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  • Writer's pictureKaren Goodwin

Sgraffito Fun!

Conference lessons continued:

How cute is this?

This was so much fun! This is a technique called sgraffito or in this case wet etching. Basically using lighter colors under darker colors and carving out your image to reveal the color underneath. The dish is a wavy sushi plate which fits perfectly with the design.

The first step is to put the base colors down first before you draw on your image so it's a little different from a typical pottery painting process. The project starts with applying several layers of underglaze. This one has three coats of white under another three coats of black. I learned that it is important not to let it get all the way dry because it is harder to etch in your design on dry glaze.

Once all of the underglaze is on, the next step is to draw on the design. I used the same technique for this one as the Macaw project; tracing the image on tissue paper and then using a marker to trace the image on to the piece. In this case I had to press down a little more to be able to see the image in the black glaze.

Now the fun part! Using a toothpick, I etched the image that I drew on there to get the basic picture and then started with the squiggles to make the hair or feathers... not sure what to call those :) A toothpick worked great and because the glaze wasn't too dry, it was pretty easy to work my way through all of the ostrich heads.

The last thing to do is take a writer bottle or a thin brush and paint in the colors on the eyes and beaks and maybe a saying to add some pop! Fun Stuff!

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