ink, as my Epson Stylus Photo printer has. It's great because I don't have to worry anymore about accidentally getting water spots on it, or unexpected rain (but it won't work the same as regular inkjet ink). Dotty

(.... MORE on t-shirt transfer papers + liquid clays is below in Liquid Clays > T-shirt transfer papers)

Lazertran brand --5 transfer papers

Lazertran papers are more expensive than some of the other papers & techniques used for transferring, often $2 per sheet.
...see above in Summary for ways to save paper ( "Don't Waste Paper or Ink")

Originally there were only 3 versions of Lazertran... now there are 5 or more.
photocopier or laser:
Lazertran ("Lazertran Waterslide Decal Paper")...("regular Lazertran")
photocopier or laser color copier (many newer copiers and laser printers won't work now --may need to switch to Inkjet Lazertran;see below)
.....produces a separate decal type of transfer ("water slide decal" paper)
Silk Lazertran makes a direct transfer ...not a decal with visible edges
..... use photocopier or laser desktop printer

inkjet printer:
Inkjet Lazertran produces a thin decal...opaque... soaked off
Inkjet Textile Dark ....peel off decal and place (same as t-shrt transfer paper "for dark fabrics"... see above)
Inket Textile Light .
.. not a separate decal
(same as regular t-shirt transfer paper "for light fabrics"... see above)

(Lazertran also has a paper called Lazertran Stamping Decals --water slide-- for stamping with waterproof stamping ink, then embossing it with embossing powder, soaking off then applying decal)

Some of these paper must use toner (from some photocopiers or laser printers)
.....and some of these papers must use inkjet ink, not toner from a laser or photocopier

..Some must be used on baked clay, others can be used on raw clay (or on baked if heated or sealed?)

There are now 5 or more types of Lazertran" transfer paper... regular and Silk and the Inkjet, plus two Inkjets for Textiles
... some are decal methods, and at least one is a direct transfer method
(some of these are quite similar to using other "transfer" papers listed on this page --there are also other DECAL-type methods for transfers below using liquid clay, etc., but it seemed least confusing to discuss the Lazertran papers together)

Most of the (decal) transfers made with these papers may be placed onto almost any surface, including high quality papers, canvas, metal, glass, ceramic tiles, wood, vacuum forming plastics, candles, etc... see each Lazertran type for details)


Silk Lazertran is not a decal like the other's a direct transfer to unbaked clay (as well as baked clay?)
....must use a photocopier or a color laser printer (no issue with heat in newer photocopiers and lasers, making them unusable, as there is with regular Lazertran)
... smooth finish ( "line of demarcation" around the edge of the transfer as with a decal (...if applied to silk fabric, it appears to be painted on, with no stiffening of the fabric, no roughness or sheen) .
......much brighter color than the regular laser printer transfers. Sue H.
lesson at Polymerclayexpress, using burnishing + water ...they do not recommend HP brand copier
... also recommend images be lightened a bit because they will darken in curing, and not getting any water on the image after copying)
can be done in 4 ways
1. ironed directly onto flat polyclay... then wet backing paper .... image releases in 1 min.
2. spray the image with 3M photo spray mount ... apply to polyclay...dry ...release backing paper as above (this method allows the polyclay to be shaped after the image has transferred).
3. paint liquid clay onto the image on a sheet of Lazertran Silk... heat with an iron or oven to set... soak in water and the image releases (apply liquid clay decal as normal).
4. press on, bake, then use water for the release. (not as good as the other methods.)

Basic lesson for Silk from Lazertran and Dotty:

......copy image in reverse onto paper, then cut out (leaing extra border)
put image on clay face down , and burnish ...let sit awhile --Lazertran recommends 30 min. (work on waxed paper so you can easily peel clay off to soak it)
....submerge clay & paper, into a tub of water.
...leave for 2 min... then swish water til backing paper floats (image will now be on the unbaked clay) ....remove from water
pick up a corner of the paper backing and gently peel it off
....blot off excess water with a soft paper towel...let dry (1 hr)
....can shape the clay & transfer, if desired....then bake
you will now have a piece of flexible raw clay with an image on it which can be applied to almost any surface
...(once in a while you'll get a tiny spot that doesn't transfer but that can usually be hidden with a tiny dab of paint or ink)
....I added a thin coat of Kato liquid clay over it. Dotty
one fun thing about the Silk is that because you transfer it to raw clay, you can then pull the clay around to distort the image before baking. Sue H.

Terry's lesson at PolymerClayExpress on making a rattle pendant with Lazertran Silk
Terry's lesson in Polyzine on using Lazertran Silk for a domed pendant
Deirdre's lesson article in Polyzine re experiments with Lazertran regular and Silk
...(kelly disputes some of the negative results reported for the Silk)

kelly's fractal pins made with Lazertran Silk

regular Lazertran run much hotter and no longe .... a separate decal
IMPORTANT NOTE..... Regular Lazertran (
Lazertran Waterslide Decal) no longer works well with many newer photocopiers and laser printers because the newer ones r used silicon (silicone?) release oil.
......some desktop lasers and older style photocopiers may still work though; see:
......Lazertran says on its site that "if you are unsure or cannot find a machine, we will exchange your Lazertran for the Inkjet version."
so may be best just to switch to one of Lazertrans' Inkjet versions anyway

... must be used on baked clay (on raw clay it becomes sticky (....if you put it onto raw clay and let sit for awhile, the transfer actually melts into the clay; if you bake it then, it's still sticky after baking ...if you put it on and bake it immediately, it's less sticky, but still not good.)
...must use a photocopier or a color laser printer (not a desktop laser printer, according to Mick at Lazertran)...but see "important note" just above)
........ larger paper 11"x17" paper available also
...the decal will be translucent.(do not have to coat it with oil-based Varathane to make it transparent as with the Inkjet version)
after printing:
......drop the transfer into water, wait a minute, remove it, and begin to slide the decal off the baking paper onto the clay make the decal adhere better, you can:
.........coat the baked clay with Future and place the decal over that
.........or coat the clay with turpentine and place the decal over that... and then coat the top of the decal with turpentine (the turp doesn't seem to hurt the clay, but it does melt the decal into the surface, though does make decal difficult to smooth or move).

... tends to wrinkle as it's extremely thin... be very careful when applying it.
.......if turpentine is used , decal becomes almost impossible to smooth or move since it begins to melt immediately (if decal used with Future, or alone, it's possible to smooth and straighten) .Dotty in CA
.these decals look more like "a decal" take "decal look" away, I put several coats of glaze over it.Dotty?
...(there is a) video for sale at the Lazertran website... --it's virtually all Regular Lazertran (not Silk).


Inkjet Lazertran now comes in 3 versions:
...regular Inkjet Lazertran (baked clay)
...Inkjet Lazertran for fabric ( comes as "Light" and Dark") (raw clay... or baked?)

Inkjet Lazertran (regular) is also a decal --but thinner decal than Regular Lazertran, and opaque
...must use baked clay (on raw clay, will become sticky and stay that way?...unless baked? --see details in Regular Lazertran)
...must be
used with an inkjet printer
...different from other decal-type transfers because it's very tough ...I put it onto a glossy ceramic tile which has been banged around, scratched, etc. without any harm to the transfer. DottyinCA
.....Bake backing piece of clay
.....Print out image or images on paper, let dry
.....Cut out whatever graphic you want to use, leaving a small margin of white paper around it (no need to cut it in detail, just a square around it)
.........OR...the natural background of the decal will be an eggshell white instead of transparent unless you apply any oil based polyurethane to the surface of the decal paper ( fact you can coat a whole page of transfers and then just cut out the ones you want when you are ready to use them, or you can wait and coat one image at a time......let dry well, then go ahead)
......Drop into water for one min. or less
..... Slide image off onto baked clay surface ...squeegee off excess water & remove any wrinkles
.........( may help adhesion to coat the surface of baked clay backing piece with water-based varnish like Future or regular Varathane ... before it's dry, slide transfer onto it)
...... sometimes I have to add some white glue when joining the transfer to the baked clay, but mostly the coating of Future (an almost pure acrylic) has worked very well Dotty
.......When completely dry, seal surface with a thin, even coat of satin varnish or Future, for protection (I make sure the varnish overlaps the edges a little, so that the transfer is in effect, sealed in... but again, there are a number of ways to secure a decal transfer). DottyinCA
.....since the decal naturally has a matte finish, if I want a gloss finish, I'll usually use several coats of a glossy varnish (like Varathane)
.....or seal with liquid clay (apply Inkjet transfer to baked clay... apply thin coat of liquid clay...bake ~15 min).
......Anita's Fragile Crackle can also be used on top of that if you want....let dry to form crackle effect...rub acrylic paint into those cracks to show them p.) Jacki
...decal not translucent, an eggshell white... but can make it clear using oil-based varnish (see just below)
...cannot be baked again (decal alone can be, but decal paper will turn yellow if exposed to heat)

one lesson on using (Lazertran for Inkjet) transfer paper to make a decal transfer to apply to a tumbled marble tile, or smooth tile, or could apply to baked clay)... she uses her own original art to make the images
.....she heat-sets the images on transfer paper (after applying the gel medium? -- which actually is never mentioned) with a heat gun for 30 sec

... cuts around the image... then soaks in water 15 sec's & waits to uncurl
....saturates the tile surface with rubbing alcohol (or turpentine which will melt the transfer to the surface)... then slips "backing sheet" off the transfer, and applies decal to tile with brayer before the alcohol/etc. is dry
.........(a water-based varnish like Future or regular Varathane or even white glue
can be increase adhesion instead of the alcohol or turpentine ... and avoid difficulty with positioning after turpentine ...see more re that in Inkjet Lazertran instructions above, under Lazertran)
.....also uses water-based polyurethane as finish, prob. glossy? --but if a non-water-based polyurethane is used, allow ventilation ...then applies clear matte-finish spray sealant-- prob. not needed since polyurethanes are quite resistant to moisture),1789,HGTV_3255_4173855,00.html (orig.instr.)
better lessons: ...
(she mentions Golden's regular Matte Gel Medium in the supplies, but never says to use it in the first lesson... but in another lesson says to use it like glue if edges of decal don't stick well)

(inkjet papers for fabric
(inkjet ink, no toner, lasers... use on raw clay, or can just bake again?)

...Lazertran Iron on Inkjet Transfer Paper for Light Coloured Textiles (transparent)

....Lazertran Iron on Inkjet Transfer Paper for Dark Coloured Textiles (opaque)
(these are the same as regular t-shirt transfer papers "for light fabrics" or "for dark fabrics"
.. see above under T-Shirt Paper for more details on these types)

SUPPLIERS of Lazertran and similar papers:
carries 5 types of Lazertran, plus some sampler packs
regular: 8½ X 11" -10 sheets =$20.00, inkjet: 8½X11" -10 sheets +$20, silk: 8½ X 11" -10 sheets =$20.00
... ... some of theirs the same as Lazertran's? ...water-slide
....Laser Decal Paper (laser printer or color copier)

Lazertran's website also has info about using its paper with stamping and decoupage, etc.
Gwen Gibson uses a metallic acrylic paint between the clay surface and the decal, thinly applied. Karen FL
Dotty's business card holder, lazertran image on translucent sheet, laid on gold foil (website gone)
remember that the color of clay you use as a background will be important to the final look, when using a transparent type of decal because the colors will not show up on dark clay. tlc
(.....though see ways to get around this above, under Transfers..."Making Transfers Opaque")

(more on) paper and printers/copiers & inks (for Lazertran)
(written before problems with Regular Lazertran)

Photocopy paper really shows up the brilliance of the color
. . . . Laser color copies onto Lazertran don't usually look as bright (as photocopy paper). So you can ask the machine operator to bump up the intensity which may help if you are making laser copies.(Have them try this on regular paper, before doing it on the Lazertran. The latter is too expensive to waste with experimenting. When the copy looks bright on the regular paper, then it should look good on the Lazertran.) Dotty

I know that some copy shops are still reluctant to put paper that isn't their own through their machines. You should go to a large chain such as Office Depot, and if they say no, try to speak to the manager of the store and reason with him. Tell him to please call the Lazertran office in New York if need be. Once they have read the material on the cover of the package of Lazertran, they should not have a problem, but some people are not willing to even do that. . .Dotty
... If you have any trouble getting copy store employees to make copies on your lazertran silk, I can highly recommend going to a commercial print shop that offers copies. All the transfers look great! and the people with the printing experience and training are more knowledgeable and more willing to help. Mona
...Do you have any rubber stamping stores in your area? The one near me has a color copier and they use lasertran all the time, so they also offer the service of copying onto lazertran for customers. Gail in Florida
... I've have used all kinds of copy machines with Lazertran, most at work. I see copy machines at "Mailboxes,Etc." I think you can use them yourself. Kay
...Do you have an Office Depot anywhere near you? Or a Staples? They don't give me any problem at all. Kinkos does. You need to check online at the Lazertran site to see which machines run hot and shouldn't be used. DottyinCA
. . .I know that serious damage has been done to machines using t-shirt transfer papers (intended for inkjet printers) so employees have been told to NEVER use any of it. And they aren't willing to trust that Lazertran is different... Dotty
...Some B/W machines run too hot and the Lazertran coating on the paper melts in the machine and can cause a very high repair bill. But the color copiers run less hot apparently due to the composition of the toner in color copiers and they work fine. So even if you want a B/W copy on Lazertran ask them to do it on their color copier. The result will be a better copy anyway. I use Office Max and they are very helpful.. They even keep an open package of Lazertran in their supplies in case they make a bad copy for the customer and need to make a new one. At $2 a sheet this customer is very impressed that they do that! Karen
...So try and stay away from using words that would make them nervous: heat, transfer, coating, decal or whatever.
Just ask them to use your paper, copying onto the side with the sheen. Also request that they load the paper from the side so that it has a straight path instead of from the draw. that is the recommendation of the Lazertran folk but I have used the draw at times and there has been no problem. You can just say that you don't want any bends for your paper.
...I usually use a smaller local printer, because they have great coupons, but have used Office Max as well.
...What some of my students have done to overcome this frustrating situation is to go to a place where they have a "do it yourself" color laser machine and then do a copy on it using the Lazertran. Then walk over to the clerk and tell them that you just did it on one of their machines and it worked just fine. So would they please stop worrying about it. If this doesn't do it, ask for the manager. If this doesn't do it, let me know. I'm contacting the Lazertran people to see if they have a solution. . . . Just be sure that the machine you use is one of the ones that are listed on the package of Lazertran Silk that are supposed to work okay with the paper. Dotty
I got an email from Mick Kelly, the developer of the Lazertran stuff, and he said that the Silk version actually works in all brands of toner-based color copiers not just the brands listed on the packaging.
The Lazertran Silk has no decal on it, just a water soluble coating of some type. Usual heat transfer papers have a coating that is basically melted onto the T-shirt to seal the ink. Its that melting that sometimes starts in the copiers and makes an expensive mess.
...I had taken my Lazertran regular to the copy shop and it melted in a Canon copier... Well, I sent an email off the the folks at Lazertran and this is the answer: "You must not use black & white copiers as they run too hot ...and anyway the colour copier gives a better b & w image. Mick" Valerie

...the envelope (containing the papers) is white and I don't remember any warning except not to bend the paper.
The owner of the company clarified a couple of things, today, saying that it isn't a light process, it's a heat process. (I'd assumed it was a photo/light process because of the fact that it is supposed to be used in a copier and not an inkjet printer) Sorry for my earlier error in assuming that the paper is photo-sensitive. Anyway, it doesn't appear to harm it to be out of the dark plastic envelopes that it's sold in, so you don't have to race to get it enclosed, again. ;-) Elizabeth
Mick at Lazertran just confirmed what Elizabeth said, that the transfer paper is NOT light sensitive so not to worry.
He also said: "Regular lazertran will work and can also be used with liquid Sculpey. You can soak the decal off the paper and apply, let dry and then bake or you can stick it to the polyclay with liquid Sculpey and bake. We find the lazertran Silk better because there is no decal to crease or get in the way it you want to reform the polyclay after transfer."... This paper is transparent and it can be overlaid I believe. They have a beautiful brochure that shows it being used on glass, various types of plastic, dinner ware, ceramic, tiles, wooden tables and chairs, paper, Plexiglas, silk, metal, and canvas bags. Dotty in CA

...Some of the (transfer papers) can melt if you use them in a laser printer. Lasers print using high heat. It's safe in your inkjet printer, however as it's a cool printing process. If you take t-shirt transfer paper made for inkjets to a copy shop they won't use it as it can melt in their laser copy machines. The Lazertran paper that is made for laser printers is okay to use at a copy shop. Now, how did I know about the t-shirt paper melting in a laser printer? Yep, I did it. What a mess! Dotty in CA
A bubble jet is the same as an inkjet so you can use the T-shirt transfer paper with it. You can also use any paper designed for an inkjet. You can't use Lazertran however, but you CAN print out your graphic onto regular paper in your inkjet and then take it to a copy shop and have them transfer it onto the Lazertran. Gets confusing, doesn't it? Dotty in CA

The inkjet ink (even on t-shirt transfer paper) can change color over time.... or with exposure to different chemicals, for instance when glazing the inkjet transfer with Varathane, I've had blue nearly disappear, leaving the image heavily red and yellow. Elizabeth
......This is a problem that really needs some investigation. I found that coating a transfer with Flecto (Varathane), about four coats, seems to help keep it brighter longer. I accidentally left a piece in a window sill and forgot about it for a long time. No fading. I'm wondering if the Flecto filtered out some of the UV rays. But we do need much more experimenting. . . . I'm wondering if the newer inks for the photo printers such as the Epson 890 are more light-fast (?). They are waterproof which I've found is so much better because a few drops of water don't ruin the print as they would with an ink that isn't waterproof. . . . Is it just the ink, or just the paper, or a combination of both that is important. Can we find a paper and ink that will help to avoid any fading? ...Also, when we transfer with Lazertran Silk it's just the ink that's transferred. When we use Lazertran Regular, it's the plastic decal and the ink that transfer. I wonder how light-fast these are. Dotty
....The piece I had that faded so much had only one coat of Varathane on it. -- Margaret Ball
....Inkjet ink is notoriously fugitive. In fact, ink jet ink can fade measurably and visibly in only a few days when exposed to UV lighting - and all the colors won't necessarily fade equally, so maybe your gorgeous purples and teals lose only the cyan, first - perhaps leaving you with tangerine and bright yellow on the ink jet portion of the work, then after a while, maybe only bright yellow. Probably won't fit your original vision very well. ;-) We haven't covered the topic very much in polymer clay circles, but the miniature world has been discussing and testing and experimenting with inkjet printables for several years with an eye to longevity of the ink on paper and fabric. One person has done extensive testing on his own:
There's a considerable amount of ink/paper longevity discussion in the SmallStuff archives, as well:
...fading could depend on the printer ink and/or the brand of transfer paper??

more TRANSFER PAPERS (decal & non-decal)

purchased Tattoos & Decals (aka water slide, water tattoo, etc.)

NOTE: Regular and Inkjet Lazertran transfer papers also yield decals from papers, as does liquid clay, but these tattoos and tattoo papers usually have one or two adhesive sheets attached or applied later, which may be omitted)

I wandered into the kids section at Cost Plus and found pretend. tattoos ......the amazing part is they're very translucent
... you can apply to clay after baking, or before baking (though see below for that)
... they are great for applying to miniature tea sets for tiny china painting. The packages had more than enough for tons of projects. Faun...

