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The Canvas Cafe Bespoke Plates


We were approached by the Wielden + Kennedy group to look at the possibilty of producing two different bespoke 12" rimmed plates, that would be used to sell through the Canvas Cafe project in the East End of London; a charity that helps to feed the homeless. The designs that were to be produced were submitted via Gilbert and George the renowned and controversial former Turner Prize winners. View and read the indepth details of the full process of the project from start to finish below.

A factory visit was arranged with the client to talk through their brief. From experience we feel this is the best and most informative way of showing the actual processes involved in producing our bespoke products, as the client see's first hand the work that is carried out and can pick relevant base products. Any questions and concerns from both parties are raised and solved.

Our main concern in replicating the artwork was the amount of colours needed to produce the plates, with the limitations of the colour pallete in ceramics. Our design studio produced colour counts for the client after breaking down the artwork, using their vast experience the client were showed proposed matching pantones references, which helped in the sign off for the project.

Once the colours were agreed our design studio set about separating the colours into specific layers, with each layer then transfered via an imagesetter onto a individual filmwork ready to be exposed to screens.

The filmwork is exposed to a screen using a high UV light exposure unit, this leaves the image impression onto the screen when washed out with water.

Each of the 17 colours used in the project are individually silk screen printed through our fully automatic cyclinder machine, each colour has to dry before the next the next layer can be printed. Once all the colours are precisely printed, an organic material called covercoat is overprinted in a liquid form, which acts as a protective carrier ready for decorating.

Once the covercoat has been printed and dried, the complete decal is submerged into water, which releases the decal from the gummed backing paper. With skill and precision our lithographers apply the decal to the plate using a squeegie and a lint free cloth to remove any water and air between the decal and the plate. This is done by rubbing and working the decal down onto the plate.

Once the decals have been applied to the plates, the next process stage is the firing of the decal onto the plate. 850 degrees of heat work in a kiln over several hours fuses the printing  colour into the glaze of the plate, making the decal pernament and scratch resistent. The fired plates are selected and packed into their presentation boxes. 

View Other Case Studies:   The John Shaw Club | Grosvenor House Hotel |

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