How to Make Your Own Delftware
Learn how to transfer graphics to ceramics and glass to create blue and white Delft pottery.
Delftware is blue and white china made in the Netherlands that was popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. I love the restrained palette and how motifs from Japan and China mingle with European ones. The restricted palette, symmetry and repetition of marks make for awesome compositions. These designs look complicated, and in a way they are, but the busyness of the composition and the mark of your hand (even the mistakes) will just add to the charm.
I find it's easiest to make this project using plates with a flat rim. I used an 11-inch dinner plate with a 2-inch rim. Use a scanner to scale motifs down or up as needed. You can start this project at home or, for an even easier time, head to your local paint-your-own pottery studio, where they will sell you the bisqueware, provide glazes and fire your finished pieces in a kiln. After transferring the design you can paint it with underglazes, but I like the fine-line quality of underglaze pencils. It's essential to use red Saral transfer paper because the marks will disappear in the high heat of the kiln.
Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: • • • •
Learn: How to transfer graphics to ceramics and glass
Remix: Use this transfer technique on finished ceramics or terra-cotta pots, but use glass paint, which heat-sets in the oven, for decorative use.
- printable templates
- tracing paper
- permanent marker
- Saral transfer paper
- painter's tape
- plates, as many as desired
- colored pencil
- underglaze pencil
Trace templates onto tracing paper with permanent marker.
Place tracing paper over Saral transfer paper and cut out with scissors, leaving at least 3⁄8-inch margin on all sides.
Place small pieces of tape to adhere the central motif and the transfer paper to well of plate. Go over lines of template with colored pencil to transfer template to well of plate.
Remove transfer paper, template and tape. Trace design on plate with underglaze pencil.
Place the rosette motif and transfer paper at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock and tape in place.
Tape the grid motif and transfer paper in spaces between rosettes. Trace rosette and grid designs on plate with colored pencil.
Remove transfer paper, template and tape. Trace rosettes and grids with underglaze pencil.
Do not stack plates or rub underglaze marks off. Have plates glazed and fired at your local paint-your-own pottery studio.
Reprinted from Yellow Owl Workshop's Make It Yours. Copyright © 2017 by Christine Schmidt. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Aubrie Pick. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.