(see more on the behavior of these tattoos & decals just below in "Making Your Own Tattoos-Decals")

Donna W's lesson on adhering purchased "water" tattoos onto a curved clay surface (a round bead, or could also be cabochon)
....placing the bead on a paper towel dusted with cornstarch, and using a large soft paint brush generously dusting cornstarch on your hands and the bead
... then gently roll the bead in your hands, smoothing and correcting any deformity, adding cornstarch as needed for easy handling and protection of the design

Are the decals transparent enough to see the background it is on? the Richmonds
....Oh yes. Since they are designed to look like real body tattoos, the background shows through very nicely. Desiree

to hide or eliminate the raised edges of decals, see techniques above under Transfer Papers > T-Shirt Transfer Papers > Decal

... those decals for fingernails would be fine to use too. Faun
... the kids areas of various stores will have them too (Cost Plus, etc.)
....I found the ready-made tattoos in the dollar store.
... I also purchashed some at Walmart, but they were the Folk Art tattoos and are a bit too thick for my tastes, and also quite large.
...I experimented with each type I had and the Body Art water tattoos really had better results (gone now).
I found some tatoos in a small book that Dover puts out. These are butterflies and they don't wash off, but they do go on with water. I haven't tried them, but the Dover designs are usually copyright free. They might have the little books on their website
(search with the word tattoo). Caroline
(water slide)

... many online sources for temporary tattoos
....Arizona Body Art (gone)

making your own tattoos-decals ....with special paper & a printer

BASIC lesson ...when using the decal-tattoo papers on clay
...print your image(s) onto the special paper, generally with a printer (inkjet or laser)
...then place it face down on the 1st side of the double-sided adhesive paper... cut out shape
...remove the 2nd side of the adhesive paper(revealing an adhesive image)... press onto the clay & burnished
...what's left showing is the back side of the tattoo paper, which is then soaked with water, allowing it to slide off the image

Need to use a light colored clay with the regular paper which makes a transparent image
.....or if using decal on darker (clay) backgrounds and you want the image to be seen well, buy the white paper which makes an opaque image (can color the decal background by makingbackground areas same color as your item when printing... or another color, but then the transfer will appear to be surrounded by a "frame" of that color) least one supplier has an additional paper which can be used with a photocopier (or laser printer, ALPS printer, or inkjet printer) called laser decal paper

...paper is often expensive!

I think tattoos can be left without a finish(?)
but can also use a finish of liquid clay or very thin translcuent clay (or Future and Varathane?) or clear embossing powder melted in oven.

Lynn's lesson on applying a tattoo (onto raw clay)... images printed with inkjet printer onto blank decal paper (Body Sticker Tattoo brand no longer made)

I apply (to raw clay and get a) wrinkly look ...the tattoo shrinks a bit and wrinkles, but that can add to the "aged" look if wanted
........ if you don't want the wrinkling, do it onto baked clay Lynn K. intentionally get a wrinkled effect, could we use blank bit of tattoo paper over another design?
...must flip the image in printer...also this paper is only 5.5 x 8.5", so I tape it to another sheet of paper first.

I put 4 tattoos onto a sheet of raw clay, without. their adhesive and learned that you can, as long as you later seal it under a thin sheet of translucent clay or under liquid clay (the tattoo will scratch off the baked clay if you don't seal it). Tonja (what about wrinkling?), do this, you print the tattoo... then skip the adhesive step altogether and lay face down on clay.... wet the back to remove the paper part... add a layer of translucent, and bake (to avoid the plastic-y look?). Andrea

Jeanette's lesson on adhering tattoos onto foil (Jones Tones) on clay (gone)
...I have done the tattoos two ways: way on raw clay (over the Jones Tones)
.......the other way on baked clay (raw clay covered with foil, then covered with very thin layer of liquid clay, and baked)
...........I apply tattoo, then liquid clay, and bake again.... repeat a 3rd time (I will bake them 5 times in total). Jeanette

I applied onto baked clay
...I first decided what size my clay should be and cut it out...then baked it
.......(I used Pearl Premo because anything white shows clear on the tattoo, but and the pearl gives it a 3D effect
.......then I apply the tatoo..... I finish it off with Future floor wax. ClayLady.
..So, is this right?....You print the sheet of tattoos... then peel one side of the protective paper off of the adhesive sheet... apply the adhesive sheet to the printed sheet of tattoos......then you cut off a tattoo from the sheet and peel the backing off of the adhesive and stick the tattoo onto the clay sticky side down. ....Lastly, you soak off the protective sheet from the tattoo itself to expose the picture. Tonja
...Yup, exactly as you say, that's what I did. So I guess what I am really asking, is there any way to remove the adhesive? When I tried it wouldn't budge and pulled clay with the design. Andrea
...I think we concluded that my putting the clay frames around them like I had always been doing was a very good thing. LOL. Tonja
.......once I added a frame, then my tattoo didn't curl up and expose extremely sticky clay underneath?. Kellie

Desiree's examples of larger tattoos using decal paper (+ tile images from the web)..this decal material is fairly thick.
...I tried decaling polymer clay tonight. It seems to work alright as long as the surface to apply the decal to isn't too curved (also click on "applied tattoo" photo to see the wrinkly look up close)
...Desiree's box, with monochrome tattoos on the sides

see just above for Donna W's lesson on applying tattoo to a curved surface (round bead, in this case)

...I found the decal paper (tattoo paper) at WalMart, in the office supply and papers dept. It's "Invent It" brand (brand no longer available)
worked great on clay, but tried it as body stickers on my boys and we weren't happy with the results. CANDRaley
...many stationery or computer stores (or office supply stores?) carry it also
Avery InkJet Decals for Windows
ONLINE only? ....(Temporary) Tattoo Paper (prices) .... (lesson for using)
......(same as Bel Decal?... to print and apply

...SuperCal decal paper (clear, or white--for placing over darker backgrounds)
.......after printing with ink jet, "must next seal with their Last-Step Air Brush Decal Coating" ....
? Diane B.
(see also and Translucents > Bleached Premo and Finishes >Crackle for more on crackled surface effects)

square images from tiles
...I think you're right... some of the tile designs are so square that they lend themselves better to more regular shaped objects like boxes.
.........but some of those flowing floral patterns should make good pendants (when cut). Desiree
...Tile Heaven (try the all-on-one-page link)
...other tiles sites (Museum of Medieval & Encaustic Tile ...the British Tile Co.)

fractal images ...found this site with about 40 of them...they are royalty free. So I downloaded them and put them in brass frames.... I applied the tatoo after the bake. Claylady (there are actually seven pages of fractals ...just keep clicking on View Next Collection)
...Cheryl's transferred fractal images in polymer frames (link not working at site; try later of pg)

These clear decals can also be attached to glass, metal, wood or almost any other surface (just as a decal, or on a clay backing)
...e.g., small glass or plastic bottles with decals
...used anywhere clay is used as a covering (wood boxes, metal Altoid tins, candle shields or votives etc.)
...could be added to the outside of glass balls, then frames or other embellishments added (images of people, clip art, or any xmas images,from favorite Chrismas cards,e.g.)
...for Halloween, they could be placed over a backing of glow-in-the-dark clay, or be made with Liquid Polyglo (which is glow in the dark liquid clay ....see Liquid Clay)
..........they could also be attached with a backing of clay, or metallic leaf and/or clay) Diane B.

Non-decal, Rub-ons ...and Misc????

inkjet transfers onto mica tiles ....(lesson --click on Projects, then on Mica Tile Transfer Technique)
... using USArtQuest's Duo Embellishing Adhesive and their Studio Paper
...."Studio Paper"... a transfer paper accepting most inkjet inks will not dry onto the surface, allowing for easy transfer of photos and reversed text....can be used several times, with gentle wet wiping in between transfers
........(can also be used as a palette for oil paints, acrylics, solvent-based inks ... paste paper techniques, monoprinting etc ... or protective worksurface
....Duo Embellishing Adhesive (like "sizing"? or white glue? or Tack it Over and Over?) ......a traditional glue when wet, but dries tacky (then it's repositionable) ...transparent, water soluble, fast drying, acid-free...adheres to glass, paper, plastic, wood, mica and other surfaces.

purchased Rub-On transfers
(don't use on soft surfces like skin or fabric, or on surfaces which will wrinkle in use or with washing... won't adhere well)
....clean and degrease area before applying transfer for best adhesion (can use acetone or alcohol)
... transfers will stay on till removed with acetone or razor blade, though not removable from paper, vinyl, plastic, or acrylic... painted-finished surfaces may require sanding or acetone for good adhesion


NON liquid-clay mediums
(acrylics like Varathane, acrylic gel mediums + packing tape, vinegared paper, etc.)

Most of the following mediums are the same. basic material (except the packing tape)---they are clear liquid acrylics

...most can be used either to make a direct transfer to a surface (though some can't be used on raw clay?)
or to make a decal (which will have transparent background) which can be attached separately to a surface or soaked with the "decal" on it)
...or some can act more like decoupage mediums

....all mediums should also function well as adhesives and as sealers and/or finishes

....most will not require heat, but heat can speed things up considerably in some cases

...these materials transfer images from many kinds of papers, etc.

...some steps or materials will be interchangeable to get the same result

OTHER SURFACES for these transfers might be things like
....fabric, t-shirts, quilts ... wood, metal, glass, ceramic tiles, plastic, rocks.... notebooks ... bumper stickers, windows as "clings" etc..

Varathane acrylic wood finish sealer

direct transfer... to baked clay or raw clay? ...or to other hard surfaces favorite method of transfer uses plain ol' Varathane as the medium (Varathane is an acrylic wood finish, water made by Rustoleum, which is found in hardware stores like Ace (...much more on Varathane itself in Finishes > Varathane)
....the transfer is permanent on clay (unless you scratch it off)
..this is an easy method, you just need to be careful in two of the steps:
......don't move the image as you apply it to the (wet?) Varathane on the clay (so there won't be any smearing)... let dry (and bake together?)
..... you have to rub the paper off the baked clay after wetting (or soaking?) ...and while you need to take it off to the point that the image no longer looks milky, you want to be careful not to rub the image completely off
....I do a lot of pendants this way, and will be doing some boxes embellished with these (I transfer the image of a particular dog on to a piece of raw clay, bake it, and then glue that to the top of the wooden box). Barbe
...could be done on any surface though probably
(....this technique was described in Polymer Cafe magazine last year where it was described as a Raku Effect, but you can just skip the chalks and transfer the image).

(...should work the same as the acrylic medium methods described below for a direct transfer... other acrylic finishes --even fingernail polish-- for making decals, etc.)

"acrylic polymer mediums"

( will create direct transfers or decals)

"Acrylic mediums"
have generally been sold in art supply stores and craft stores.
...acrylic mediums come in several versions (.. some are formulated to be thinner, some thicker, some create a glossy finish, some a matte finish, some dry slowly, etc.)
...they are manufactured by various companies (like Golden, Liquitex, etc.), but they're pretty much the same basic stuff

Valerie A's acrylic medium + white acrylic paint mixture....(and/or just plain acrylic medium)
(color copier image on plain paper --no heat-- used to create a decal, but could also be direct transfer--see below)
(using opaque white paint allows the transfer to be vibrantly colored, and won't have to worry about color of clay being used underneath)
...I mixed a clear acrylic medium (Pebeo brand "liquid polymer medium") with a bit of white acrylic paint
......when I mix with paint, I always use a good brand (of acrylic medium such as Liquitex) since better quality paints are more elastic
...Then applied two rather thick coats to the image side of the paper....allowed to dry (to become non-water soluble)
...Applied water liberally...rubbed (the decal) off.
I also wrapped one (of these decals) around a (cylindrical) core of raw? Fimo, then cured at 275 F for 40 min.

various tips on which mediums of theirs work best for decal transfers, from the website of Golden Paints (one manufacturer) lessons on doing transfers with acrylic mediums by brushing on (they recommend Soft Gel--Gloss for the clearest image transfer, and by pouring on if needed to avoid brush strokes (they recom. Golden GAC 800 which is formulated to avoid crazing, or Self-Leveling Clear Gel or Clear Tar Gel which will level out before drying but are less resistant to foaming which can lead to less clearness....minimum layer recommended is 1/32" to 1/16" since a thinner layer may be difficult to handle without tearing). ...
some examples:

direct .....using transfer paper and gloss acrylic medium
(onto tumbled-marble tile or paper --or on baked clay... surface should be matte, porous, or sanded a bit for best adhesion)
..... photocopy, laser print, or inkjet print image onto transfer paper... or draw an image with waterproof ink
... reverse image if want to retain proper orientation
.......apply gloss medium to front side of image, let dry (if using inkjet, don't move, or may smear?)
.......apply gloss medium to surface to receive the transfer (in this case a sheet of decorative paper), let dry
...apply more gloss medium to new surface (which will also act as a glue & transfer helper)... place image face down on new surface (& burnish?)... dry thoroughly
.....(gently) rub transfer paper off with water using a cotton fabric (or soak a bit first?)
(see similar method just above using Varathane)
OR with iron
lesson using transfer paper and Golden's Polymer Medium to transfer an image directly to a tumbled marble tile (antiqued first with brown acrylic paint)
.... apply two coats of acrylic medium on transfer paper image (see above)... dry after each coat
.... place image onto new surface face down
.... lay " release paper" (sheet of sticker backing-paper) on top of tile, then press firmly with an iron on high... cool
.... soak whole tile in water till see image through paper (about 15 sec)
.... rub paper off, then dry... can use a little cooking oil to remove the remaining film from the paper
....burnish thoroughly with paper towel to remove wax from sticker paper.... and seal
(for a lesson on transferring a decal onto a tile with Lazertran For Inkjets paper + Future or Varathane to make transfers see above under Lazertran-Inkjet)

(see info on using Lazertran Silk + ironing/heating or liquid clay, etc. + soaking to transfer images onto clay other other surfaces, including tiles, above)

laser print transfer decal using "photo transfer paper"
... soak to remove decal... apply to (smooth) tile, working out bubbles... dry seal, put in oven on metal rack and heat 1 min. at 300, or use lacquer (image first created by collaging bits of color photocopies),1789,HGTV_3255_3388628,00.html

decal lesson.....I use Liquitex brand "gel medium" and ink jet prints...with regular paper (makes pale image)
...print out your image on an ink jet printer ...let it dry
...iron it to make sure the ink is set (if not baking on clay later)
...coat the ink jet image with gel medium**.... wait until the gel medium dries completely remove the transfer from the backing paper, wet back (or soak) and remove the paper (the resulting image transfer will be transparent).... let dry
Here is the project page where this general process was shown (by Jacqueline) on Crafters Coast to Coast. rainee
(this way creates a decal, but could prob. be directly done on baked clay at this point** above)
...(to create an image for placing onto a canvas for a collage... she also used gel medium to glue the dried transparent transfer to the canvas).,1789,HGTV_3287_3296772,00.html
(see vinegared paper + acrylic below for darker images when using plain paper )

matte (photo) paper works well for transfers using Golden's Soft Gel Medium, even though every reference says it will not work with inkjet prints. Diane C.
...glossy photo papers and brochure papers should work too? (see below in Papers)

direct... Carol Duvall's explanation of a somewhat time-consuming method using an acrylic polymer medium for directly transferring images without heat from newspapers, magazines, books, even baseball cards.... onto glass, wood, canvas and even stones
....(this takes 5-6 coats,....drying 30 min. between each) and overnight to transfer .... plus 20 min - sev.hrs to soak)
... she used Liquitex but there are other brands available at art supply (and craft?) stores.
This was back in the 70's --before photocopies or ink jet prints were around)
Several "transfer" products have come along since then which are basically acrylic polymer medium and work in the same way (Picture This, etc.).
(she also mentions transfer papers which could be later used with photocopies, but doesn't mention liquid clay which wasn't around back then),,HGTV_3121_1382895,00.html

Omni Gel (Bearing Beads, w/ Houston Art)
o transfer (direct?), or use as a freestanding decal, and as a glue
...Beckah at Bearing Beads has lots of info on her site about doing transfer decals with Omni Gel. She calls transfers with Omni Gel "cold transfer" because they require no heat (...tho' take a long time to dry)... finished decals are then glued to most any surface with more Omni Gel (or Sobo/white glues, other gel medium, etc...)
(Don't confuse this technique into with her info on what she calls the "hot technique" of using gin to transfer a copy. . . see above in "Copiers")
...(Apr 2004: the formula for Omni Gel has changed ... now coats need to be thicker than before, and drying time may need to be longer... final technique still being tweaked)
....she mostly uses a color copier or a laser copier, whether she begins with a color or b&w image
......though "this liquid lifts the image from just about anything."
.... (also available at The Clay Alley)
Beckah's lesson on making a decal transfer with Omni Gel, using a nylon brush in several different directions, drying in-between coats, removing paper with water, then drying it
...As far as the petroleum-y smell goes ...ya, I guess it's a bit "gluey/pasty" smelling. Judy
...Bearing Beads also sells many (regular) clip art sheets called "Transfer Sheets" (reverse images for matte images), and "Collage Sheets" (for glossy images, in positive orientation)

(misc. re Omni Gel ...or probably other acrylic mediums:)
...most decal transfers are translucent, but if you want an opaque background, she suggests painting a mixture of Omni Gel and metallic powder on the back of the decal before pressing it onto clay, or other material. .. or paint with an acrylic paint/gesso.
...Look on the website for examples of how the transfers are used. Rebecca

one issue I have with Omni Gel is the brush lines as I can't get rid of them or any area that is not smoothed to the nines
...(one site stippled the brush marks with cheesecloth to get rid of them)

If I put it on too thick, then it takes forever to dry
...if I put it on too thin, it dries well but then it disintegrates in the water when I let it sit to peel the transfer off. Judy

to speed up drying, Bearing Beads suggests using a tack iron at 250 degrees ....or a fan, or a dome dryer ... waiting 10 min between coats, and 30 after the last coat..(the drier your climate, the better)

to adhere the decal, omni gel works, but on raw clay it will bubble a bit.
...I also used liquid clay to cover the omni gel on clay and that seemed to work ok, but using Kato liquid clay the omni gel bubbled and wrinkled (like tatoo paper?).
..I have found that the finished omni gel decal adheres better with that shiny side smoothed side down against the clay.
...I have used liquid clay to adhere also, and again the shiny side down worked the best.

