Photo-lithography Workshop Image instructions


Registration for our Photo-lithography workshop is now open! Visit our Square Store!

After much trial and error, we have found that certain images transfer better to clay than others.

  • Text and line based images can be printed very clearly, even at a small font size.
  • Images with large light areas, and minimal deep black areas also come out clear.
  • Black and white, or images converted to black and white

Many other images will transfer well with a little editing.

  • Images with large areas of medium gray to black tend to be problematic because all those areas will come out darker. The contrast is lost.
  • If the image has a focal point, it is important that the background have as little noise as possible.

Basic digital editing techniques can be used to lighten darker areas, making the images better suited for this process.

In the example shown, we were given a lovely black and white photo, but we wanted to make sure that the couple was the focal point. In our first attempt, we cropped it, and lightened just the background a bit.

When the print was fired, we lost the details of the faces in the background, and many of the areas that looked clear and light against the darks in the background were too dark.

We made a second attempt, lightening the whole photo much more, especially the background, and the highlights on the faces.A lot of those mid tones were lightened almost to highlights. We kept some of the smaller important dark detail areas. The resulting photo looked funny, but the print on the mug was much clearer.

For our workshop, participants are welcome to edit their photo themselves, but we are happy to do the editing. All photos must be submitted by January 20th. Please indicate if you would like us to edit it, or to print it as is. We will be providing each participant one 5×5” hanging tile, or one wheel thrown mug. All photos will be sized to fit the clay items. If you wish to print on a clay item of your own making, please let us know. The process is done on greenware at leather hard stage. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us on Facebook, or through e-mail –

Text example

Original Photo

First Attempt

Second edit

Final Print fired to cone 6 with clear glaze

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