KERAFLEX PORCELAIN: INKJET TRANSFER 
Jenny Hodge 




"One of the most curious and interesting paradoxes contained in the properties of Keraflex lies in its ability to be both strong and yet fragile.
Keraflex sets a precedent in cutting-edge technology
 and embraces the inkjet print like a long lost lover."
Jenny Hodge











Jenny's imagery combines both drawing and photographs and she uses Photoshop to tie the imagery together. After printing on the Keraflex Porcelain sheet using her inkjet transfer method, Jenny carefully cuts and constructs these 2D prints, joining them together with the Keraflex slurry before firing. 
Although this indirect print transfer technique could be used on any unfired ceramic surface, in Hodge’s work, the strength of the Keraflex enables the con­struction of incredibly translucent, and delicate work that if any other clay body was used, the work would never survive a cone 10 firing.  

"Drawing inspiration from dinosaurs, extinct animals and nature… most of my pieces contain highly detailed drawn imagery visually strategized in Photoshop. Fragile “Paper Rhino” appears to just out of a child’s paper construction book, vulnerable, extinct yet posing a few questions. Here is nature gone awry. Proliferating the pupils of each eye is the winsome face of my teenage daughter… I like to render visible and unseen forces at play and in “House of Cards”, each card tells a story, some obvious, others obscure, tendentiously calling for empathic response. The prints themselves are combinations of drawings and photographs, and can be imbued with combinations of many colors as evident in works such as “Collapsed Casino” and enhanced with Japanese tissue paper which takes to high temperature firing brilliantly...

Happening to see an advertisement for Keraflex in 2009, the challenge of getting an inkjet print on to this medium became tantamount. Keraflex, with its’ sublime paper thinness, white sheerness and beauty was highly attractive. As I had come up with an innovative, interdisciplinary method of getting an inkjet print onto clay in 2008, Keraflex was a natural progression into an unknown world and upon receiving my first sheet of the product, I decided to take it just as far as it could go.

One of the most curious and interesting paradoxes contained in the properties of Keraflex lies in its ability to be both strong and yet fragile. Decisions must oscillate between structure and form when designing a piece, as mild slumping can occur, but permanence and translucence is a guarantee.

The only equipment needed is  the actual printer which must produce a very wet print. Modern, expensive printers are disadvantaged in that their heat rollers dry the print too quickly and a transfer is not possible. Preferred underglaze mixes will contain 1 part cobalt oxide to 6 parts under glaze as the oxide seems to penetrate the clay at a deeper level. My inkjet prints work only on flat, wet Keraflex which has been soaked in water.
Firstly, I print with an inkjet printer onto a transparency. Then this print is dusted with dry underglaze powders, and as the colors meld with the wet inkjet inks on the transparency, they are easily transferred by placing the print face down onto the damp Keraflex sheet for two minutes. Before transferring the inkjet print, the surface of the clay should appear dry even though it is in fact wet.

Once printed Keraflex can be cut, shaped and formed into three dimensional forms. Keraflex impressively incorporates the print deep into its absorbent surface. The beauty of this new method is that it is visually immediate, with a good print attainable on contact and mistakes easily rectified during the process. What begins its life as dry powder now is an integral part of the clay body exhibiting a translucence and beauty which extends way beyond the paper print. Fine detail can be obtained on the Keraflex, whether using a drawing or photograph and images can be reworked, redrawn and fired again.

I only fire my Keraflex work once but there is every possibility for more under and overglaze colors to be added in subsequent firings. Firing at the recommended temperature of 2335F/1280C in an electric kiln suits the inkjet print process extremely well. At this temperature under glazes are submerged into the paper thin clay and require no over glaze.

Technical difficulties are few, the main one being the guarantee of a very wet print coming out of the printer, the other being the limitation of a flat printing surface, but Keraflex bypasses this with its’ easy maneuverability and brilliant sculptural qualities. Keraflex sets a precedent in cutting-edge technology and embraces the inkjet print like a long lost lover."
Jenny Hodge

(Statement contains excerpt's from the article A New Decade R Kingston. Ceramics Technical #30 May-Oct 2010 pg.14-19. Reproduced with Permission)

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Artist:Jenny Hodge. Title: Paper Rhino. Processes/Mediums:Inkjet Transfer on Keraflex Porcelain, Underglaze Powders, Fired Cone Ten. Dimensions:18cmx14cm. Year:2009 Courtesy of the Artist. All Rights Reserved. More examples of Jenny Hodge's artwork can be seen in our Keraflex Porcelain Online Gallery.