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Technique Description: Sgraffitoing is the method of creating a design by gently scratching through unfired underglaze color applied to the ware to reveal another color or the clay body beneath it. This technique is similar to incising, when you cut into an unpainted clay surface to create a design.

Additional Information:
Step 1: Apply color
Apply glaze to piece.
Apply color
Step 2: Add design
Because sgraffitoing is best done while the color is still damp, work quickly to sketch or trace the design over the unfired underglaze color.
Add design
Step 3: Carve design

Work with one small area at a time. Use the Sgraffito tool with the hollow side of the blade down to gently scratch fine, shallow lines along the sketched or traced design lines, then go over the lines a few more times, gradually deepening and widening the lines.

Evenly carve any wide design areas down to the depth of sgraffitoed lines. To avoid chipping the color, always pull the tool toward you and, in areas where two lines intersect, pull the tool away from a point on each side of the previously sgraffitoed line.

Use the brush end of the Sgraffito tool to remove any color particles and dust from the sgraffitoed lines as you work.

If the color becomes too dry, moisten the area to be sgraffitoed with a slightly dampened sponge, being careful not to overwet the piece.

Carve design
Step 4: Finish piece
Once design is carved apply clear glaze and fire.
Finish piece
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