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Sgraffito! Bene!

Ceramics students have completed their sgraffito plates and they look mahvelous.  Sgraffito is a method for decorating ceramic pieces, plus, it’s a tremendously fun word to say.  Students slab clay and drape it over a plate of bowl-shaped plaster mold for shaping.  Then they smooth the clay and when it is leather hard (yes, hard as leather) they underglaze the clay.  Underglaze is simply clay, water, and pigment so it can be put on unfired clay.  Once the underglaze is dry, the design is scraped with a sgraffito tool to remove only the underglaze and reveal the bare clay beneath.


It’s kind of like those scratch drawings you may have made in grade school where the paper is covered with black ink or paint and you scrape a white design into it.  This technique is taught every year by my mentor teacher, using different types of projects and handbuilding techniques.  Another high school ceramics teacher I met at a professional development day swears it is too hard for beginning ceramics but you be the judge.  I think the students did great.  Even the student whose enthusiasm has been lackadaisical all year admitted he liked his sgraffito project.  He even (for real) smiled!  I love those days in the classroom.

~ by anitawesto on November 12, 2012.

ceramics, teaching