I did try just a snipit of omni gel on ink jet print and yes I did get it to work, but if you continue too long with rubbing the paper off, your image goes with it, as the ink is not permanent. Jeanette

Amazing Transfer Goop ... kits from Transfers Unlimited (Artisan's Choice) (heat + maybe release paper needed at least for fabric)
...could be similar to liquid clay used with t-shirt transfer paper or glossy photo paper? (they don't recommend premium varieties of papers though which have plastic in them, like Kodak, because they'll melt --when heated?).
... also sounds a lot like the kinds of transfers that are purchased for adhering to t-shirts, etc., since they require a release sheet in the last step (ironing onto fabric)
.. if desired, "transfers can be baked into polymer clay at the curing temperature for the clay"
...reportedly difficult to get good results (but may depend on getting all variables right?)
I have not used it, but have ordered it. There was an ad in Craftrends. . . .and it was advertis ed on TV . . .
. . . "Exclusive process improves an image's color, making it glossy, strong, waterproof."
(877)7-ARTISAN or (760) 749-0702.
...stretchable...can be ironed or glued to any surface. ... ten minutes
...can also cling temporarily (to glass, e.g., for candle shield "if use only water" to adhere rather than ironing or gluing)
....use a light-colored transfer if you want the background to show through
.....they recommend not trying to lift any image which is sealed under a plastic coating because the liquid won't penetrate (e.g., actual photographs, playing cards, and some kinds of ink jet papers)
....they feel the best photo paper is Epson Photo Paper or Epson Photos Quality Ink Jet paper.
...also don't use actual watercolor or water-soluble ink drawings since the rinsing will remove the inks (scan or photocopy instead)
....instructions for use
....project ideas

(--see just below for using liquid clays for making decals)
(--see info on the photosensitive material used in this, below under Photosensitive methods > Polymer plates, etc.)

vinegar-ed paper + clear acrylic liquids

...cover a sheet of regular copy paper with white vinegar lightly using a foam brush (both sides?) ...let dry ...(old vinegar may be less effective?)
...repeat ....... iron dried paper flat on hard surface
...print out image on the prepared paper (reverse image in computer if want to use right-side-up later)
...tape edges of paper down on stiff surface (or will curl later)
...paint light coat of Delta Ceramcoat Gloss Exterior/Interior Varnish (or any clear acyrlic finish?) over the image with a soft brush, using a light touch so it won't bleed... let dry one hour
......then apply 3-4 more coats (can be heavier coats), drying 1 hr. between each (or shorter?...1/2 hr)
...leave multi-coated paper in place to cure 48 hours (shorter?)
...cut out image however you want
...soak in cold or room temp water (will curl, so can weight down enough to keep submerged)
........ 5 min for small pieces... overnight for larger ones (shorter?)
....gently peel coated image from paper (will be a little fuzz but if want to attach from that side, will be okay.. otherwise rub off as described below under Liquid Clay > Basic Instructions > "Getting the Paper Off")
(... I use tacky glue to put these on everything --sheets of tacky-glue+cornstarch clay sheets...Joyce)

clear fingernail polish says to use 6-7 layers of clear fingernail polish (for clay, stick with acrylic fingernail polishes, not "enamel")
....cut the picture to size you want... lay on waxed paper, and coat it with 6-7 coats of clear fingernail polish (let dry between coats)
....when last coat is completely dry, soak in water until the paper backing slides away
....apply this decal to your item using tacky glue. Karen W. (or other white glue)

packing tape + photocopy

decal ...lessons using clear packing tape to make a clear "decal"-type transfer (on clear tape) by using an image from photocopy or ("non-glossy"??) magazine image, etc.,2025,DIY_13776_3018653,00.html

..Laurie Rhode's lesson and many examples of these from photocopies (for use in a scrapbook),1789,HGTV_3287_2856795,00.html (Simple Image Transfer, by Laurie Rhodes...Scrapbooking episode SCB-404

basic lesson: place strip of packing tape across the copy... rub tape down in both directions with a bone folder... soak in a bowl of warm water for at least 5 min ...rub the white side under running water in a circular motion with thumbs to remove all paper... blot dry
... attach to surfaces with double stick adhesive (or with white glue?) adhere it to another surface (if there isn't sufficient residual tackiness), she says to use "gel medium" (or any white glue?)
...... don't know if can be baked though

.....note that transfer image will be shiny from the tape
..........the glossiness of the finish can be subdued with very light sanding (very fine sandpaper or 0000 steel wool?)
.....image will be thicker than a gel medium or liquid clay decal??
.....if you want to transfer a picture larger than the 3" tape, try an adhesive laminating sheet instead

clear embossing powder --melted

...lesson on applying clear embossing ink from a pad--or probably just plain glycerin (onto an unglazed tile, in this case) then applying clear embossing powder over it and melting the powder (4 mins at 350)... an image on tracing paper is then embedded into the melty embossing powder, and cooled ...another layer of clear embossing powder is then melted on top of the image
...(here they use waterproof inks, colored in with chalks, but could probably just use a toner-based photocopy, or an inkjet print with acrylic srpay on both sides, etc?),1789,HGTV_3352_1812624,00.html
(more on "decoupage" above under Transfer Papers > Decals, in Mixing Media > Paper, and in Glues > Decoupage for more traditional decoupage )


DIRECT+ DECAL transfers

for making opaque decals with opaque t-shirt transfer papers (instead of with liquid clay), see above in Transfer Papers > Decal

summary of transfer methods which use liquid clay, materials, & variables

There are 2 basic techniques which use liquid clay to transfer an image to clay:

1. way results in a "decal" (a freestanding, almost transparent, flexible film with the image transferred to one side of it --but can be seen from the other side as well)
...... this decal
can later be placed onto raw or baked clay (or onto a non-clay surface), usually with a "glue" of wet liquid clay
..decal transfer is created in two ways
..... with liquid clay on a sheet of glass or slick tile, then oven-baked for a shiny surface.
......with liquid clay layer on photocopy with a heat gun... decal must later be removed from its paper backing, often by soaking
......(decals can also be purchased as pretend "tattoos," fingernail decals, etc.)

2. direct...another way results in the ink or other medium of the image being transferred directly onto raw or baked clay using liquid clay as a helper (...onto thick clay sheet, or thin clay sheet which is later backed with more clay for strength).

Images for doing liquid clay transfers can come from a number of sources ...and can have been printed onto papers in various ways:
....a digital image inside your computer (which has gotten there directly from the web, or has been scanned ---like a photograph, or a photo or drawing), which is then put onto various kinds of papers with an inkjet printer (using water-soluble dye ink ...newer pigment inks may work or not)
....a b&w or color photocopied image (from a toner based machine) ...+ laser copier or printer
....image from a magazine page (it comes already printed onto slick, clay-coated paper).. and possibly some gift wrap paper?
(...and some other substances like pastels, chalks, stamped pigment inks, some colored pencils, some markers, etc, or decal?)

There are lots of variables to consider as well.
...(unfortunately, transfers may not work well without putting together the exact combination of variables for each technique):
......some of the variables can be: the type (& sometimes the brand) of paper used, the kind of printer/copier/other ink used on that paper, how and when the transfer is cured, whether a decal or direct transfer is desired
..........and if the transfers is a decal, when or how it's soaked to remove the paper, how thick the liquid clay is, etc.

brands & types of liquid clay

There are several brands & types of liquid clays .....(these also affect the backgrounds of the transferred images):
.....the older, original version of Liquid Sculpey ("LS") is the only brand & type which results in an opaque and white transfer (rather than a clear one) after curing .... transfers made with it will also be white in any uncolored's usually mail ordered
.........when making a decal using LS, the image will be reversed since it can't be seen from both sides; some people like this for certain things though
I still prefer to use the original opaque LS though because it seems to make a better, more forgiving transfer. (Jody?)
(........NOTES: opaqueness and/or color can also be created in liquid clays by adding powders/paints, or found in a few already-colored, purchased liquid clays (Colored Liquid Sculpey & Polyglo)
.... sometimes people use the shorthand version "LS" when they really mean "TLS, " Translucent Liquid Sculpey (or they just mean liquid clays in general)
CLEAR ...(or pretty clear)
...when any of the translucent liquid clays are used to make a decal, the whole transfer will be transparent, the background will be transparent, and the image will visible from both sides (not reversed) (...think of these as similar to photographic slides or other transparencies)
remember that the color of the clay you use as a background will also be important ...most colors will not show up on dark colored clay, or will at least be changed.
....... brands of the translucent-clear version:
Translucent Liquid Sculpey (TLS) which is currently the most commonly available liquid clay found at retail (Michaels, etc).... Liquid Fimo Decorating Gel..... Liquid Kato Clear Polymer Medium ...(and Modelene's liquid clay available in Australia/NZ)
.........TLS and LS (and Fimo?) have a matte finish ........Kato liquid clay has a somewhat shiny finish (unless sanded)
.........Kato liquid clay is more transparent than TLS ... self-levels better (reduces brush marks)
.........Fimo Liquid Gel is very clear ...also more rubbery and extra flexible (good for clings, etc but makes sanding even more difficult)
.........Fimo Gel is so clear that it's good where you want to have a protective covering, like over transfers, etc.. Tesselene
............Jeanne R. says that her Fimo liquid clay has yellowed over time (not UV resistant?)
......they are all more difficult to sand than regular baked clay (Sculpey easiest, then Kato --which is easier if add drop of dish liquid or PhotoFlo, then Fimo)
(.......... much more info on the differences and characteristics of the various brands,
as well as much more info about their characteristics and how to use using them successfully in many techniques, see Liquid Clay)
.... also more info, but somewhat overlapping, in sub-category Liquid Clays > Transfers)

Some clayers feel that the best results for transfers may come from using solid clay and liquid clay from the same manufacturer (...with at least one technique, Michelle Ross' --see below)
... in other words, use Kato liquid clay only with Kato clay... and TLS with the Polyform clays (Sculpey, Premo) ... and also Fimo Gel with Fimo's?
........when I placed a "decal" made with Kato Sauce and Epson Matte Paper onto Premo clay, both pieces bubbled....using the exact same image, oven, temp, etc., placing a "decal" made with TLS on Premo (with and without TLS as an adhesive) produced beautiful results .Carol
...I made a decal from Kato liquid clay and placed it on a unbaked Premo clay covered box ... the decal became terribly wrinkled in the baking. I have made decals many times with TLS this way and never had a problem.

I did my transfer with t-shirt transfer paper and TLS...then I coated the finished transfer on clay with Fimo Gel...looked great!
(I won't use the Fimo Gel on anything I have to sand. Blech. But it's clear as day to cover things you want protected). Tesselene

Personally, I'm not liking the high shine of the Kato liquid clay. . . I think I'll use a thin coat of TLS to bring down the shine a bit. Kathy

tips for best results, & ink-toner release

If you put liquid clay on the clay as well as on the transfer before placing and burnishing it , it will improve your transfer. Georgia

letting sit...waiting during certain steps can help transfers release more easily onto the clay
...I let the (printer) ink on the paper image dry for at least 30 min before I add the liquid clay to get the best result... Pamela
.......I let the t-shirt transfer paper prints dry well (even overnight, is a good idea)
...Allowing the liquid clay to sit on the image for at least 10 min. before baking helps it transfer.
...Letting the liquid clay sit for awhile before baking just to self level may also help, especially when using thicker liquid clays
...(or before adding the image if using image pressed onto liquid clay on glass?)

Don't add liquid clay to any hot surface... always wait for it to cool first.

heating liquid clays can often allow transfers to release more easily onto the clay
...In the oven method, liquid clay is painted onto the image and baked one or more times
......or the liquid clay can be painted onto a sheet of glass which then has the image placed face down into it for baking (resulting in a shiny finish) and baked.
...In the embossing gun method, the liquid clay is simply painted on the image as above, but is cured by having an embossing gun waved over it a few inches away at least 60 sec... repeat each time, if using more coats/layers

baking temperatures for liquid clays
..... 275-300 degrees (Kato liquid clay requires only 275, and the others can be baked at that temp)
........ BUT... baking decals alone (not clay) hot, at 300 degrees, will:
increase transparency and intensity of transfer image, make a stronger decal, and make the paper easier to remove
.........I've noticed that my transfers baked at 275 were somewhat less durable and less colorful than the ones I do at 300. I use 300 always for the transfers now.. . . I like the idea others have mentioned when using both clay and LS of bumping up the temp to 300 for the last 5-10 minutes of baking. Julia
...OR, rather than baking, use an embossing heat gun for 60 seconds to cure the liquid clay.... keep it waving over the image a few inches away (up to 3 times for even more durability, or if doing special things with layering)

baking times
....for decals, (10 min. for each initial thin coat) .... some use 15-25 min baking time = more heat)
....for direct transfers with liquid clay used as a helper, variable times have been suggested....Jeanne R. uses 30 min.
...for all liquid clays, baking longer seems to make them more transparent

thickness of (uncured) liquid clays
....if liquid clays have become too thick from being left out (or even in some new bottles!), they won't make good transfers ... so if your transfers aren't working well and you're not familiar with how thick is too thick, thin the liquid clay with Diluent (Sculpey's Clay Softener), and try the transfer again
....applied thickness on images ... if it's too thick ,the image loses color and clarity, too thin and the TLS can break .
t probably even matters how long and how hot you bake. When baked quite hot (300 degrees) (for more than 10 min?) there is a slight discoloration which is not unpleasant (don't need to bake that hot though)
...Was it just the liquid clay or both the clay and the paper that had that sickly yellow cast? (I guess the yellowing could be an interaction between the surface of the paper and the transfer medium or the type of ink)..... But have you considered whether the yellowing might have to do with an inaccurate oven thermostat (too hot) test that, try baking a thin layer of plain liquid clay (Kato or other) right next to a test image (of your particular paper & ink) and seeing whether which or both get yellow? Karen NC

The finished transfer gets rubberier the more Diluent-Softener you've mixed in liquid clay to thin it out (Diluent baked all by itself is very rubbery). Meredith..... so it will also be more flexible if that's what you want.

basic instructions... direct + decal

basic lessons (....see more below in various categories on each technique, and the particulars it requires)
DIRECT transfer onto clay ... face down
spread a thin coat of liquid clay onto a flat piece of raw clay the image face down on the liquid clay ( try to make sure there are no bubbles caught between the liquid clay and the image) ...let sit 10 min...bake ... remove paper while warm
DECAL transfer without glass ... face up image face up (on a heat resistant surface)... coat with thin layer of liquid clay (thinning with Diluent if necessary) ... (let sit if you want)... bake in oven 10 min, or cure with embossing gun 1 min (until clear)... cool ... repeat, probably at least once ... remove paper (see various ways below, including soaking)
DECAL transfer using glass ... face down
...apply a thin coat of liquid clay to a sheet of glass ... put image face down into the liquid clay (by lifting the glass, you can check underneath to be sure there are no trapped air bubbles.) ...after baking (when hot) the liquid clay peels right off the glass and has a perfectly smooth, shiny surface on the side that touched the glass...remove paper... Julia
.........this didn't this work for me??
--wrong paper? or mismatched brands for liquid clay & solid clay? or didn't let sit first? DB ...try again
....I applied the liquid clay onto the image before putting it onto the glass (maybe putting on both surfaces helps?
..........This is the technique I used for what I call " chromatic transfers " of my own colored pencil drawings
(website gone) Juli
.......I've found that any areas left uncolored (on my own colored pencil transfers) stick terribly to the paper (when I baked on glass)
(...for DECALS, the image is transparent and reversible, so it can be used from either side ...may want to seal though if use original orientation & need extra protection).

t-shirt transfer paper with liquid clay (DIRECT transfer)
...Jeanne R's lesson on doing a direct transfer (of a number of images) to a sheet of clay on a tile, using TLS liquid clay (and one of the inkjet or laser printer photo papers she discusses on that page --info about papers may now be dated though)
.....burnishing well.... applying each transfer on paper curved, so middle of each reaches clay first (to prevent smearing) ... cutting away excess clay around papers... waiting several hours for liquid clay to soak in... baking 30 min at 275... then peeling off while warm
( middle of page for photo lesson)...

t-shirt transfer paper with liquid clay (DIRECT transfer)
...My first go with transfers was using t-shirt transfer paper from the computer shop. I printed out my stuff on my inkjet colour printer. Let the t-shirt transfer paper prints dry well (even overnight, is a good idea)
... I cut out the images on the transfer paper
... then put a good splob of liquid clay (TLS) on the paper and squeegeed it thin with the side of an old credit card
......make sure that the liquid clay covers every bit of the transfer evenly and thinly...and there are no little dimples in it where the paper seems to resist the liqud clay sticking to it....but keep it as THIN as possible. it face down on your clay....burnish it VERY well....and bake with paper intact
...take out of the oven and gently peel back a bit to see what you have... if okay, finish peeling off
...trim off your excess clay
With this way of doing need to keep the liquid clay away from the blank paper around the transfer that's resting on the clay, otherwise the whole transfer will just peel off with your paper
It's a very quick and effective way of transferring....but you will need to seal it with some sort of varnish. Tania

t-shirt transfer paper (2008 Avery) + liquid clay + Premo or Sculpey (DIRECT transfer)
.... I have about 95% success rate with this method... works best with fresh prints; for older prints let sit longer
....spread a very thin layer of liquid clay onto the raw clay
... cut out transfer on transfer paper with a small margin.... place face down onto clay
....burnish lightly to make full contact, then WALK AWAY! ...wait 10 minutes or more
....burnish again, really well with your finger tip or even the edge of your nail.
......notice that the liquid clay has been absorbed (into the paper) and the paper is sticking well to the clay
... when you think you are done, burnish again
....slowly peel away (part of the) backing... the ink layer is now sticking to your clay
.......if you see any white spots (where the transfer wasn't complete), replace and burnish in...a tiny amount of additional liquid clay on the white spot may be needed... if there are any little flaws, scratch off the ink from the paper backing with a pin then place onto the tiny white spot tp patch it.
....cut out the clay to the final shape
....spread a very thin layer of liquid clay on the (transfer) surface .... bake. BlossomArts

There are more lessons and tips on direct transfers using liquid clay, above under T-Shirt Transfer Paper > Direct Transfers Using Liquid Clay as Helper

transfer decals
... a very thin, flexible decal (with a translucent/transparent background) can be created separately, then be attached later to raw or to baked clay (or glued to any other surface)
...don’t worry if the baked image looks a little pale . . .the colors will deepen when it's backed with a light-colored clay (or placed on another light-colored surface)
ORIENTATION + BACKGROUNDS: advantage of making a decal is that the image can be seen from both sides
...either side of a decal can be used:
........if the image side is up, the decal will need to be sealed (with an acrylic finish like Varathane, or another coat of liquid clay --best to use a clearer brand like Kato or Fimo)
........if the image side is down, the image will be viewed through the liquid clay decal, and can be paler if the decal isn't very thin.
...the decal image will be reversed if it's used right side up (image side up)
..... the orientation can be corrected though if you "flip" the image in the printer or photoediting software, etc, before printing on paper... or if it's printed onto a sheet of acetate and the photocopy is made from that... (or if the decal is used with the "wrong side" up)
...if you use an opaque liquid clay (the original "Liquid Sculpey" is white, and there are also some Colored Liquid Sculpeys, or liquid clay can be made opaque by mixing it with Titanium White oil paint), the image can be seen from only one side and will also be reversed (unless the original image can be printed reversed)..
....opaque liquid clay is best for color transfers where you want the entire image and it's background, to transfer. . . . if you use the opaque LS with a black & white image, but you want a color of clay to show through, it won't work -- it will transfer the image, but also gives an unpleasant white background which covers the clay layer. ...this effect is still okay, unless you want the clay layer to show through in which case you should use the liquid clay. Dori

TWO WAYS ways to create transfer decals (...with and without glass...)
1. (on glass) ...apply a thin coat of liquid clay to a sheet of glass (you can wait a few minutes for it to level out if you want)
........put your printed image face down into the liquid clay (leaving a corner to fold up as a pull-tab)
..........check the underside of the glass to be sure there are no trapped air bubbles (press them outward to the sides if you see any)
.......bake the glass (or ceramic tile) with the paper image for 10-15 min. at 300 degrees
(.....the side of the decal which was touching the glass while baking will be shiny after baking because the glass is very smooth)
......peel the paper off the baked decal (may come off easily, especially if the image was from glossy magazine paper or dark t-shirt transfer paper... but if it doesn't , peel off paper-and-decal then soak them for a while...hints on removing paper just below)
2. (no glass)....apply a thin layer of liquid clay to the front of the image on paper... then either:
..... bake liquid clay-covered paper at 275 (or up to 300) in a preheated oven for 10 min.
.........or wave an embossing heat gun a few inches over it for about 60 seconds (till liquid clay becomes clear)
......then peel off the paper (or soak it off --ee just below)
Remember, the thinner the liquid clay, the clearer the cured decal so apply as thinly as possible (even if more than one coat) by squeegeeing it with the side of a credit card, a foam cosmetic sponge, etc.... may help to let sit awhile too to self-level for most clarity, esp. with TLS

There are more lessons and tips on decal transfers using liquid clay, above under T-Shirt Transfer Paper > Decals
...and also under Colored Pencils> Decal ....and other categories below

attaching a decal:
( can just press it on to raw clay)
...but for a stronger bond, use a thin coat of liquid clay or Diluent on the raw or baked clay first (...the item must then be rebaked to cure ). Jody

.... spread the decal on from the middle out, and may also want to use a credit card or something similar to squeegee it on as well (to avoid bubbles).
..(liquid clay should also work for other non-clay surfaces as long as it can be baked to cure)
...the best results I've had came from coating the back of the transfer with Lisa's PolyBonder CA (more heat-resistanct than other superglues) and (coating) the clay or object to which I am attaching the image with a thin coating of liquid clay. DottyinCA (...or use each glue in a diff. area of contact?)

attaching to curved surfaces: make a flat decal fit onto a curved surface, you can also try cutting wedges our of the outside edges of the decal (if that works with your design... could leave extra space around image to cut into if not) , or clipping slits around the outside as with sewing/applique, then overlap (and frame if the overlaps show?)
....Donna W. cuts the decal down to the basic shape of the image, plus a little extra (so that it's no longer rectangular or round, but irregular) which allows the edges to lay on the round surface more easily.... she also manipulates the decal in her cornstarch-covered hands to smooth and reposition the image if necessary (in her lesson on using a purchased tatoo)

"loose" decals ... and cutting
Tonja used several decals (prob. TLS ) with travel-theme images as loose collage elements on her journal cover
... some edges of the decals have been cut with pattern scissors (or could be shrink plastic?)

