Sgraffito living

It seemed like nothing much was happening around here.  Except things were happening.  Just not apparent until almost too late!  Whew.  (Burning brakes, burning electrical outlet, burning mad at a building inspector.) Now life is back to the normal... not much happening here.


Now I'm scratching away as fast as I can! Doing some free-hand sketching (doodling) on some porcelain jars.  It has been hot here. It kept me busy spritzing all the fresh thrown porcelain pots and lids. Covering them up and turning them around as if incubating eggs. I prefer to sgraffito on a leather-hard surface. It takes a little time.  Some of the jars are nearly bone dry now. I wanted to do a little carving along with the sgraffito, but I will just settle with scratching. The more I doodle the more I want to do more elaborate designs.  I am thinking I need to throw a big jar!  Maybe that's next?  For now, I need to concentrate on getting these gem jars done.  Quickly.


I'm also making oval boxes.  The lid knobs are bugs.  There is a request for these for an invitational. I need to do extras just to make sure I have nice ones for the show.  While messing around making these boxes I suddenly wanted to do a figure. Just when I think the well is dry, it rains.  Go figure!  I sketched out what I wanted to do and will work on it later.  It is funny how nothing happens and then it does.........


Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.
~Mark Twain


  1. Hi

    The bugs are so lovely!! They interest me a lot! I may be wrong but the left one looks just like an Egyptian scarab!

  2. Hello sapphire---Thank you--yes, the one does look like a scarab! I wanted to use them on a sculpture and also some as lid knobs on some oval boxes. I have made quite a few and like the scarab-looking one the best. I think the little appendages on the side makes a difference.

  3. All the pieces are very beautiful, Charlene..the sgraffito and the impressed decoration! I'm interested to know how you get such nice, solid colour for the sgraffito..may I ask if you brush on the dark colour or dip them in slip?

  4. Thank you, Mark. I brush on slip using the electric wheel as a turn table. I use a soft flat edge brush to make a nice 1/2" wide edge for top and bottom borders. I fill in using a soft mop brush or a 3" hake brush with a flowing motion. I spin the wheel at a speed that I can make it around once before needing to reload the brush. My slip is heavy cream thick. I let the first layer dry until it isn't tacky to touch then add another layer. Usually 3 layers for small pieces.

    1. I'd never have guessed it would need three layers of thick slip! That's very useful to know, thanks so much for the explanation, Charlene, it's much appreciated.


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