This is year I am totally devoting myself to finding me in my art.

What that means exactly is that this is the year of experimentation, with color, shape, size and techniques.
When I go to shows or into galleries I can always tell the artist by their piece, they have a look, a feeling, maybe a specific  palette or they work with a specific technique and that is what I am aiming for.

I went to an Art Show a few weeks ago in Tulsa. This was a Fine Art show, not a craft fair, so the quality (and prices) of the pieces were high. I saw lots of pottery and fell in love with a pottery technique called Sgrafitto. When I saw it I shivered in delight and bought a piece, a coffee mug, from the artist, basically to say thank you for the inspiration!

Sgrafitto is carving through underglaze into the raw, leather hard clay.

sgrafitto mug

Is this not the coolest mug? Artist Carolyn Bernard Young- Earth to Art

Its super cool and looks similar to woodcut work.

Because of my work with carving on Gourds this technique really spoke to me. I had seen it before but now seeing, and feeling it up close and personal, my art-fire was lighted and I just had to try it!

After drinking a cup of coffee  in my new mug, as well as drinking in her design, I raced out to my studio to try it myself.  I have to admit, it took me a while to screw up the courage.

The Universe apparently had a hand in all of this because I had just thrown a few tall cylinder type shapes, which I rarely do, and they were leather hard, exactly where they needed to be.

So I tried it. I painted 3 coats of Amaco Black Velvet undercoat, let the glaze dry, and then got a carving tool out and started to doodle.

And I had a ball!!! There was no rhyme or reason to my carvings, I just made marks to see what happened. I made lines, and dots, and swoops, I carved out big areas and left areas black. I did this on two pots. There were alot more pots in this leather hard state that I thought I could do it with but I seriously did not want to experiment on a whole kiln load!!

Sgrafitto Vase #1Sadly I did not take photos during this whole thing but here are some that I took of the freshly bisqued pots. At this stage they are not finished. The Color was applied to greenware (unfired clay) and fired at a low temperature. It now needs to be clear glazed and fired again to a higher temp.  Then it will be finished. The Glossy clear glaze should make the black pop and since the clay is a white porcelain the design should also pop.Sgrafitto Vase #2

 

 

 

 

 


I can’t wait to see the finished piece!

There was a lot of satisfaction for me to make these marks, just like when I do carving on my gourds. I love the organic look of it, that hand made, hand carved quality. Plus each one will be different, each piece will have its own art.

Luckily for me, when I bought out that pottery studio, my purchase came with a slew of Amaco Underglaze which worked perfect for this.  I used the black but I can see it with all sorts of colors and the brighter the better!!!

So what do you think? I would love to hear your opinion on this new technique.