To avoid brush strokes on the liquid clay, you can let is set for a hour or two before curing, and it levels out. Kat
. . . you can also squeegee it with a credit card, use a flat brush, etc. ...or use Kato liquid clay which self-levels better

You can defeat the air bubbles (that we can't see) by either letting the TLS sit for 20 minutes before putting in the oven... or by tapping the underside gently ...or running a needle tool slowly thru it. . . . sometimes I do all three: needle tool, tap, and then let it sit. Pat
...I've had air bubbles occur, but it IS from the liquid clay, contrary to logic. . . .the fault is the method used in pressing the transfer down into the liquid clay ...I start from the center of the transfer and GENTLY press in a circular pattern outward toward the edges of the transfer ...if you press too hard in one area more than another, you can trap an air bubble into place. Need2Bead
you can also "squeegee" the liquid polymer over the image to be transferred using a credit card, and this, too, will help minimize bubbles. Meredith
.....I heat the paper a little with my embossing gun to dry it thoroughly before applying the liquid clay...especially if f the weather is damp because sometimes bubbles form from water vapor in the paper. Diane C.
... Baking the piece with a weight such as a small tile will help the transfer avoid bubbles. Susan
...also, if you're actually encasing the paper along with the image, bake and cool each side of liquid clay separately or you can get bubbles

bubbles later... when I placed a "decal" made with Kato liquid clay (and Epson Matte Paper) onto Premo solid clay, both pieces bubbled....using the exact same image, oven, temp, etc., placing a "decal" made with TLS onto Premo (with and without TLS as an adhesive) produced beautiful results .Carol (so may want to use the same manufacturer for liquid and solid clays for the actual transfer)

GETTING the PAPER OFF after curing .......(for decals & some direct transfers)
..some use warm water, some like ice water for the soak... should probably soak for at least an hour
...I cannot for the life of me get the paper off the back of the transfer after it is baked. I have soaked it in water for minutes, hours and no matter what I do I still get little fibers of paper that will not come off. It makes the surface (which is very small probably 1" x 3/4" with a small hole off to one side) very grainy and milky looking. Bunwabit
... you can use a piece of plain old brown paper (grocery bag) to gently "sand" the rest of the paper lint off the back. MsEQuin
........try rubbing a soft toothbrush in small circles in the center of the backing (keep a trickle of water running over it), after soaking for awhile ....... I laid it on my ceramic sink divider and also across my fingers which both worked well... the paper began to come off fairly quickly, and then I could sort of roll it off to the sides I want to try using Bon Ami powdered cleanser to see if a mild abrasive will make removal even quicker. DB
....... I can successfully remove all the fuzzies with a Tide stain brush with the rotating head. P
...Kato Polyclay may release the paper more easily than brands with more tooth because its density gives it a very smooth surface
...... I put a b/w laser image on the clay and burnished it well....then let it sit for 20 mins or so (you could see that the plasticizer from the clay had soaked up into the bond paper)
......... I used water only as a release, and most of the paper really rolled off in chunks... when I got down to the last annoying bits of paper that are SO hard to get off, I held the clay (which was still stuck down to the tile after baking) under the faucet and gently rubbed while the water washed the bits of paper away. I think the (denser) consistency of Kato clay helps it stand up better to rubbing the paper off (the toner is still rich black and there was zero distortion of the graphic or the surface of the clay).
...I use a different sort of paper ... a shiny paper - almost like photo quality. Ive used it on that and get no paper fibers. Sera (???)
..I had problems with the transfer rubbing off with the paper (when soaking the liquid clay transfers in warm water to remove the paper)
..NOTE: you can also use do a direct transfer to clay without liquid clay if you leave a toner image on the clay long enough (20 min+) for the toner and clay to fuse, then let it sit overnight before soaking paper off (= very dark transfer, slightly elevated)... for more, see above under Toner > Gen.Info > long exposure + soaking)
Stretching (soaking necessary first?) can actually stretch the baked liquid clay where the edges of its backing paper are, since it's is so flexible when it's cured, and the paper will easily lift away from the decal! (I peeled 10 transfers in a minute or two)
...... I'm not really sure why this works, except to speculate that perhaps the polymer soaks into the paper fibers, then traps them when it cures... so stretching helps release the paper fibers that might be stuck in the liquid clay. Julia
......I do almost all my transfers on Vellum (25%) paper....never had to scrub or soak. And it really allows a full pick-up of pigment.Lylyfai
.......(what I usually do is leave the paper a little bigger than I want the final transfer, then paint the liquid clay on the paper --leaving clean paper around it-- and bake it for about 10 mins.)
......then I use a needle or pin to carefully pry up the thin edges of the liquid clay (be careful of the edges since this is where it can tear). I try just gently working it off the paper
......if I have problems, I also gently pull on the liquid clay a bit to stretch it...then I just trim it to the size I want and use a little more liquid clay to attach it to its backing.(I've had absolutely no luck with any transfers I've ever tried to use water on. I get the exact same problem.) Christy
......extra-hot baking temperature may make a removing the paper easier (but temp.may be too hot if transfer is on clay already)
.............liquid clays can be "cured" at 275-300 degrees, BUT baking at 300 degrees (at least 5 min.) usually makes the paper easier to remove since it makes a stronger decal (also increases transparency and intensity of colors)... can also just bake at 300 for the last 5-10 min.
.I tried the Epson matte photo paper also by smoothing liquid clay over the images with a credit card and then cuing in the toaster oven for 10 min set at 300 (much higher than for regular polymer clay, but this was recommended in a class I took with Tory Hughes-- be sure to have ventilation!)
.......... it came out clear and bright in that short time with the extra high heat
..........also peeling the paper off worked like a dream, no water needed....I was amazed. Elizabeth in Kalamazoo
baking longer helps too
.....or... rather than baking at all , use an embossing heat gun for 60 seconds to cure the liquid clay.... keep it waving over the image just a few inches away (apply more liquid clay and heat up to 3 times for even more durability

....My solution (to geting the fuzzy bits off) is to coat the (baked?) transfer with a coat of Varathane, and let dry overnight ...give it another coat in the morning ...often add a third coat
.......then I sand lightly, and end up using a 0000 piece of steel wool for a lovely soft matte finish. Dotty
(....I'm wondering if this'll work with liquid clay transfers (from photo paper)? ...Yep, it works just as well with liquid clay. Dotty)

I find that Kato liquid clay tends to peel away from the surface of the tatoo . . . the back side (which was against the paper), after I've coated the front and cured it and removed the paper backing. Kathy
...I've had peeling happen a couple of times (with Kato liquid clay?)... but have learned not to move the transfer around after placing it on the 'white' background, and not to try and peel it up.kcredcat

If an image is printed or drawn with a water-soluble medium (e.g., inkjet ink on ordinary paper?, or chalk colors, certain inks --see Rubberstamping above for details on inks--, etc.), make sure the liquid clay isn't going to smear your image
.....Donna suggests gently dabbing, not stroking, with the liquid clay...then bake and completely coat/rebake, or just bake if enough liquid clay has been added
.....or spray the image w/a fixative to seal it before using liquid clay. MsEQuin

To hide or eliminate the raised edges of decals, see techniques above under Transfer Papers > T-Shirt Transfer Papers > Decal

To actually embed paper in liquid clay (paper with transfer, or commercial wrapping paper, etc.), see below in Layers

To embed fabric in liquid clay, see below in Layers

... ...and to transfer photocopied images to fabric at the same time with liquid clay, see Liquid Clay > Transfers.

Even a piece of PVC coated sheet magnet could be attached to the liquid clay by pressing it (gently) into liquid clay (just be certain you've got the magnetic side up)

Liquid clays can also be used in layers when using transfers
... stampings, gel ink "drawings", metallic powders, etc., can also be put between the layers

I tint my liquid clay with (alcohol-based) inks, and oil paints (and oil pastel scrapings), and metallic powders.... lala

Putting transfers onto Skinner Blends, mica effects (ghost image, flattened twisted, etc) or onto other marbled or multi-tinted clay sheets, can add interest and complexity.

Completed clay patterns (like marbling, Damascus Ladder, collage, etc....see Sheets of Pattern) or even cane slice sheets could be scanned, then printed or photocopied, for either making decals to be used later (or cut up), or to be directly transferred to clay.

To frame transfers, see Frames-Mirrors > Very Small Frames...and/or search for the word "frame" other places on this page

inkjet_transfers (online Yahoogroup)
...great source of information on transfers of all kinds, not just inkjet.. check out archives, or ask questions.

printer PAPERS & INKS

Generally, papers which work best for liquid clay are those which are very smooth (often clay coated, and glossy), sometimes thick, and have little cotton content. This allows the image to be applied to those paper on the surface rather than clinging down into the fibers of more porous papers... therefore the image releases more easily from the paper.
...Some matte papers seem to work too... not sure why (maybe they're also clay-coated, just not glosssy?)

I think the success of the transfer generally (usually) has more to do with the paper than with the ink ...I've made successful transfers with Canon, Xerox and also Hewlett-Packard inkjet printers so far. Sally

some papers which work well for inkjet transfers
GLOSSY: Epson Photo Paper (Glossy) ...Office Max Gloss Photo Paper
...premium varieties of some papers have plastic in them, like Kodak, so don't work well because will melt when heated?
MATTE: Canon High Resolution Paper (matte) ...unknown-name, at Walmart (see below) ... HP, 2-sided Photo Paper (use the matte side, which is bright white)
....Great White Imaging and Photo Paper --matte (see just below)..... Epson (Photo Quality Ink Jet, matte(diff. formula now)
(GLOSSY or MATTE?): ..... Kinko’s Coated Color Copier Paper ......Xerox (which one?)

Before going to buy paper for transfers, write down the EXACT name & description of the paper you want and take it with you...
...there are loads of different types and descriptions of paper in the stores... and you can spend a lot of money buying the wrong paper! Michelle R.

Hammermill Color Copy Paper in Photo White is one brand that has a high clay content and low cotton content.

Great White Imaging and Photo paper (matte) ...ultra white...extra heavy.... "specialty coated"
...hard to find, or discontinued, or new version?
.......I heard that GreatWhite is now produced the under a different name ...and is available at Wal-Mart. Judy S.
.......I use JetPrint Image&Photo paper from WM. It is the same paper that used to be sold as Great White Image&Photo paper.
........a couple of years ago their photo paper worked so well that all of the paper could be removed from the back and the result was a clear, transparent transfer. But, unfortunately, they've changed the formula and it still works, but not quite as clear as the original paper. Sally
...this is a 37 lb. weight paper... and the better and heavier the paper, the better the transfer
....I prefer this paper because... the paper peels off without leaving the 'lint' behind. I have also just peeled the paper off a completely dried transfer,ala BandAid. paint&brush

....because of its weight, the paper holds more ink so I get a better 'etching' (only for etched technique?). Carolyn
...Michelle Ross says that the results with Great White aren't quite as divine as with the Canon paper, but they are still very good... Great White is much much cheaper though, so it's good for experimenting and learning... Michelle is a real whiz using the heat gun for her transfers, but I am not, so I find it easier to coat the image, bake it briefly in the oven, then add successive coats, rebake, etc (for a decal). Cassy
.....(May 05... at this ebay site i just ordered 12 packs of 25, 11x17, (original?) Great White paper for $35, free shipping (they also sell 100 sheets for 9.99, $8 shipping)... they are a liquidator connie

plain paper when used in an inkjet printer (with regular inkjet ink) doesn't work well for any of these techniques (without changes anyway)
..EXCEPT .....I got a successful, b&w transfer from an inkjet printer using liquid clay & normal paper ("Best" color setting)
.........(the colors in the two color images I tried all washed away in the soaking, but the blacks remained)
....crispest, darkest result was from using a very fresh inkjet print (just out of printer)
..lesson:I spread liquid clay onto a ceramic tile... let sit 10 min .
....laid cut-out transfer onto puddle ...(lightly stroked paper from center onto liq. clay) ...let sit 15 min.
....baked 300° for 15 min
....pulled off the baked liquid clay from the tile immediately out of the oven
....a minute to cool .... then started peeling the paper off ...(by soaking?)
.......however it may be possible to seal the image with spray fixative to keep it from being dissolved and bleed from the liquid clay??

.ALSO: a pale print can be gotten from a direct transfer (not using liquid clay), like this:
...........Leslie & Amy have gotten a
paler image to transfer by letting her regular inkjet copy sit on a sheet of clay for about one day

Since some of the special papers are more expensive than some of the other papers & techniques used for transferring ...see above in Summary for ways to save paper ( "Don't Waste Paper or Ink")

type of ink in a printer is important because many of the newer printers use a different type of "ink"
....these new inks may work fine, OR may not always work the same in all situations as reg. water-soluble inkjet inks
....several printer makers have introduced these new inks, & each one has its own brand name for this type of ink
.......these new inks are pigment based inks, not dye based inks
...........this makes a difference in what you can and can't do, on different papers (matte vs. glossy?). Nancy

...... they are waterproof inks, and produce a crisp print on paper similar to laser printers
.......they also fade much less in UV light than regular inkjet inks (also, all colors will fade uniformly)
...........however, they are UV resistant in an unusual way...UV passes right through the ink, so those inks are a problem for UV-exposure techniques like PhotoEZ and solar polymer plates)... transparencies printed for the purpose of exposing solar plates produce an etched plate that appears frosted, not the deep "rubber stamp" type impression I get with the old dye based inks. Katherine
...I have done a ton of liquid clay transfers with my Epson Stylus 6400 which uses the DURABrite ink set and have gotten fantastic results! Seth Epson 5300 uses the DuraBrite Ink set ...but my 6600 uses the Epson 7 Color Ink set is totally different. SL

inkjet ink (even on t-shirt transfer paper) can change color over time.... or with exposure to different chemicals, for instance when glazing the inkjet transfer with Flecto's Varathane, I've had blue nearly disappear, leaving the image heavily red and yellow. Elizabeth
....Ink jet ink is notoriously fugitive. In fact, ink jet ink can fade measurably and visibly in only a few days when exposed to UV lighting - and all the colors won't necessarily fade equally, so maybe your gorgeous purples and teals lose only the cyan, first - perhaps leaving you with tangerine and bright yellow on the ink jet portion of the work, then after a while, maybe only bright yellow. Probably won't fit your original vision very well. ;-) We haven't covered the topic very much in polymer clay circles, but the miniature world has been discussing and testing and experimenting with inkjet printables for several years with an eye to longevity of the ink on paper and fabric. One person has done extensive testing on his own:

There's a considerable amount of ink/paper longevity discussion in the SmallStuff archives, as well:
......This is a problem that really needs some investigation. I found that coating a transfer with Flecto (Varathane), about four coats, seems to help keep it brighter longer. I accidentally left a piece in a window sill and forgot about it for a long time. No fading. I'm wondering if the Flecto filtered out some of the UV rays. But we do need much more experimenting. . . . I'm wondering if the newer inks for the photo printers such as the Epson 890 are more light-fast (?). They are waterproof which I've found is so much better because a few drops of water don't ruin the print as they would with an ink that isn't waterproof. . . . Is it just the ink, or just the paper, or a combination of both that is important. Can we find a paper and ink that will help to avoid any fading? Also, when we transfer with Lazertran Silk it's just the ink that's transferred. When we use Lazertran Regular, it's the plastic decal and the ink that transfer. I wonder how light-fast these are. Dotty
....The piece I had that faded so much had only one coat of Varathane on it. -- Margaret Ball
...fading could depend on the printer ink and/or the brand of transfer paper??

(photocopiers and laser printers/copiers --color or b&w-- use toner rather than ink and can also be used ... but since they often have to be obtained away from home, most of these liquid clay transfer techniques have been developed for use with inkjet prints.)

