STF Spotlight: High-Performance Decal Printing
The high-performance decal printer within the Department of Art at Florida State University allows students and faculty to integrate computer designs and graphics with ceramics. Funded by the Student Technology Fee, this printer allows the exploration of art through mixed mediums. The printers can print in full-color ceramic ink, making any design possible. An artist will find a photo or create a digital piece that is then printed as normal. The main difference is the special ceramic ink used by the printer and the paper it is printed on. The ceramic pigment is different from a typical pigment found in ink or paint because it needs to have the ability to be fired onto the piece. When using the special decal paper, it is like placing a temporary tattoo on the ceramic surface. Using water, the image is transferred from the paper to the project. The use of high-performance decal printers has opened a world of possibilities by being able to merge 2D and 3D art forms to tell a story. Students are also learning how these digital tools can connect them to the fundamentals of art and how beneficial new technology can be for their art.
“Ceramics is one of the oldest technologies that humans have been using that goes back thousands of years. There’s an interesting kind of dichotomy, dialog, and juxtaposition with this very old technology and incorporating this kind of cutting-edge new technology with it as well,” says Marty Fielding, Department of Art professor.
To learn more about high-performance decal printing and see some of the work FSU students have created, visit our YouTube channel.