Creating Sublimatable Porcelain Jewelry & Such 

Article written by:  Genie Zappanti, The Magic of Genie, January 2001

Always looking for a new product to offer my customers and being too impatient to wait for the vendors to offer it I have purchased numerous pieces of porcelain for different projects.

I might add that being in such a hurry has cost me a few times because I purchased pieces, had them coated and found out they won't work. Mainly because they aren't flat and I haven't found a way to get a transfer to mold to the less than flat shapes, but I will keep trying! I have also purchased items that are too big (the limitation is 10" in diameter for round objects and 6" x 8" on rectangles) luckily I also do photo glazing and was able to use these items with this process. I have tired ornaments, bolo ties, jewelry, key fobs, collector spoons and porcelain boxes. I recently sent heart shaped lids for coating. I will share pictures of these when they are finished.

The pins, key fobs, spoons etc. come with the porcelain unattached so I send the pieces for sublimation to Cactus Coatings to have them coated for inkjet dye sublimation. (Please specify if it is for laser or inkjet sublimation)  

After choosing my piece I resize my picture or art to fit on the piece. This can be challenging at times for items as small as the spoon. The porcelain is only " x " so you would want to crop the picture close so the face (assuming it is a face) will be distinct.

      This particular pin has a picture of my grandmother on it. The picture was yellow with age and I decided I wanted it sepia so I converted it.

The tone change and the cropping can be accomplished using photo manipulating software (Corel PHOTO-PAINT®, Adobe Photoshop®,  Microsoft PictureIt!®,  Professor Franklin's Instant Photo Effects® and numerous others)

I make my transfer for ceramic and mirror the image, tape it to my piece, then press at 425 degrees with light pressure for 2 minutes, face down. The porcelain for these pieces is fairly thin, this is what I have had good luck with. If your bottom platen is not a soft rubber you may want to consider using a rubber pad on top and do them face up. The pad helps the picture mold around the edges a little.

After the piece has cooled, (it can be dropped into water) clean off any paper residue that may be on the piece then glue to pin back or attach your other components to create either a necklace or earrings. I purchased jewelry glue for this purpose from Cridge however any good clear glue would work.


Photographs just don't do these pieces justice. The sepia color doesn't show up well in this photo but the pin itself is beautiful.  Here are a few of the pieces I have made:
These small hearts are pre-drilled and can be used as earrings or a necklace.

Oval pin without frame

The Hummingbird painting was done by Artist Robert Zappanti (author's son!)

The above article is:  Copyright 2001 Genie Zappanti, All rights reserved and may not be copied or reproduced without the written permission of the author.

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