Sunday, February 17, 2013

A sgraffito learning curve

 Got some good studio time yesterday, but had to quit around 4 to get ready for an early dinner at our son and daughter-in-laws. I partied well and was moving slowly this morning after a tossing turning kind of night. Fortunately the plan for the day was to sgraffito these pots. It was a good sit down job, making for a relaxing, working Sunday.

Trying to sgraffito dry slip presented the challenge of the slip chipping off. So I thought I'd try using a spray bottle to mist the areas I wanted to work on; and that worked as long as I worked quickly; but if they dried before I could finish, I'd get those little flakes of dried slip coming off. Next time I'm not going to wait till the slip is this dry. The rest of the afternoon was spent updating my glaze and slip notes and making another "to do" list.

Yesterday was spent weighing out possible yellow slip and glaze tests and getting them on tiles, and getting the slipped pots cleaned and touched up. With my self imposed, retirement schedule, I'm finding that I can't get all that much done in five hours, at least not as slowly as I seem to work these days, and then have to use some of that time clean up the studio before I call it a day. 

While the latest tests and pots dry, I think I'll spend some time in the next day or so, doing more studio organizing, which I keep putting off because down deep, I'm feeling that it's going to be almost impossible to find places for everything. What I really need to do, is set aside a day to search charity shops in the county for an old, but stable and inexpensive coffee table that I can fit under the slab roller to gain another level of storage space, which will make room on my other ware cart which is being used right now to store things like mortars and pestles that aren't used regularly, and an assortment of other non ware items. I think it's time to get to a dollar store for some plastic bins , preferably stackable, to help the cause.


  1. I tried to learn sgraffito but I barely scratched the surface.

  2. I am not fond of carving through the clay when it's dry. I don't care for the dust and it seems my hand gets tired! Then again, if it's too soft it gets sloppy. Everything about pottery seems to be hurry up and wait.
    I really like your standard mug shape, the one on the right, can't wait to see these fired!

  3. Thanks for the chuckle Dennis!

  4. Thanks Michele. I have no idea about color choices for these. This next firing has a bunch of new glaze tests, so maybe I'll get inspired when I see the results. This switch to earthenware has put me into the realm of the unknown, after almost 4 decades of working in high fired reduction stoneware.