Screen Printing on Ceramics

April 2, 2015 , In: Ceramic Clay, Clay, Tutorials

This week I’m on a countdown, myself and my beads will be travelling down to Uttoxeter race course next Thursday to take part in the UK Flame Off. It’s a fantastic show full of everything a bead maker could desire and is a great chance to shop, sell and spend time with friends. 

So all I’ve been doing since we last met is making beads, making beads and making more beads. Today I thought I’d show you my new favourite technique.

Exciting new techniques!

If you’ve followed my posts here on the blog, you may have spotted that I love surface design, and I’ve been working hard to create my own style using the results of lots of experiments. My goal was to create beads with images on them. I love to sketch and wanted to try out putting some of my drawings on to my raku beads and pendants. 

I really enjoy the process of creating, but I’m very impatient. I want quick results that I can easily repeat. So after becoming frustrated with trying to paint designs, I decided to try out screen printing. 


The designs were transferred from my sketch book to my computer and I printed a transparency. 

Laser printed transparency

The screen is prepared with a light sensitive emulsion, the transparency is placed over it, and the whole thing is exposed to a bright light for a few minutes.

Exposing the screen

The screen is then washed out and the unexposed areas of the screen are revealed with the design.

All is revealed

I mixed up some ink using black stain, and printed on to tissue paper.

Tissue transfer prints drying

The transfers were cut from the paper and pressed on to clay shapes to make pendants and beads.

Transferring the image

And after bisque firing, they were glazed and raku fired.

Finished screen printed beads & pendants
And a few re-fired with precious metal lustres.
Lustre fired beads
I love how they turned out and I can’t wait to make more, I need to get back to sketching… I just have to make a few more beads!

Caroline Dewison

Caroline Dewison is a lifelong addict of anything creative. She settled on ceramic beadmaking 3 years ago and can be found most days at the bottom of her garden playing with mud in her studio. She draws her inspiration from the natural world and wishes there were more hours in the day to explore all the ideas in her sketchbook. You can see more of her work on her blog -
  1. Reply

    Love how you are always trying new techniques and these are a roaring success.

  2. Reply


  3. Reply

    These new beads are so pretty, they have such a soft look to them. Wonderful Caroline!

  4. Reply

    Wow! That's amazing. So I guess the tissue burns away during the bisque firing and the image is permanently added to the bead? Your images are so pretty too. Again Wow!

  5. Reply

    Fabulous post Caroline!! I have done some reading on this but your explanations and examples are just so perfect for beads. Love the results you got!!

  6. Reply

    These beads are amazing! And that process sounds addicting. I would be sketching and transferring and doing it over and over. LOL

  7. Reply

    These are great! (your 'sprinting thru the woods' bunny image is my all-time favorite!).

  8. Reply

    Showing your process really shows how much work goes into your amazing beads and what fab designs!

  9. Reply

    These are all amazing!!!

  10. Reply

    Wow! That really is something!!!

  11. Reply

    Your little illustrations are so imaginative and full of play. What beautiful bead sceneries they make!

  12. Reply

    I love your new beads and seeing how you make them. You have quite the setup there, being able to make screen prints. I did that in art class in high school! LOVED it!

  13. Reply

    So innovative. I love getting a glimpse into your process.

    • Theresa
    • April 23, 2017

    Your ideas are truly inspirational! I was wondering if you could print off a sheet of this on tissue paper in the printer and have that ink transfer in the same manner?

    • Reply

      Thanks Theresa! Interesting idea! It wouldn’t work with inkjet printers, but I know some toners will transfer and leave a sepia image on glaze after it’s fired using special papers. This might work on bare clay if you printed on tissue. You’d need to experiment and try it out.

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