(for "transfer papers," see various types above under Transfer Papers)

glossy papers ...(photo & non-photo)

The picture side (of the resulting transfer?) is very smooth from the glossy paper
... the other side of the paper (?) has a fine bright white matte coating. It makes great photos.... Kathleen

Be sure with the glossy paper that you don't have too much ink as it will smear the image (blow on it a little)
.......(true for photo or non-photo glossy papers?)... careful when laying the image on the clay too (direct transfer?)... the ink can smear then also. Amber Dawn

Donna's technique = Epson Glossy Photo Paper (S041141... S041649... S041271) + Kato liquid clay. Sherri
....Epson glossy photo paper for inkjet printers SO41286 ("Glossy Photo Paper") didn't work . Barbara

Gail-Donna lesson at Donna's website...... (freestanding decal transfer)
...using Epson Photo Paper (glossy), but could be other papers listed above under Paper & Inks by Gail image (she used a photograph? which seems harder to transfer) on ceramic tile, face up
.. brush on medium thick layer of liquid clay (pop any bubbles) ...let sit 1-2 min. for self-leveling
...bake tile & image at 275 for 5-15 min (until liquid becomes clear) ... cool completely
...repeat with second coat ...bake/cool
...trim to final size of transfer wanted
...soak ... under running water, rub off slippery film (?) on back of newly created transfer: ..(if not using Epson glossy paper, may need to rub paper off back as well?)
...dry transfer (if any remaining paper or film shows up on back of transfer, rub off under running water & re-dry) (need Acrobat Reader, from Kato brochure)

I used inkjet ink with very cheap glossy photo paper from e-bay, with liquid clay... (freestanding decal transfer)
....copied clipart onto paper with print settings on Photo, or whatever setting gives you the most ink.
... used a very thin coat of TLS .....baked at 250-260 for 15 min
....immediately after baking, I put into a bowl of ice water. . . . waited about 15 min that time about half of the backings were very easy to get off just by sliding them off
. . . . but the remaining half soaked for another 15 min or so, then I tried again... most of the paper came off, however some I had to really work to get all the paper off Diana

lesson for flexible transfer on translucent clay ...almost transparent (freestanding clay w/ transfer)
.........Epson Glossy Photo Paper # SO41141 .... I bought at Office Depot ("Lab-Quality Inkjet Photo Paper"). Dotty in CA
Donna Kato showed us a transfer technique at Ravensdale using Kato liquid clay and very thin layer of translucent clay
....lesson: print your picture on the photo paper.
......put a THIN coat of Kato liquid clay over the image
......roll out a thin (#6-7) piece of Kato translucent clay and place this over the image (think sandwich here...paper image, liquid clay, translucent clay) take a piece of deli paper and fold this in half, and place your clay "sandwich" between the deli paper closest to the fold end and run this through the pasta machine, fold end first (my guess is #4 first then #5? - just enough to thin the clay and remove air can also thin it even more if needed by using an extra card stock behind the deli paper and roll this all through the pm again (don't remove the deli paper just yet) (will this distort the image, even if pass through in both direcitons?)
......cut around the picture, leaving a border ....then tape a corner or the corners of the deli paper to a tile
......using a heat gun, go over this for approx. 1-3 min, keeping the heat gun moving so you don't burn your clay (will see a change in the picture when clay is set)
......cut around the image again.... and remove deli paper
......soak the "sandwich" in water (this may take from 15 min to a couple of hours... try not to pull the paper off, but instead gently rub the paper off). Geo
...if there is a white chalky residue on the picture, you can coat with liquid clay.
...Donna put the whole thing in wax paper, then ran through pasta machine on thinnest setting (she put it through with a piece of card stock too to make it even thinner)..... set with a heat gun, then soak the whole thing in water
......the paper will float off after soaking ... just beautiful
... the clearest transfers were made using the Kato liquid clay and Premo translucent with bleach (...Kato liquid clay doesn't leave streaks behind when you apply really thin coats, like the TLS did for me) VanDeWinkle
... I use the heat gun method with the S041141, and it works just as well if not better than the OLD S041062. Susan

Donna's lesson using Epson Glossy Paper # SO41649 + white clay + liquid clay .....(freestanding clay w/ transfer)
.......trim printed image with scissors
......dab liquid clay onto image using cosmetic sponge, lightly coating it image face down onto sheet of white clay (thickest) ... burnish with fingers... roll lightly with acrylic rod
..... trim clay away around image ... bake 10 min at 275°
.....when cool, soak in water at least 15 min
.......if paper does not float off, remove by peeling away a corner and pulling off ...for any remaining paper, lightly rub & should roll off.
.... when dry, lightly sand with 600 grit sandpaper to remove the chalky white residue covering the image... wipe with damp towel
(...... if desired, can also stamp over completed transfer with ColorBox inks... dry with heat gun, or in oven for 5 min at 275°
(.......only if inked?-- when piece is cool, lightly coat the image with liquid clay and cosmetic sponge... bake 5 min, 275° to cure),1789,HGTV_3238_3073583,00.html
with a few changes, my 3rd try at Donna's technique turned out really well, :
......I burnished with a bone folder (not just with my fingers), and rolled my acrylic rod with a slightly heavier hand
......I also let it sit for ~30 min ....baked 20 min ....then soaked in water for over an hour
......then the paper just slid right off of the clay, leaving a beautiful transfer. Sherri

earlier, Dotty had said: using the glossy paper, I have had spotty results -- sometimes fair, sometimes not.'s possible I'm not using the best glossy paper for this purpose
....or my problem could be that I use Premo (or Sculpey?) which has
water in it... and inkjet ink is water-soluble. Dotty
(...maybe should try Fimo?)

matte papers

I use liquid clay and an inkjet printer ...the technique is the same as for any other liquid clay transfer but I just use matte finish, photo quality paper.

It's the particular paper that makes the difference with transfers....the ones that are coated release when the transfer is soaked in water. Irene
All the (matte) papers that worked were, and this is IMPORTANT, "Photo Quality Paper for Ink Jet printers."
......they have some sort of coating on the paper that I refer to as a clay coating (though I don't know that it is clay). Liquid clay is able to lift off the ink because of this coating (but the old Epson SO41062 doesn't work now).
......the paper's surface is not shiny, and not just plain paper (just very smooth?). Michelle R.

Since I use photo quality paper, I also set the photo paper settings on my printer . Irene

for direct transfer method using matte side (bright white) of HP, two-sided Photo Paper
(this technique came from "Weekend Crafter Polymer Clay" by Irene Semanchuk Dean, with a couple of slight changes... I used my inkjet printer and printed my image on the matte side --comes in single-sided too?, but she used a photocopy)
1. Roll your conditioned clay through pasta machine at the desired thickness.
2. Brush on a coat of TLS and let it sit for a few minutes to level out.
3. Lay your transfer on and carefully work out any air bubbles from the center, out.
4. (Here, I deviated from the instructions...) Bake at 275 for 20 minutes.
5. (Irene said to remove the paper while warm but when I pulled the paper off the warm clay, it took a LOT of the ink with it) I found it workd better to put the piece in a container of cool water and let it soak...the longer the better...until all or most of the transfer is completely soaked through. Remove the paper by rolling it off with your fingers and if there are any spots that aren't soaked through, dip it back into the water after removing the outer layer of paper. Finish rolling off the paper residue until your transfer is completely smooth. (You can feel and see any small paper fibers that remain. It's important to get them all of.) ...This method gave me a PERFECT transfer from an INKJET printer. Marti

direct and "decal" of transfer...onto very thin translucent clay.... (freestanding flexible clay w/ transfer)
...I use Epson Photo Quality Matte Inkjet paper (Epson changed formulation, try Canon paper?-- see just below in Michelle Ross' lesson for exact name) ...(and an Epson Color Inkjet printer) to print out my images
...(I don't like sanding the liquid clay, so) I "back" (the image side of) my transfer with a very, very thin sheet of Premo translucent. . .
......I sandwich a thin sheet of translucent clay between waxed paper (...parchment paper less slippery) and roll it through the thinnest setting on my pasta machine.
......I carefully pull off the top sheet of waxed paper....then I paint on a thin layer of TLS or Kato sauce.
......I lay my image face down on the TLS or Kato sauce and burnish the image onto the clay.... bake as usual.
......Toss the whole thing (paper & translucent clay on waxed paper?) into water, and let it soak. not try to peel the paper off!! Soak it until the paper is saturated
.........then gently "roll" the paper off. It's like removing a label on a jar. After I remove all the large pieces of paper, I rubbed the image more vigorously to make sure all the fibers are off --if any of the paper is left, when the (final clay?) backing is put on, it will cause the image part to bubble)
..I tried this paper with the heatgun method, but also by smoothing TLS over the images with a credit card and then curing in the toaster oven for 10 min set at 300 (much higher than for regular polymer clay, but this was recommended in a class I took with Tory Hughes-- be sure to have ventilation!)
..... it came out clear and bright in that short time with the extra high heat
..... peeling the paper off worked like a dream, no water needed. I was amazed. Elizabeth in Kalamazoo
....(Another transfer method) Donna did was to transfer directly to translucent clay. ...that technique involves deli wrap... Sarah

1. Michelle Ross' lesson on Duvall using a special paper and an embossing gun ....(decals, turned into clay w/ transfers)
...she originally used Epson Photo Quality Ink Jet Paper # S041062 Matte Finish ("Inkjet Paper & Film For Color Printing") but Epson has changed the formula so she switched to Canon High Resolution Paper (white & red box), 8.5"X 11", "Premium Paper for Professional Results," 28 lbs ///Great White (matte) paper also works well with this technique (see above for that brand)
(2-3 applications and curings of liquid clay)
...she painted liquid clay on the color image with a flat paint brush
...then held an embossing gun within an inch of the surface, and swirled it around for at least 30 sec's until the liquid clay became clear
. . . .she then repeated this step (2 more times, or 1, depending on thickness needed --if very thin, may be too fragile but will be clearest)
..the image can theoretically then be removed without soaking (carefully peel the cured liquid clay off the photo paper)
...she placed it on a backing piece of very thin white clay after painting liquid clay (sparse amount) on the white clay as an adhesive ... baked
...then framed and embellished for use on a memory wire bracelet, pins, pendants (she called them "cameos"),1789,HGTV_3352_1399755,00.html
...On my first attempts, I put too much TLS on the photo paper.
...I was using the thicker, photo paper. Kim
...(??) with at least this technique, it seems best to use Kato liquid clay only with Kato Clay, and TLS with the Polyform products .
........when I placed a "decal" made with Kato liquid clay and Epson Matte Paper onto Premo clay (tried it both with and without using the Kato as an adhesive) and baked, both pieces bubbled....but using the exact same image, oven, temp, etc., placing a "decal" made with TLS on Premo (with and without TLS as an adhesive) produced beautiful results --no bubbles.Carol
2. Michelle's lesson on on DIY's Jewelry Making (DJMK-209)...(same process, but different uses: frames,etc + more details)
......on this show, to avoid air bubbles she advocated brayering a sheet of parchment paper on the transfer & clay to embed transfer... and also to rub parchment on top of transfer & clay while cooling ... and after framing, bake with transfer side down

I didn't have good results with Michelle's method, so I tried a combination of Donna's (direct to clay) method and Michelle's method which yielded pretty good results :
applied Kato liquid clay to the matte inkjet paper
..... placed it on white clay ...burnished well with a bone folder, and rolled firmly with my acrylic brayer
......I let it sit for 30 min ... baked for 20 min .... let it soak for over an hour
......(the paper was not as easy to get off as the Epson Glossy Paper).. had to rub it quite a bit
...... using a 3M "Super Fine" Sanding sponge, managed to get the paper off faster than with my fingers and it didn't scratch the image
...I did find that images from matte paper were slightly darker than glossy paper images... prob. because the chemical coating used on the glossy paper prevented the clay underneath from darkening as it bakes using the exact baking temperature and baking time, whereas the matte paper has no such chemical.
...Since the results were pretty good, and the darkening of the clay was only slight (and I probably wouldn't have noticed if I weren't comparing the two), I like this method and will use it as a way to use up my supply of matte paper (but in the future, I'll only purchase Epson Glossy Photo Paper). Sherri

Tonja's lesson on making bracelet tiles with liquid clay decal transfers (using Epson InkJet Matte Photo Paper # S041062).. (is this the older version of that paper though?)... she also suggests repeating the coating and baking process if a thicker transfer is desired

I've started using my computer to color in b&w line drawings (from Dover books), then printing them to transfer
.....use a matte (not glossy) paper in your deskjet printer, and brush the LS on the image...after baking the paper pretty much comes right off after soaking. Jacqueline
...I've had pretty good results with coloring in the b&w design with colored pencils.......I use matte photo paper for the inkjet, put on TLS, bake, and soak a while to get it off.
....... I found if I hurry the soaking process, some of the color and black ink comes off. So patience is a virtue here LOL.

Matte paper also works well for transfers using Golden Soft Gel medium (even though every reference says it will not work at all with inkjet prints). Diane C.

"coated" papers

lesson for decal with "coated" Epson Inkjet paper (not photo paper)... # S041568 (a "double-sided, matte, heavyweight, coated paper with a smooth finish
....... perfect for flyers & brochures and all two-sided printing) ...$15 for 50 sheets, found it at Office Max (Staples too)
.I went to a workshop with Donna Kato and now I create the most impressive vivid colored transfers I could imagine
...she also encases the image with liquid clay (applying to both front and back)
....Kato (liquid clay) applied to front of image with a brush in 5 thin coats ...heated with heat gun between each coat.
...soak and soak and soak in water. ...peel off paper and rub to get all off (...Donna says you can pull it off by stretching decal --once again I am not like the others and can only get it off if I soak).
...coat back of image with (liquid clay), and heat again with heat gun.
(VERY IMPORTANT ... if you apply decal to raw clay with wet sauce (before heating back with heat gun?) it WILL bubble up ...maybe worse if you mix Kato liquid clay & Premo)
....once it is laminated, you can apply any way you like.Sarah

I went to a workshop with Donna Kato and now I create the most impressive vivid colored transfers I could imagine. .. The paper is not photo paper
1. "coated" Epson inkjet paper (I myself got the one where it is coated on both sides for brochures and such because I knew if it was only on one side I would inevitably use the wrong side.)
2. Kato Sauce (liquid clay) applied with a brush in 5 thin coats heated with heat gun between each coat.
3. Soak and soak and soak in water. Peel off paper and rub to get all off. Donna says you can pull it off by stretching decal from diagonal corners. Once again I am not like the others. I can only get it off if I soak.
4. Coat back of transfer with (liquid clay) and heat again with heat gun.
(VERY IMPORTANT, if you apply decal to raw clay with wet liquid clay, it WILL bubble up --maybe worse if you mix Kato liquid clay & premo, dunno but definitely happened to me.)
....Once it is "laminated" you can apply any way you like.

Transfer papers
"t-shirt transfer paper" & Lazertran paper

for using using t-shirt transfer papers --with liquid clay and without-- see above in "T-Shirt Transfers" and also below in Liquid Clay

I just tried the dark t-shirt iron-on transfer paper (to make a decal) worked great! ..the paper backing just peeled right off.
......It's a lot more expensive per page (than the matte photo paper), but well worth it, I think! Pamela
..I did mine with t-shirt transfer paper and TLS, then coated the finished transfer on clay with Fimo Gel (I won't use the Fimo Gel on anything I have to sand. Blech. But it's clear as day to cover things you want protected, like transfers). Tesselene
........(see using t-shirt transfer paper without liquid clay --direct transfer--above)

I just tried dark t-shirt iron-on transfer paper--and it worked great! I couldn't believe it! (my matte paper requires lots of soaking & rubbing to get the paper backing off ...but the dark t-shirrt paper just peeled right off)
....It's a lot more expensive per sheet, but well worth it, I think! Pamela

"Regular Lazertran will work and can also be used with liquid clay
.... you can soak the decal off the paper and apply, let dry, and then bake ...or you can stick it to the polyclay with liquid clay (direct) and bake.
....we find the Lazertran Silk better though because there is no decal to crease or get in the way it you want to reform the polyclay after transfer."

image is made on Lazertran Silk paper ...heat with an iron or oven to set, soak in water and the image releases
(....see much more on Lazertran papers above in Lazertran)

Other "release" papers:
...special glossy or matte (coated) printer papers (see Paper & Inks above)
...magazine pages, or other slick (clay-coated) papers and blank brochure papers (see Magazines)

..transparency sheets (see Transparency Sheets)

Layers & Other media
(powders, paints, stampings, gel inks, metal leaf, paper, fabric)

I saw Donna use an embossing heat gun to cure thin layers of the Kato liquid clay (for about 60 seconds each layer --until it turns very clear )... she did this several times before removing the paper backing (instead of oven baking to cure the liquid clay)... . . .in this case she was doing the curings between stamping and applying more liquid clay, and it worked like a dream. Sarajane

...I have "squeegeed" the liquid clay, then cured, and then applied another layer by "squeegeeing," and cured... alternating until I get the thickness I want for my decal or whatever it ends up being…
lesson: (oven method, but could use embossing gun instead) ...multiple liquid clay layers + multiple curings . . . (makes a very nice transfer!!)
--I brushed an even layer of Kato liquid clay over the image ... and baked 10 min.
--bushed on another layer of liquid clay ... baked another 10 min
--and another layer, then baked 20 min (just to be sure it was all cured).
--then I soaked the cured piece of clayed paper in a dish of water, then rubbed off the paper from the back, leaving a flexible, transparent transfer with all the picture's ink on it.
.....This was then burnished down onto a piece of white clay on which a little liquid clay was rubbed (to make it extra tacky).
--The white-clay-and-transfer was then applied to the tin, on top of the layer of scrap I had covering it.
(--After baking the whole finished piece, the transfer was itself sanded through 2000 grit wet/dry, and buffed.) Hava
(......could do the last/frontmost layer on glass, in the oven?, if wanted a shiney surface on TLS (not nec.with Kato liquid)

for more on decals ..with inclusions, layers, etc.... and to use as clings on windows or other surfaces, see most info in Liquid Clays > Films, Decals)

layered images ... you can use LS to layer images onto clay, something I found while experimenting in a recent workshop with Diane Falkenhagen . . I transferred one image to solid clay first (in most cases), and baked it ...then used LS to transfer additional images to the clay, yielding some very interesting collage -type images. . . . I rebaked the same piece at least 4 times (adding layers) with no apparent problems. Claire
Donna's lesson on using many thin layers of Kato (liquid clay)
....she also put something in-between each layer.... in this case to cover a black clay ball (held on skewer):
....(let cool after each heated stage). . . Perfect Pearls metallic powder all over....rubberstamp finger-rubbed with Genesis paint...bake 30 min at 275...Kato all over and set w/ heat gun...stamp with Perfect Medium (glycerin?) dusted with Perfect Pearl powder & blow off excess & seal this detail only by dabbing w/ Kato (don't smear) & set with heat gun... layer of Kato & set with heat gun...tiny drawing(s) withYasutomo Gel Xtreme pens & let dry & dab Kato to seal & set w/ heat gun..layer of Kato & set with heat gun... can apply more coats of Kato, setting after each if wanted... after all layers are done, bake 30 min.,1789,HGTV_3352_1820587,00.html

I love covering my transfer with a very thin layer of translucent clay
...then adding glitter, metal foils, or thin cane slices to the underside of the translucent to add yet another dimension (then sand and buff?) lala

I tint my liquid clay (for layers?) with (alcohol-based) inks, and oil paints (and oil pastel scrapings), and metallic powders .... lala

backing transfers with metallic leaf
If a translucent transfer is backed with metallic leaf, the leaf will show through any non-opaque areas of the transferred image when viewed from the front.

