Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: somewhere lost in the midwest
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I've worked in the art indusrty for over 5 years, here are my experiences:
Sharpies will wipe and wash off.
Smooth ceramic surfaces are one of the few things they (and lots of other markers and paint) will not stick to.
Try paint markers. Zig, Speedball and Posterman are all good brands. Sharpie also came out with oil based paint pens that will work.
Porcelaine 150 and Vitrea 160 are two kinds of markers made for glass. You bake the peice after writing, and it's food-safe after curing. They are expensive, but high quality.
If you can't find any, you can still use a Sharpie or Prismacolor marker, but you will need to seal the ceramic piece afterwards with a clear sealent - Michaels offers many kinds.
If you're making something that will be handled often, I would seal it anyway.
I would not recommend using any kind of marker (other than a cured glass mraker) on anything you will eat with (plates, bowls). If you're looking to personalize ceramic tableware, check your yellow pages or call around for a local ceramic shop. There are a lot of "Make and Bake's" around.