Ahaa! Here I am writing a blog after months now. Ceramics is keeping me fairly busy, so no regrets. First of all, the good news. I got an approval for pursuing M.Phil in Pottery. Hurraaayyyy!! This, plus I am practicing pottery full time now.
Pottery, fulltime, why? Many people ask me this question. I practice pottery because I like it. Period. Life is short and we should do what we like.
Among the many things I like in pottery is that I discover something new about clay everyday. I can continuously experiment with its form, style, texture, decoration, glazing and so on.
I wanted to experiment with Sgraffito since long and in this blog I thought of sharing my finding and learning. For people not very familiar with the term – Sgraffito is a way of decorating by scratching through one surface to reveal the underlying (typically contrasting) surface.
Since it was an experiment, I did not want to make anything too elaborate. Small, yet interesting and so I decided to go with Gond Art done on small tiles. Its only later that I thought I could use my sample tiles as coasters. Waah Waah! what an idea sir ji 🙂
I cut four square tiles. For sgraffito, I first had to apply a colored layer, through which I could scratch gond art designs. For lack of options, I decided to use Iron oxide solution.
Since I did not use any under-glaze as most often done; I had to apply multiple (5/6) layers. However, such thick coat of Iron oxide does not get absorbed by the clay. Resulting in red colored hands for as long as you are working.
Then, I scratched gond art designs to reveal the underlying natural clay color.
After the first firing, red color was still coming on to my hands. I should definitely invest in some good under-glazes if I really want to experiment with sgraffito more. Well without bothering too much about it, I dipped the tiles in transparent glaze and sent them for the second firing to get these beautiful coasters. Iron oxide did leak on the scratched part, but I still love the pieces.
Things that I want to do differently next time:
- Use proper under-glazes to get better finish.
- Scratch more surface area to bring out the contrast. For example, I like the tree tile better as the contrast clearly brings out the design.
Hoping to write my next blog soon to share more finding. Thanks for reading 🙂