...... just make your transfer image onto liquid clay ... then use more liquid clay to attach the leaf to the back of the transfer, or to attach another sheet of clay to the leaf and to the back of the transfer (...liquid clay must be rebaked at some point to cure)
( ...Gwen Gibson's technique for "faux enamel" is like this, but she transfers the image to a thin sheet of translucent clay, then uses a glue to attach the leaf)
...for a really nice iridescent look, you can also try painting your transfer with Sobo or some other white PVA-type glue, and then sandwiching some metal leaf between your transfer and the backing clay. Julia
....lesson: what I did was to cut out a clay backing piece a little larger than my (already-made, TLS) transfer.... I put a sheet of gold leaf on it
....... then I coated the back side of the transfer with Sobo glue and pressed it down onto the gold leaf (the glue helps to hold it in place while it's baking.)
......then I also made a frame around the piece so that it would hold down the transfer and also make a pretty edging ( can do the latter a number of different ways. I used a mold to give the frame clay some texture, and then trimmed it to fit around the piece.)
.......the piece was then baked, the back and frame sanded and buffed. Dotty

...I used a colored pencil image (b&w image colored with soft colored pencils) and TLS ....after transferring and baking, I then applied adhesive size (glue) and a sheet of leaf. Geo
...I think the pebbly look you're referring to is the look of the crackled silver leaf behind the transfer. ...It shows through beautifully, and makes the colors of the colored pencils really vibrant, I think. Julia

(.....for more on faux enamel and links, see above under Photocopies > Faux Enamel)

paper ... embedding, laminating, decoupage ....(see more on this topic in Mixing Media > Paper) . . . here is just a bit:
(...use liquid clay on just one side... or on both sides if you follow precautions)
you can just leave the paper on the transfer and treat it like a laminated piece as well, just don't peel it (if you are planning to put your image down on white clay anyway)... a coat of Sobo on the back will help it stick to the base clay without bubbles. Jody
....I cut the paper image to the size I want, but add 1/8" or so ...then smear the back of the paper image w/ liquid clay...bake 10 min' ... do the same thing to the front, ( ....... cut down to the size needed.......adhere to the backing (clay) with a thin coat of liquid polymer again, and bake.
........... you can't cover both sides at the same time or you'lll get bubbles... (paper fibers trap tiny pockets of air, plus paper also absorbs moisture out of the air). . . . Make a thin layer on glass and place the paper face down, making sure there are no air bubbles under the paper and bake it at least 30 minutes (this gives the paper time to completely dry out.)... After baking, let it cool. ...Pour a very small amount of Kato sauce on your finger and very lightly coat the back (you should have no bubbles on the front and very very few if any on the back... If you want it a little thicker you should be able to put another coat on the back without any trouble.) Jo
... I draw a picture on paper, paint it with acrylic paints**, cut it out with a scalpel or exacto knife, then sandwich it between a regular raw clay backing (#1, Premo) and a thin layer of raw translucent clay on top (and bake.)
......a small piece of paper worked pretty well.
......but using larger pictures result in cracking around the edges of the paper (primarily when the edge of the paper is near the edge of the clay). Ray
..........**cracking could be result of using water-based paint though (acrylics) because the moisture will expand?
...some wrapping papers, printed tissue papers, etc., will smear if not sealed first with a spray fixative before touching liquid clay . MsEQuin
(........or Donna suggests gently dabbing, not stroking, with the liquid clay...then bake and completely coat, or just bake).

....I like transfer pieces with collaged images that overlap, with areas raised so that the piece has different levels. (Gloria has done some great stuff working with old family photos).. .
(also see clear embossing powder method above in Non-Polymer Liquids, for embedding/decoupaging an image printed on tracing paper)

fabric can be embedded or coated with liquid clay
.......and fabric can also have a photocopied image transferred to it at the same time
...liquid clay can also be applied to fabric, providing the cloth is mostly natural fibers ...(e.g., nylon will melt in the oven, but rayon is one thin natural fiber)
....I make some dandy little bookmarks, that can be wiped clean and are wateproof with Kato liquid clay (it is a lot thinner than TLS). MsEQuin
....Ann & Karen Mitchell's lesson on making a flexible bookmark using TLS & (a sheer fabric) silk organza (or polyester chiffon fabric) oil-pencil-colored-in, b&w photocopied image is transferred to the fabric,,HGTV_3239_1380225,00.html
.......(see much more on both these topics in Mixing Media > Fabric ... and Liquid Clay > Transfers)

Even a piece of PVC coated sheet magnet could be attached to LS by pressing it (gently) into LS (just be certain you've got the magnetic side up)...


I started by texturing and stamping some terra cotta red clay and back filling with contrasting colors of TLS. . . . after that was baked, I painted on a little opaque LS (here and there?) and put my image face down into it (there was no way to see what was happening when doing it this way, so I was hoping for a happy accident. I wanted to break up the image a bit, like an old fresco wall.)... It doesn't take much LS... too much will just ooze together and be uninteresting). I lucked out and my picture of a Chinese lady transferred in a good way.. . . ....when that was cool, I also blended on a thin sheet of translucent clay over part of the design and stamped it with a Chinese character. (This was inspired by the class I taught at the Torpedo Factory. Georgia Sargent was trying to use the transfers this way and getting some cool results). Jody?

MAGAZINE pages + other SLICK papers

Using Liquid Clay transfer magazine images
(easiest way to transfer)

Probably the easiest thing to transfer is images from the pages from glossy magazines because they are clay coated

only the pages from some magazines or catalogs are suitable for making transfers using liquid clay, Jody Bishel's tape on Liquid Sculpey says
....... but not most of the magazine covers since they have a VARNISHED clay coat, and won't work. Paulo
...liquid clay
works well with magazine pictures that are "off-set" printed.... Dotty

I did another experiement using a magazine photo from Smithsonian magazine....the result is fantastic
...... I tried it with a flower picture and couldn't believe how bright and accurate the copy.
........the liquid clay removes every bit of color
........the paper has to be soaked with water and fibers rubbed off ( won't peel off like a photocopy)
(...of course, there's a problem if you want to make more than one itransfer from the image, then it's back to making a photocopy of the mag. image to transfer).

....thickness of the liquid clay coating you put on can make a difference:.
.......too thick and the picture loses color and clarity... too thin and the liquid clay can break (tear). probably even matters how long and how hot you bake (or heat with a heat gun).
.......when baking hotter (300 degrees), there is a slight discoloration which is not unpleasant (only TLS?).
.....baking longer seems to make it more transparent. Linda ....(always heat or bake till the liquid clay is completely clear no longer cloudy)
..if you paint liquid clay on your clay (as well?) before placing and burnishing the image down on the clay, it will improve your transfer. Georgia

lesson... (direct transfer to clay) ... in this case to a polymer postcard
...You'll need a mix of about 2/3 liquid clay and 1/3 Diluent (just to thin it out because a thick coat is used??)
...Cut out your magazine image (National Geographic works great)
... paint the front of the image with a thick even coat of your
thinned TLS?
...Then put the image face down onto a smooth area of the raw clay postcard and press it down real tight...bake
....after cooling, soak, then rub the paper off with your fingers - your image will be left there on the card.
The results were very bright, colorful and transparent.Linda

lesson... (decal transfer, for later putting on clay) :
--I brushed on an thin, even layer of Kato liquid clay on the front side of the mag. image ... baked 10 min
----brushed on another layer of liquid clay... baked 10 min
----brushed on a third layer, then baked 20 min (just to be sure it was all cured) (only 1-2 layers really necessary).
--I soaked the cured piece of clayed paper in a dish of water
---- then rubbed off the paper from the back, leaving a flexible transparent transfer (decal) with all the picture's ink on it.
--This (decal) was then burnished down onto a piece of white raw clay on which a little liquid clay had been rubbed (to make it extra tacky).
--The white-clay-with-transfer was then applied to the the clay covering a tin (or onto any raw clay sheet)
--I baked the whole finished piece... then sanded the transfer's surface (over the liquid clay), and buffed. Hava

I made a terrific transfer from a shiny picture in a catalog became like a piece of film (decal) I could trim and bake right onto the surface of a another piece of clay
.. I could see the possibilities for a nice thin, flexible image to go on a round vessel or something.

Kato Polyclay takes photocopies VERY well. You can roll the clay much thinner (without sticking to the pasta machine) so you get VERY thin layers of clay. I didnt notice any yellowing. Jan
.... I did a small transfer test and I think it picks up the ink better than any other clay I've used. It was a simple black and white magazine pic transfer, but the intensity of the black that transferred, and the crisp detail impressed me. Dawndove

Blank Slick papers (liquid clay or not)

similar types of paper which are blank are the special "clay-coated" papers like brochure paper
.......or possibly slick FAX paper (directly to clay, or used with liquid clays, transfer liquids)
....should work for releaseing inkjet ink as well as toner, or other things?

You can get photocopies made at a copy shop onto glossy "magazine quality" paper (or brochure paper)
.......these, of course, cost a lot more than regular ol' color photocopies, but if you have a small design you can probably fit several on a single page. This way you can use your own design or a copyright free image…
(or buy your own brochure paper... see Glossy Papers above)

FAX paper in a roll is clay coated and prints quite nicely through the inkjet, then transfers the image to clay . Paulo
..... (in fact, I have been making my own "wrapping paper" for quite some time with FAX paper on the roll
.......... I scan my daughter's drawings and then print them onto the FAX paper.
.....The rolls are the right width to fit (into the printer) and then you have unlimited length as long as you leave it on the roll without tearing it off until you're done

NO Liquid clay ... slick papers used alone as "transfer papers"
(no magazine image transferred)

Pre-printed slick papers can also work alone just as a "release paper" for transferring pigment inks, and possibly other inks, without transferring their own images as long as no liquid clay is used.

...these papers would include magazine pages ... as well as catalog images and ads printed on slick paper
...greeting paper (gift wrap paper?) works as well ... WyomingGal ...... only certain types?
(...see also transparency sheets just below)

adding rubberstamped images stamped onto these papers:
You can rubberstamp an image with pigment ink onto a slick paper like a magazine page (or junk catalogs & ads from the mail printed on slick paper)
.... just stamp right over the printed material
.... then lay your stamped image on your clay for a few minutes (don't disturb)
.... when you take it off, the image will be more dark and crisp than if you had just stamped it on regular white computer/copy paper
(The preprinted colored image does not transfer over to your clay --unless you've used liquid clay--) so you don't have to worry about that.)

transparency sheets

I would think that if you use clear acetate or "overhead" type transparency sheets and just print it out on a regular setting (with an inkjet printer --toner copies don't work on transparency paper), you can get the same results and actually watch the transfer go onto the clay. secret is, you can later just wash the ink off of the sheet when you are done, and keep re-using the transparency sheet (....I made this discovery while printing on a piece of holographic paper...the ink was not drying for more than 30 minutes. That is when it hit me.)
...... I tried a flat piece of clay. Low and behold full color! Brillitant too! Amber Dawn

It works even better if you sand the paper before (printing), and put the printer setting on "economy" .....start with that anyway, and work up to more dots psi. (It does reach a point where it puddles on the paper/film). kelly

I printed a clip art image onto a clear acetate sheet using the "Transparency" option of my printer
..laid the image face down on a sheet of Pearl colored clay
. I gently pressed my finger on each portion of the image (I had to be careful not to rub or it would smear, but turned out okay). Connie

I tried the wet-media acetate (same as overhead transparencies?), but that ink never did dry. Two days after printing, it was just as wet as when it printed, and breathing anywhere near it made it smear :-( If you try it, I'd recommend printing just a small area at a time. Elizabeth
(...could have been a new type of printer though which actually uses toner?)

Could also use various types of "shrink plastic" sheets?

PASTELS, CHALKS, & their dust

Transfers can be made with chalks in various ways:
...draw or paint with chalks/pastels on paper, then transfer to raw clay (apply, burnish, bake, remove paper slowly)
......or color in a photocopy or laser print/copy with chalks/pastels, then transfer to raw clay (the black photocopy lines will also transfer)
...color in an already transferred b&w image (on raw clay), then bake
...completed drawings/paintings made with chalks/pastels can be transferred with liquid clay (direct to clay, or to make a decal...see Liquid Clays above), or by using transfer papers

You can get pastel chalks from . . . .Joanns' Fabrics or Michaels, usually with the stamping suppiles (the ones at Joanns come in little 1" boxes arranged on a palette board).Trina
.......I have bought a Rembrandt pastel palette and love those. They are very rich in color and soft....very easy to pick up and brush onto clay.
....... ...I bought mine at the local Michael's, and now have discovered that I paid twice what I could have bought them for at Dick Blick's. Dianne C.

...used lightly, the kind of chalk from the stamp store or Michael's, in the palette box, worked just fine. Dotty
...(Geo's pendants) I used pastel chalks for coloring the clay.
........the photocopies I used are designs are from a book called Modern Mehandi Designs, published in Delhi. ...full of beautiful designs which the women apply with henna to the the hands and feet. Geo
(website gone)

Decorating Chalks come in cake form, in palettes of color (a few metallics).... apply with sponge brush applicator or cotton swabs, building up color to saturation desired... can be used for coloring transfers (or stamped images or drawings) on translucent clays, or coloring clay used under mokume gane slices using translucent clays

will this chalk products actually transfer?... can be used to color clay though
Fluid Chalks (by ClearSnap)... matte, soft, pigment inks, permanent when heat set....more intense than the decorator chalks, and with the use of fine brushes, will be more precise.

I first tried regular (kid's?) stick chalk, scraping it off the stick and then using it....this resisted the translucent layer & kept it from sticking .....(I later got it to work though by adding a thin layer of TLS on the back of the translucent.) Dotty

I did a drawing with pastels on paper, then put the paper on a flat bit of raw clay (or tied it around a bead) and baked to transfer it ....wonderful color transfer. Shauna

I made a paint with pastel dust and water to use paint with on raw Sculpey, then cured brushes were homemade ( 8 hairs from an eyeshadow brush taped to the end of a toothpick) ..done with magnifying glass". Nora-Jean

transfers "encased" with translucent clay:
1..... If images made with chalks on paper (or with colored-in photocopies) are transferred onto very thin translucent clay, (and applied upside-down, usually to a clay backing), then after baking the images will be viewed through the translucent clay (and the image will no longer be reversed)
Donna Kato’s lesson on an "encased" b&w transfer made on very thin sheet of translucent clay, then colored in with "decorator" chalks or (chalk?) pastels.....(hers is backed with a sheet of a gold-leaf-crackled-on-black hardly visible in photo...then covers a base bead with it),,HGTV_3239_1375725,00.html (see Translucent clay transfers ("encased" transfers) & finishes above for lesson)
2.... A transferred image which has been colored in with chalks after it's been transferrred to raw clay, can also be covered later with a very thin "encasing" sheet of translucent clay to protect it, or to soften the colors
........roll out a VERY thin piece of translucent clay and lay it on top of the image, making sure not to trap air underneath (the piece is now ready to go over whatever you want such as a bead base, a pendant,etc). Dotty

...see more on ways to seal-finish chalk images below in Pencils
(...for another way to encase a freestanding, flexible transfer under translucent clay, using liquid clay to help transfer the inkjet image from glossy photo paper, see Donna's lesson above in Liquid Clays > Glossy Papers)

(see also info just below in Pencils ... many of the same things apply to both)
(see above for transfers encased in liquid clay, in "Liquid Clay" > Layers)
...(see also Painting and Powders for more info on pastels)

COLORED PENCILS ...& Graphite Pencils

some possibilities for coloring in or drawing:
1. photocopy or laser copy a b&w image ...transfer the b&w image to raw clay, and bake... color on the baked clay with pencils
2. photocopy or laser copy a b&w image... color it in with colored pencils ... then transfer the whole thing to clay (or to liquid clay for a decal)
3. draw a design with colored pencils (and maybe black or other inks okay for clay, etc.) onto t-shirt transfer paper... transfer to raw clay and bake
(more below)

...Prismacolorcolored pencils produce the strongest colors (because they're really soft ...don't use hard colored pencils)
........mail order: ASW Expess in NC has them in their catalogue at 40% off mfg. price as follows: Sets: 12 colors- $7.59 24 colors- $15.19 72 colors- $45.39 120 colors- $75.69 Shipping free! 1-800-995-6778
...Toni B. showed transfers made with colored Crayola pencils onto clay (which work great and are cheaper than Prisma pencil she says).
syndee likes the flesh-colored Durwent pencils
(...see just below for graphite pencil recommendation)

transferring colored pencil drawings, or bw photocopies + colored pencil


b&w photocopy or laser --toner based print
...colored in with colored pencils..
then transferred onto liquid clay ..(decal later placed onto regular clay)
....lesson on making a decal this way by painting liquid clay over colored-in b&w photocopy, then curing with heat gun (also Liquid Clays above) (under "Transfers"...can use an ordinary photocopy tho!)

(decal + metallic backing)

After transferring and baking my liquid clay and colored pencil image, I applied metallic leaf to (the back of it) with adhesive sizing (like white glue) (I used the Old World Art brand)... the foil shows through the transfer nicely. Geo

added texture )
...Gerri's vibrant transfers after drawing on (laser) photocopy with colored pencils, then backing with metallic leaf (middle of page)
.......she makes a decal from the photocopy with LS on glass, baking at 300 F for 20 min... removes paper
.......applies white glue to what was the paper side of the decal, then drags a comb around in the glue to create wavy lines (for a bit of visual texture)... applies silver leaf to the dried glue (behind transfer decal)
.......places decal on sheet of (white?) clay for backing... creates a clay frame around, etc.
Julia Sober's version of "basse taille enamelling":
.....draw on paper with colored pencils, heavily coloring entire area of image (can blend colors, or use diff.shades of same colors)
...... could also color in a bw photocopy (the black toner will also transfer)
.....brush coat of liquid clay over coloring
.....turn over onto sheet of glass clay and burnish to remove any bubbles... bake 25 mins at 300 degrees from glass
.... to remove decal, stretch transfer paper till it tears (or soak --see more on both in Liquid Clay >Basic Info)
.....apply thin layer of white glue to the transfer side of the decal (or could apply to other side to avoid reversing the image later?)
.....let glue sit for a minute to get thicker, then make a pattern in it by dragging various tips through the glue surface (or other ways?)... let dry
.....turn decal over and place onto sheet of silver leaf (for truest colors), glue side down
.....turn over and rub leaf into dried, textured glue
.....turn over, trim, then apply to raw clay (or baked clay with more glue)
(see also Faux Enameling above for more variations, esp. without texturing)

direct transfer to clay

...this technique will yield a transferred image with nice dark black outlines, around the soft pastel colors
also covers transferring to rounded beads, fairly large.& using heat to help transfer process
.......take a b&w photocopy and color it in with colored pencils (make sure the pencilled colors are bright and strong).
.......make your bead using white clay for at least its outside layer oblong bead shape is best...round is quite difficult
.......carefully press your photocopy around the belly of the bead, and then wrap some soft string around the transfer to hold the transfer on
.......carefully burnish the back of the phtocopy to make sure all of it is touching the clay
.......bake the bead for 5 min only... take it out of the oven, and quickly (before the bead cools) untie the string and peel off the transfer
.......return it to the oven to complete baking without the transfer paper. Dotty
...Michelle's lesson on transferring a laser photocopy by pressing it to raw clay and rubbing several times with q-tip soaked with alcohol before baking the transfers.. then using it to make a medallion for a box (created by covering a cardboard bar soap box),,HGTV_3352_1909744,00.html
...Valerie's b&w stamped image on regular? paper (using a regular office inkpad), colored in with colored pencils, then burnished onto translucent clay and baked 10 min.... (gone)

graphite pencils or charcoal ..(all b&w)
..I sometimes do transfers of drawings in graphite and/or charcoal ..presumably, calligraphy letters could work too
........use Mars Lumograph pencils for this kinds of thing...they're the best! ...make really dark grays.
.... to reverse them, just write them on a regular thin paper ... flip it over, & trace the letters in graphite, say a 4B pencil (or softer) which will cause them to come out backward (doing the transfer itself should make the letters show up on the clay facing the right way).... I haven't tried this exactly, but I have done it with drawings on paper & it worked fine. Rap


drawing directly on t-shirt transfer paper with colored pencils (doesn't involve printer or copier)
.... colored pencils, and probably also regular pencils, will also transfer directly to clay (or liquid clay?) when drawn on t-shirt transfer paper first (see above in Copiers for more info.)

Coloring Directly on Baked Clay
(some involve transfers)

Kathleen Dustin was the first to draw-color directly on baked clay, as far as I know
....many examples at her website:
...she uses baked original white Sculpey (in the box) because it has good "tooth" after baking
......colored pencils may not work on smoother brands of clay quite as well ...though maybe could rough up the surface of those a bit with fine sandpaper or steel wool to give a little tooth?
... then she colors it with Prismacolor colored pencils (and sometimes adds a few translucent cane slices, etc)
...covers the pencil after baking with a final layer of very thin translucent clay (see more on using thin layers of translucent in Tranluscents > Thin Sheets.
...(see more on the famous and beautiful Kathleen Dustin purses using her technique in Vessels-Rock > Larger Rocks, including lesson)
....Xtine's shapes done like Kathleen's (colored pencils or pastels??)

rawing directly on baked translucent clay (thin sheet) with colored pencils ....or coloring a transfer made onto translucent clay
.....I roll a thin sheet of translucent (sometimes with embossing powder or Pearl-Ex inclusions) ... and bake it.
......when it's cooled, I color the back side, so the colors show through the translucent ( and also through any inclusions)
......(sometimes I'll have done a photocopy transfer onto the front.)

.....To use the sheet, I generally put it on a backing layer of more translucent clay

see more on this technique above in Chalks ("encased" transfers)

drawing directly on baked white stamp-textured clay with colored pencils, then softening the colors
Barbara McGuire's lesson on coloring with Prismacolor pencils on baked white Fimo, after impressing an (uninked) stamp into the surface to create relief
...begin coloring with the lightest colored pencils... then darker colors here and there, plus outlines
... she tries to create contrast ...then later she "complicates" with more colors (effect will look different when finished).
When finished, you can soften the color edges:
.....wipe the colors with a tissue, etc., for pastel look
......smear them with finger or rubber brushes, etc.
......or don't do either
..Then apply ArmorAll to melt the colors together and get rid of sharp pencil lines...
will puddle
...... in 30 min. apply another coat of ArmorAll... bake 265 for 15 min
...finally apply Fimo Laquer or another clear finish,,HGTV_3238_1378909,00.html

"sketched"-looking b&w image ...(created from a regular photograph using a photoeditor
(......should also work for any photograph or image which can be scanned into, or captured by, a computer)

lesson ...Syndee first created a b&w. version of her digital color photo by applying either the Sketch, or Charcoal, or Drawing command in her photoeditor to it (the resulting image then looks as if it's been hand-sketched)
...she then (printed it out and) made a toner photocopy of the image ... and transferred the photocopy to raw clay (see below)
... then colored in the baked clay image with dull (not sharp) colored pencils .. and baked again.
.... (to transfer, she uses rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to saturate the paper from the back
after burnishing; she then reburnishes to remove any air bubbles, lets dry, then reapplies alcohol before removing transfer--the black lines will be very dark and larger with this method (see also Boozy Transfer section above)

(finishes for bare colored pencils)

translucent clay
... Kathleen Dustin presses an extrememly thin layer of translucent clay over her baked clay colored with colored pencils, pressing it even thinner under a piece of plastic wrap for maximum clarity
.......(she likes Sculpey III translucent for this)
....see more on this technique above in Chalks ("encased" transfers)
....and also Translucents > Thin Sheets

liquid clay
I really think your best bet would be just to use liquid clay as a sealer
.....for a glossy finish, use Kato or Fimo liquid clay
.....for a matte finish, try diluted Translucent Liquid Sculpey
....the key is to first thin the liquid down with some Sculpey Diluent-Softener first. Then brush it on and let it sit for a bit so that it will flow some and be even across the piece. (You shouldn't see any ripples aross the surface. If you do, the liquid is still too thick.) Right out of the oven the finish will be a nice, soft matte.
....... if you want a glossy surface from your TLS, just sand the the baked TLS lightly and buff. (I use this method a lot when doing color photo transfers where I use the Prisma Pencils for the color. The color as well as the black lines show up just fine through the liquid clay
Varathane+ Future/acrylic sprays
It's best to use two to three coats of Varathane if you want to sand the surface. Using a 400 and 600 grit wet sandpaper. Then going over the piece with 0000 steel wool makes a wonderful satin surface. DottyinCA
...a layer of liquid clay {baked} will sometimes prevent the colored pencils from bleeding so they can be glazed with Varathane, etc (sand and buff before Varathane?)
....I often use the Prismacolor pencils with the clay ...I have coated them with Future Floor finish with no smearing at all. Dotty
(...... I found that my brush-on glaze (Future) makes some shades of Prismacolor pencil bleed and run (if not applied quickly and lightly?), so using a thin spray of Krylon seals the surface first and prevents that )
...then I go over the Krylon with a layer or two of Future because the spray finish just isn't smooth enough to please me (...or could use Varathane)
....I tend to use Krylon spray acrylic as a thin first coat on items that have any Prismacolor pencil work on them (the things I make are likely to be handled a great deal, which would smudge any surface design in the pencil)

........I use Krylon Crystal Clear spray or the Krylon UV-filtering version as a first coat on all the switch plates that I have drawn on with Prismacolor pencil after baking..... I spray from a good distance with sweeping strokes just as I would for a drawing on paper.
............Once it's dry, I put a coat of Future on top of that.
........But I don't like sprayed finish as a rule because it's never quite as glassy smooth as a brush-on; there's always that fine matte texture of spraying. Halla

After letting my colored-in transfers (on raw clay) sit overnight without baking, the next day the color had bled slightly & oozed through the clay...the images are not as distinct as they were. . . . So from now on, I'm transferring only on cool days and also baking right away.

(see also info just above in Chalks ... many of the same things apply to both)

(FOR watercolor pencils... oil pencils... oil pastels ...chalks,etc., see Paints > Colored Pencils, Etc.)


Color in your baked transfers with permanent markers.

OR, the ink from all(?) kinds of markers will also transfer directly when put on t-shirt transfer paper first (see above in Copiers for more info. . . this way doesn't involve a printer)

After I transferred the image, I peeled the paper off and then cooked it. After it cooked I played with various ways to color…. the Fabrico markers seemed to work the best for me. Brenda

Dotty's hand colored B&W transfer (using markers? to color) (website gone)
Jean Comport's examples: (gone?)
Kris' scan/rotate markers on translucent (gone?)

Jean S's transfer colored in with Pinata alcohol inks

there are also markers offered by Adirondack which use alcohol inks (see Letters-Inks > Alcohol Inks)


I've been able to transfer a rubberstamped image. I used a permanent black ink - tapped my rubberstamp into it - stamped some (regular) paper and then put the stamped image face down onto the clay for about 5 minutes -author?

You want pigment ink - not dye ink...dye ink is not permanent. Brenda (though would be when on clay and baked?)
...I tried stamping (with the Marvy dye ink pads and then tried transferring that to the clay but it didn't transfer at all..
I then tried using my DOTS archival ink pad that I had purchased for scrapbooking and that transferred just fine.
And I then tried my Fabrico ink pad and that also transfered just fine. (Yes, when using Fabrico on fabric, you do have to heat set - either with your iron or in some cases throwing it into a hot dryer). I'm pretty sure these last 2 pads are pigment ink. These were also "black" ink.
...yes Fabrico works.. but Black Memories pad is probably one of my FAVORITES. It dries very fast - you can heat set with hair dryer if you don't own a heat gun for a few seconds if you are going to paint directly onto the stamped image without smearing the ink (black) outline. But if you let it is sit for a bit and dry no need to heat or blow dry.
Another good one is Crafters Pads by Colorbox ...again a heat set ink but is VERY permanant. Shawn

Valerie's stamped frog image (blue "office" ink--permanent?) colored in with colored pencils, burnished on translucent and baked 10 min.

rubberstamped images stamped onto slick papers
....rubberstamped images will also transfer directly when put on t-shirt transfer paper (see above in Copiers for more info, but this way doesn't have to involve a printer)
...You can rubberstamp an image with pigment ink onto a slick paper like a magazine page (or junk catalogs & ads from the mail printed on slick paper)
.... just stamp right over the printed material
.... then lay your stamped image on your clay for a few minutes (don't disturb)
.... when you take it off, the image will be more dark and crisp than if you had just stamped it on regular white computer/copy paper
(The preprinted colored image does not transfer over to your clay --unless you've used liquid clay--) so you don't have to worry about that.)

NEWSPAPER images, comics

Colored funnies transfer extremely well. I've seen some really funky and fun jewelry done using these. author? (sort of like what we used to do with Silly Putty)

(also other b&w ink images or text from comics, ads, etc.???)

I'm not sure you would get a razor sharp image from them, so you could instead scan the comic, then tweak it with a photoeditor before transferring in one of the more traditional ways.

EVEN MORE ways to transfer inks & toners off

wood burning tool . . . toner images (b&w or color photocopy, and laser printer or copier) can be transferred to baked clay or other surfaces with the "transfer" tip of a wood burning tool (it's is a round disk shape which allows more area to be covered than most of the other tips...would also work with oneof the other wider ones?) ... tool will work with plain graphite paper too? ...
Walnut Hollow's Versa-Tool wood burner with different tips (...will also cut through book sections, and burn wood, gourds, leather, dominoes, do velvet and fabric embossing, and maybe more.. ... (775 -1000 degrees... though there is also a Woodburning Heat Regulator which can be set to six heat settings) ...can find at Michaels', etc.?...use 40% coupon!),1789,HGTV_3351_1390467,00.html (shows the transfer tip)
...also Bunny Burner (Lenk Transfer Tool) for transfers (tool with transfer tip only)
...could use a household iron as well? ...hottest setting?
...could use a quliting iron? (for applique and seam pressing)
...could use a soldering iron ... temp? tips?
(CD's can be cut with the knife tip rather than the transfer tip ...see Onlay > CD's)

I had made an item which I had ironed on a transfer (the type used for embroidery transfers) and it was just perfect when I stored it away. It was on Premo glow-in-the-dark and had a coat of Flecto-varathane on it. After a year, the design had turned into a fuzzy red nothing and the transfer color had run around in the clay. ...One piece had a really neat spin-art machine look, but it had no color in it. Some completely disappeared and others ended up as a shadow on the bottom of the clay. Some of these transfers were from the 1920's so not sure if the transfer medium was not as good as what we have now. Anyway, I haven't tried it again...So if you have contemplated using these, be sure and use colors that won't mess up or at least use pens which are safe to use on polymer clay. Even this would be tricky as almost all (commercial) iron-on transfers are red, navy blue or yellow. Ink (or colored pencil colors would then have to camouflage the anticipated reaction! Jeanne
I know that some embroidery transfers are designed to fade, but I also know that I have linens which are the original stamped items from 1905 through 1930 and nothing has faded on them. I have even bleached some that had yellowed or were stained and the stamped areas are still very bright.. . . I also know that lots of needleworkers have used carbon paper to make designs on linens and I have done the same. Some of these never come out.. . .it just might be that some work better than others---or they may all fade. Jeanne
LATER, an experiment:
This is a picture of all transfers on to raw clay.
This one is of all transfers on to pre-cured clay.
Overall conclusions so far----
... Iron-on transfers work best on raw clay. Probably because one gets better contact.
... One problem with transfering onto raw clay---the paper once ironed on leaves the outline of the shape of the paper. So the paper needs to be large enough to cover the shape of the clay. This is a little difficult with iron-on transfers as they are often printed next to each other and not too much extra blank paper.
.... The iron needs to be hot enough to transfer, but not so hot it burns the clay! I found the right temperature for my iron and did all transfers with the same setting.
... I am going to wait 24 hours before I cure the raw clay transfers. That way I will get some indication if the raw clay escalates the fading if there is fading. Jeanne R.

One day I accidently put a raw cane (slice?) on (a piece of computer paper which was printed with inkjet ink), and when I picked it up, the words had transferred onto it ...:o) . . . so since then, I have been printing clip art (with my inkjet printer), and then running clay through the pasta machine .... I set the paper on the clay and leave it for about a day. ...the image goes perfectly onto the clay ( and then I embellish with embossing powder, millefioiri, etc.) Leslie (for her Alice book)
....Amy's transfer postage stamp pins made this way (website gone) ... images are somewhat pale though

Martha Stewart has a lesson on transferring b&w photocopies to paper (or cardstock, etc.?) (how about clay?) by coloring all over the back with a Design art marker (available at art-supply stores) in Gray 1 (very light gray) and letting sit for 5 min. after it begins to show through before removing (it's a solvent-based marker? in a light neutral color) .. a blender (Photo Tag Transfers)

Carol Duvall show on transfering the photo? It's show # 319 - the writeup is at -- as I recall Polaroid rep who did the demo suggested going to swap meets and flea markets to pick up cheap old cameras and/or film. Seems that the film may still be available in stores, but you need an old version of the camera to make it work?

Silkscreen/Screenprinting... PhotoEZ....& Photopolymer plates
-- all moved to
Paints > Printing or Photopolymer Plates --


MISC. INFO & ideas for transfers

Cut the image on paper to the eventual size you want, leaving a small white margin or tab on one side, folded up, so you can grasp it when removing the transfer. Dotty

flush inset . . . (to incoporate transfers baked on a layer of clay) we were taught to do the transfer, bake it, then set the transfer in another sheet of clay (as a frame)... regardless of how many layers). ...we took the baked transfer and laid it (temporarily on the clay where we wanted it to be) .... We marked around it and then removed it so we could cut out a piece the same size as the transfer, then set the transferred piece inside, like an inset. Then, put that layer on top of (two others? for thickness?), and baked. All three layers bake together and stay together without any additional adhesive. Kay
....Transfers baked on a layer of clay can also be set on top of a background sheet of clay (usually with a bit of liquid clay or Diluent in between...the bond will be stronger simply by letting them sit together for awhile before baking). In this case, the sides of the transfer-and-clay will show, but could be:
...framed with clay embellishments to hide the join, or actually have a frame-shape piece placed around the transfer (leave the join slightly visible or backfill or embellish with clay after baking, etc.
...Or the sides could simply be colored with metallic powders, acrylic paints, etc.

I think that I would sandwich the colors, cut to the size and shape you want, using a small amount of liquid clay between the layers and then let the piece sit for several hours or more.. . . Then place onto your baking surface, burnish the transfer paper on extremely well, bake for the 5 to 7 minutes, remove paper, and then finish baking. . . .The reason for waiting for a while after sandwiching and using the liquid clay is because the liquid clay will then leach into the various layers and make for a stronger bond. (This advice was given to me by Marie Segal of The Clay Factory) Dotty

ALCOHOL (rubbing 71%) to help transfer an image (for any relevant technique above)
...You can use alcohol to help remove the image from inkjet prints on regular paper? (or from color photocopier images, ...or other mediums?, but my experience has been that Gin or Vodka work better (faster) than rubbing alcohol. Dotty
(see above in in Boozy Transfers, and in Transfer Papers, etc., for details)

Barbara McGuire's lesson on " encasing " a transfer with translucent clay .... she transfers to white clay (for 30 min - 2 hrs)., then puts a very thin layer of translucent clay on top of the transferred image before using it, so it doesn't smear and is protected . . .though that will make the image softer . . . ...(she puts her transfer-plus-translucent sheet onto white cores of clay to make sort-of cylindrical beads and bracelets --will need to be sanded and buffed for most clarity?),1158,CRHO_project_27246,FF.html

Marcy's rub-on transfers, & stickers (could have been scanned) for framed pins ... using onlays, clay ropes, etc.

for using transfer decals as "pages" in minibooks, see Books > Pages

Jeanette's lesson on using Jones tones (applied to a clay sheet and ripped off) as a background under a transfer (which was made on very thin translucent clay)... she also shows using alcohol to help release the ink of the transfer and using Shapelets to cut out the transfer)

(For dealing with raised edges of some decal-type transfers, see above in Transfer Papers)

As a matter of fact, you can even sand and buff a transferred image (lightly) to give a sheen without ruining the image.
But, there is no need to seal these images with varnish, which can sometimes even dull the image. Roni.
...If sanded too hard, any of transferred images will sand off if not placed ink or toner side down against the clay (when using translucent clay), or unless covered with a glaze such as Diamond Varathane or a thin coat of one of the liquid clays. Dotty
I agree that you should use PC as the grout (for your tabletop with transfers on tiles). It works great. ...As for protecting the transfers, I would suggest that you coat the entire table top with Diamond Elite Varathane can get the Satin type so it's not quite so shiny. In fact, I would give it about four or five coats. Let each coat dry well before applying another one. After two coats you can rub the surface with 0000 steel wool, then recoat and repeat. This will give you a nice tough surface. . Dotty in CA

Interference powder covering: after you transfer, and before you bake, liberally cover the piece with interference powder. After you bake, gently brush the excess powder off & seal the piece. The powder will cover the entire piece including the transfer ink, lending an almost holographic look to the transfer. I have not tried it with non-interference powders yet, but in theory it should work as long as the powder is not darker than the ink. Jami

I use the Eberhard (Fimo) brand of size (foil adhesive) when I am doing photo transfers (on translucent?). I've never had a problem with that ...I use after baking and transfering my image. Sometimes I purposely don't colour in part of my image and paint size onto the back of it and then add my Magic leaf before mounting (this thin transfered image) on to its background piece of raw clay.. . . and the leaf shows through. Petra
...I've done something similar to what you've done, but I used TLS (transfer) and a colored pencil image. After transferring and baking, I then applied the adhesive size and foil leaf. The foil shows through nicely. I used the Old World Art brand. Geo

I just change my backgrounds to a pleasing color, or a blurred gradient color (in my photoeditor). Nancy

translucent clays, IMHO, do not take direct transfers as well as the more opaque clays.
.. You can also bake this piece in the oven to release it, so that when you are using on a box or something like that, you don't screw up the image. Marie Segal
....(to help with translucent clay?) I always transfer with a little heat help… I place the clay atop my lamp's metal shade to warm it up.
Original (white, in the box) Sculpey loves to turn purple any place that gets a bit hotter than the rest.

she pushed a clay sheet with a transfer on it into a mold for the 'faces with attitude' swap(Roberta Schwartz, I think)

for templates to use for cutting transfers into shapes ...or for stacking ...see Cutters-Blades > Templates

Could you transfer some lettering (which had been copied in reverse) onto raw clay, then press in the lettered areas with a tool I did with the embossing stencil on my hearts? Hmmmm. Julia S

My transfer stuck to the tile when I layed my pin face down on a tile to bake the piece of clay over the pinback (on the back side). When I picked it up after baking, half of the decal (transfer) stayed on the tile. :-(
...Arrrgh! Well, I've done something like that myself. Had the pieces all done for a roll top box...and thought I'd see if it would work better to put the Flecto on before assembling and baking it to the fabric backing. I didn't figure in that I would be wi\eighting it down with a second tile and it stuck like nobody's business. In hindsight, I wish I had tried putting it in the freezer to unstick it, but that might not have helped either. It was a total loss.

my inlaws have exactly 12 grandchildren at the moment, so I could put one face in each hour position,of the clock by using photocopy transfers
Your idea could also be extended to using all kinds of other icons too--from someone's hobby, or work, or things they've done, area the live in, kids’ or infants’ themes. .

You can also use an original photo (rather than a photocopy) in a collage on clay if you coat both sides of it with Sobo, then put the whole thing right onto the clay and bake.

at least two ways to print an inkjet image directly onto fabric... you can purchase ready-made fabric sheets which are pre-treated with ink fixative for washability and colorfastness then bonded to a sheet of paper, or you can treat your own fabric then back it yourself.

fabric-backed paper ... piece of white fabric (pre-treated with an ink fixative) bonded to paper (the paper holds the fabric stable as it moves through the printer)
...print directly onto fabric... paper will be removed later (after ink is dry)... then ready to use
...add an image to polymer clay or to other surfaces
...after printing the image, cut it out and pee
l off the paper backing (the image is always perfect on the fabric)...need to let sit 24 hrs? apply it to your unbaked polymer project, coat the back of the fabric with liquid clay, and then also the front of the fabric with a thin coat ...bake (image will be permanently attched to the clay). Dotty in CA
I have used some of the sheets for photos... you have to be sure to let them dry thoroughly. I let them dry overnight... then heat set, then rinse in warm water in sink (I dry them with a hair dryer. Then heat set with iron again to be sure). (I did have a problem with them running before I let them dry well). Gma
...there are different kinds of fabric-backed paper?... regular cotton fabric is stiffer, whereas "silk" or ?? is more supple and thin?
...some of the fabric sheets are stiff which I don't like. I believe Printed Treasures are supposed to stay soft (silk??). Gma
...can purchase in fabric stores, quilt stores, and craft stores?
Jacquard's version
.......the silk is impregnated, UV resistant, and more supple ... the cotton is just plain cotton??
other brands:
(be sure and read the packages to see if the fabric has been pretreated or not)

OR treat your own fabric for inkjet printing ... (then back it with freezer paper --or with reg. paper or cardstock)
...most (quilters) use a bottled product called Bubble Jet Set to treat fabric for printing images onto's the most economical way to go and the results are great (for the same price as a package of 6 sheets, you can buy a bottle of the BJS and treat about 6-7 yards of fabric... it's easy to use too. Quilts 'R Fun
...cut fabric a little larger than your printer will accept... soak in BJS
...adhere the dried fabric to freezer paper** (shiny side) well with an iron (so there will be no bubbles underneath)
....OR can adhere to ordinary paper or to cardstock with a repositionable spray adhesive (one that works well is 3M's PhotoMount ... "embroidery" sprays may also work)
.. run through inkjet printer (wh. uses dye-based ink, not toner --do not use laser printer, or maybe new waterproof pigment inks?) ... can re-use freezer paper a few times
...instructions on the bottle tell you to gently wash the fabric after the ink has fully dried.
...I usually put all of my fabric sheets in the sink at the same time with a couple of drops of dish soap (Joy, Dove, Palmolive as long as it's mild) and wash them all by hand.
......don't freak out when you do this because there will be excess ink coming off in the water (the photo won't come off, and it won't transfer color to other areas). I wash each one, I'll squeeze out the excess water (not wring) and put them in a bowl, then drain the sink, put the fabric back in the sink (rinse the bowl well) sure to rinse very thoroughly and get all the excess ink and soap out of the fabric (or when you press the sheet after it dries, the soap residue will yellow the fabric) MSC
....then you can toss in the dryer if you have several, or just iron dry (no steam) if there are just a few... then they're ready to use.
(more info and purchasing: and
**they also have a heavy duty freezer paper which doesn't roll and curl as much as the regular stuff so a bit easier to handle

Another way is to use some of the new Shrink Plastic for Inkjets (make a "shrink ruler" so you can accurately size your graphic to meet your needs. --find out how to do this on most of the Shrink Plastic websites)
...When I use this method, I make the item that will have the picture on it first... bake it.... after I have shrunk the picture, I superglue it onto the baked piece. Just remember when making shrink pictures to be sure that when you print them onto the plastic, to lighten them up a lot!. They need to be PALE because when they shrink, the ink is compressed and everything comes out much dark).

I can imagine using that technique (torn paper technique ) along with transfers to make something that looked like, for example, a torn out corner of a book page or newspaper. Susan
(for this technique, aka watercolor beads, see Sheets > Flattened Shreds & Bits)

I just put some photo transfers on polished river rocks and so far so good. Now, should I or do I need to polish the clay and or the rock? Should I put a sealant over the clay? Michele

Transfers from color copiers or laser copiers (or laser printers?) can be made on metal or glass as well, using "a medium" like liquid clay or others (see Other Liquids)...and baking if using liquid clay

IMAGE sources & CLIP ART & Transfers to Purchase

PRE-PRINTED transfer imageson special paper FOR SALE:
Donna Kato sells transfer images of various subjects
Lisa Pavelka also sells sheets of various subjects

There are a couple of ways (to get black & white images to use for transfers).

Check out Dover books. There are many (perhaps hundreds) of books with various themed patterns - mostly B&W.
.......(even Dover has some restrictions on how many of their images you can *sell* but for your own personal use, they're fine).
....It's wonderful how many of the new Dover books come with CD's these days. It makes it so much easier longer have to scan images from the book into the computer .... just slip in the CD. and pick whichever image you want. Dotty
..... I agree with Kim, the Dover CD rom electronic images are superb and crisp - ideal for our uses. Alan

The other way to go is if you're adept with (photoediting?) software like PhotoShop (or Photodeluxe) or some other raster editing tool, you can take just about any image, scan it in and with a little creativity turn it into anything you desire, including line art. Desiree
.....Or, subscribe to alt.binaries.clip-art ...Irish Red

I've uploaded lots of Japanese images to here .. ... Please help yourself.
...I've collected them over the years from the net problem with copyright since almost all of them are over-150- year-old woodblocks..(Yahoo trimmed the filesizes when I loaded them, but even as is they'll certainly give decent transfers up to about 6" square. Alan

various b&w or color images that could be transferred ... fancy windows, doors, space ship panels, etc.

**Syndee Holt made her own sketched -looking image from a photograph she already had, by using a photoeditor ( use as a transfer)
(......this technique should also work for any photograph or other image which can be scanned into, or captured by, a computer) her photoeditor, she created a b&w version of her (digital) photo by applying either the Sketch, or Charcoal, or Drawing command to it (most photoediting software should have similar options) ... the resulting image then looks as if it's been hand-sketched
(... the image can then be used as any other transfer by inkjet with liquid clay or onto special papers, or however you want)
......she made a photocopy of the image, after printing it out? ...then transferred it it to raw clay... she also colored in the image with dull colored pencils before baking)

image copyrights..... When companies like Dover get copyright free images, they clean them up in order to publish them... then the cleaned up book or CD version is considered separate from the original public domain image with regard to it's copyright --this fact is what gives Dover the right to restrict what you can use their graphics for (...for instance, they tell you you can't take their graphic and use it in a clip art book of your own that you're going to sell, but you can use it for 'personal use').
. . . However, if you want to buy (or have) onother original, public domain copy of the graphic (in an old pre-1923 book or a framed print from a second hand store) and then do the scan and clean up work yourself, you can use the image -- no problem. Donna
(.....see more on this topic in Owning-Copyrights)

Dover Publications ... were just sold (Nov. 00), but the Dover Pictorial Archive rules are still up to 10 images used copyright free in any one project..... Don't let anyone tell you that's changed--I checked specially (a rubberstamp store owner tried to tell me that Dover had changed and were now charging for each used image. That is NOT true.) Sarajane

using GOOGLE.
IMAGE SEARCH can find a bazillion photos and images of practially anything quickly with Google's image search feature (..few other search engines also offer image searches)
...... ... in the search box, enter the word for whatever you're wanting (tiger, goddess, face, Egyptian, e.g.), and click on GoogleSearch...the first pageof images will pop up (and the rest can be accessed by clicking on page #'s at bottom of screen)
...pick one of the images and click on it ..this brings up a horizontally-divided screen with several options: the top division, click on the small image to see it alone on a page, and/or to get the largest size that's available for it (both good for direct printing)
.... in the bottom division, you can scroll down the original webpage the image was taken from the top, you can also click on the hyperlink for the original webpage to be taken directly to that page outside of the Google framework --esp. if you want to bookmark
NOTES: ...the words used in the search box must be present in the file name of the image, so begin with the fewest number of words you might expect the maker to have used to name the file
...if you use a longer version of the word than is present in the file name (for example, Egyptian rather than Egypt), you'll get both, but the full Egyptian ones will come first ...and vice versa.

In any search engine, put quote marks " " around any combination of words that you need to find together in that exact order. This will cut your search hits down a lot and the results will likely be more relevant
...the next best thing to do is to use a plus or minus mark + or - to help specify exactly what you want and don't want...don't leave a space after the symbol ..(e.g.: when searching for E get the best from any engine, check out their TIPS section. ...many engines work on completely different assumptions--shoe also has an image search ... it indexes more sites than any other

finding CLIP ART through a search engine: can use Google as your search engine, and enter "clip art school bus" or "clip art mailbox" (for example) as your search phrases. These phrases will each produce several thousand good clip art images. I especially like Google, because you enter a few words in the order of their importance to your search and voila! It's never failed me on any subject. --shoe
.....actually using quotation marks ("clip art" "school bus" and "clip art" "mailbox") is how I would search for these, no matter which search engine is used. Sunny ...go under any one of the art or hobby sites and then write in free clip art --OR you can do this on the main page and have it search all areas. You'll be surprised what comes up.

Anna's various links to printables sites
Jim's Printables offers lots of categories of things which can be printed on paper (or transferred onto polymer clay!!) as miniatures (or enlarge), e.g. paintings, rugs, etc.
....Jim’s printable books, seed covers, etc.!

(see more printables which could be used for transferring -- book covers, tarot cards, wallpapers and wallpaper borders, bricks, wood floors, paintings, , and much more in Boxes-Gift > Mini Printables)

These poster pictures are unique and would make great transfers. I guess we can use them as long as we don't sell the resulting products. Christel
many large European paintings (click on for enlargements) . . . virtual museum and searchable database of European painting and sculpture of the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods (1150-1800), currently containing over 11,600 reproductions. Commentaries on pictures, biographies of artists are available. Guided tours, free postcard and other services are provided

Japanese art examples:

There are lots of places to get royalty free art. I recently bought a software package that has over a million pieces of artwork (some are really beautiful) all of which can be used without paying a royalty. A lot of the pictures are from the Dover series. The problem with such a large assortment is that finding exactly what you want can be a challenge. --- Christel

We have a liberal copyright policy - and I will supply an electronic version of the art to anyone purchasing a stamp who needs one. (petroglyphs, ancient symbols) jessica

might be interesting to make transfers of these textures of many different kinds of bark ... photos enlargeable...

vintage patriotic clip art posted at Lynn K.

There is a great Hot Off the Press book called Images with Polymer clay. It is really one of my favorites I hope anyone else out there interested in transfers checks this out. BGunn

Our product is a True Type font which lets you design intricate Celtic Knot patterns just by typing on any computer keyboard! It works on Mac or PC, in any program that uses fonts ... each letter you type is a piece of a Celtic knot! ...The designs can be printed out at exactly the size desired, simply by setting the font size. ...$20. Laurie
I have ordered this program but haven't yet installed it. I want to see how it will work for making silk screens, transfers, and for making a rubberstamp matrix. Looks like fun, but challenging. Dotty in CA

Shareware/Freeware FONTS. . . Surf the net for "free fonts" sites. There are hundreds of them. For the example above I have used Fontfreak ( . .
...When you are in the site of your choice, look for the webdings or dingbats category of fonts (these are drawings/patterns on a theme that you can download to your computer and install into the font folder of Windows. So, the next time you go to your wordprocessor programme, just choose the font you want (e.g. celtic frames) and type through the letters of the alphabet, they will give a different pattern (image) for each letter you type on the keyboard. Most of the dingbats are true type scaleable fonts, which means you can make them any size you want.
YOU CAN..... Repeat patterns for the girth of an inro box ....Create a picture frame for another focal piece ...Go completely wild with PhotoEZ, etc. are just some of the A's on one site: Aboriginal Alchemy Animal Tracks Arboris Folium (cool leaves) Asian Aztec. . .
....Even if you are not into transfers...go and take a look and be inspired. Tania

I was looking for shareware fonts and stumbled upon this site of (fancy) dingbat fonts (in many categories). There is some great artwork there, and would make nice little transfers onto clay. I especially like the egyptian and the quilting ones. You can print them at about size 100 or even bigger to get nice pictures. Emily N.

Look at this list too!!! . . . . Tonja


The Art of Polymer Clay Creative Surface Effects, by Donna Kato

...surface treatment techniques: stencils, stamps, paints and inks, sculpting, inclusions, special effects, and finishing ...image transfers ...projects: beads, bracelets, pins, pendants, boxes ....essentials of polymer clay, color blending, Skinner blend, etc.

Images on Clay ...short book by Barbara McGuire (rubber stamps, colored pencils, gold leafing, wire, etc.), $11.99

Masterpieces in Clay, by Sharon Cipriano ...Design Originals # 5109... image transfers, rubber stamps, beads, etc. (medium-length book but includes 30 gallery image transfers to copy and use yourself)

--There's also a relatively new book that I really have enjoyed on many kinds of transferring (not just polymer) . It's called "Easy Transfers for Any Surface" and it's by Livia McRee
It has projects for transfers onto wood, fabric, and polymer clay among other things. There are three polymer projects (or maybe four - I forget now), all different enough from each other to be worthwhile. It also includes all of the images that are used in the book so that you can make the exact projects they do, if you want. Pretty neat. Lisa)

(see also Gwen Gibson videos on faux enameling, etc., above)


Transfer Magic . . . Dotty McMillan also has a video entirely on transfers: b&w, colored pencil, bright image, 3-D, Liquid Sculpey antiquing using brown paint and also patinas, jewelry making, . 67 min. . .(on the site, there's a 7 min viewable clip of Dotty cutting apart a circle of white clay, transferring a cranes image onto the reassembled pieces with t-shirt transfer paper, then placing on a background of stamped black clay, and antiquing with a number of diff. paints:

(she shows regular Lazertran only -- no Silk Lazartran...Kelly)

Gwen Gibson's Ancient Images: "tear away" transfers... faux enamel (viewable clip at the website), negative etch, positive ethc, collage, oil etch . . . scrap clay backgrounds for images,
...I think that for a beginner her first video Ancient Images is a great choice. You won't learn how to (cane), but you will learn how to make jewlery using image transfer techniques. Seth

--Gwen Gibson's new video "Faux Bronze Magic"
…The title of this video is a bit misleading as a faux bronze finish is only one of the things she does in it. She spends the majority of the time on the tape transferring images (bw?) onto thin sheets of translucent clay with alcohol (which works GREAT)... then she backs them with metallic leaf, and frames them using some reallly neat techniques. . . . The "faux bronze" part comes at the end, where she patinas the frames using Chemtek's metal paints and oxidizers (
Chemtek is now out of business, but the formula was purchased by Coloramics. My understanding is that the product is now called "magic metallics", and info can be found at Marie). Julia S. . . . Since I don't have the patinas, I left my frames black, but I like them that way. They look like lacquer sanded and buffed. The Japanese image is from a calendar I have and the other three are from a book of designs and motifs from India. I painted them with with acrylic paints before adding the leaf and framing them. (website gone) Julia S

---Gwen Gibson's Cuff Bracelets & Surface Treatments (by Gameplan Videos) . . . step-by-step constructions and surface techniques.... how to use texture plates in a new way as well as how to make your own from copper and from silk screens ....better ways of making elastic panel bracelets ...two-part cuff and unique treatments of panel bracelets.

--Jody Bishel . . . Exploring Liquid Sculpey covers various uses for Liquid Sculpey. Doing Transfers with the LS’s is covered in a couple of her sections: Color (mixing artists' oils and Pearlex powders in LS & TLS to create custom colors and effects), Pin Marbleizing, Gold Layering (impressed clay with acrylic paint in recesses and gold powder on high areas + 2 coats & bakings of TLS), Layered Patinas (making a footed vessel? over a light bulb--broken out; spotty tinted TLS, baked; TLS and powder on outside and TLS glaze on inside; adds leaves, etc. Jody creates folded, ribbed, patinated leaves which she attaches to the outside of the varnished vessel using Liquid Sculpey in a glue gun. Following the final baking of the piece, colored Liquid Sculpey is applied to the ribs of the leaves and set with a heat gun), Faux Enameling (cloisonne), Backfilling Images with liquid clay (carved, stamped?... removing excess and sanding), Transfers (TLS on glass . .tips on avoiding bubbles and using as glue

--transfers are also one part of Donna Kato's Potpourri of Polymer Clay Techniques video

--Imaging Polymer Clay With Lazertran Silk with Terry Lee Czechowski. In another fast-paced video workshop, Terry Lee shows you several ways of using Lazertran Silk - clear step-by-step demonstrations and many tips; four projects - tags, personality stand-ups, a collage with relief, and domed pendants.

Lazertran Workshop Video . . . Lazertran allows you to transfer your own designs, photographs or any image you like onto almost any surface. . . . step-by-step video


Tonja's many transfers used in many ways (on small tin... frame with cane slice corners over ) (decals with travel-theme images, used as loose collage elements ... some edges cut with pattern scissors)
Robin Beaty's many kinds of transfers (and hidden pictures books/folders)
PCC's challenge on images... various ways transfers can be used, including stacked layers + other transfers
Flo's animal transfers (on switchplates) with onlays of grasses , leaves, etc. to create " scene" (bobcat & fox)
...some transfers as "framed" onlays as well
Alice in Wonderland: transfers & frame(s) ...& freestanding b&w with colored pencils

Marie Segal's framed transfer pins, b&w, one with flowers
Tess' framed transfers pins
Jenny Dowde's transfers with frames, for pendants

many transfers ..some framed in mixed media ways, faux metal, or ornately and
faux metal, framed dog and cat transfer pendants
*Flo’s small frames with "double-matted" metallic-effects (with transfers--color & b&w)

Cheryl's transfers framed with dimensional flowers and dimensional cane slice leaves

*Woosley, tech's bracelet! & transfer pins with "frames" (sepia & white) (just now, can see only with Netscape browser...or completely gone)

Flo's switchplates using transfers and onlays, etc.
Debbie Anderson's color and b&w transfer pins with frames and some danglies (Pins)
Celie's transfers framed with Precious Metal Clay
Zkripke’s faux ivory with (b&w petroglyph) transfers necklace
Nanetta's lesson on using Shapelet to cut open frame area in sheet of mokume gane for a transfer

~fatbak’s transfer & onlay wallpiece (b&w) with "frame/layers"
(website gone)
Jean Comport’s The Girls (b&w or colored faces, on jointed bodies)
*wild jointed figures with transfers for faces (not polymer), "Milagro dolls"

Helga's Altoid box "mini-shrines" with photo inside top cover, and other media on the other side (like double picture frame)

frames,pins,collage, etc. (click on each for lesson) and
many bottles (med. and small) covered with mixed media ( transfers, beads, fibers, polymer)

Mmasaur's color transfers with frames
(website gone)
catbyte's transfers with frames (website gone)
Meredith’s upcoming (Ravensdale 2000) mystery transfer tech....(look also at their MADPG page?)

Dover books (great images for transfers)

inkjet_transfers (a Yahoogroup) ...great source of information on transfers of all kinds, not just inkjet.. check out archives or ask questions.


(see also: Painting for pastels, )