|Sgraffito box by Neva Fiumara|
Sgraffito and sgraffiti come from the Italian word graffiare ("to scratch"), ultimately from the Greek γράφειν (gráphein, "to write"). Related terms include graffito and graffiti.
“During the 16th century renaissance in Italy, Sgraffito was utilised in wall art, pottery decoration and canvas paintings. Sgraffito on walls has been used in Europe since classical times and its origins go back to Africa and Japan. It came to Europe through the Middle East. Because the Muslims were forbidden to eat from any metal wares, they had developed the decorative side of pottery to high degree. This also included the use of a sgraffito decoration. Both the North African potters and Spanish potters were imported into Italy to share their skills and techniques. During the Reconquista of Spain, Spanish Muslim potters fled to North Africa, and to Italy and Byzantium, where their knowledge merged with the techniques of local potters to create new and exciting styles of pottery for Renaissance patrons of art.”
http://www.veniceclayartists.com/ (a fantastic reference website for all types of ceramic art)
|House covered with sgraffito in the village of Pyrgi.|
|Palazzo Massimo Istoriato: a fading palace facade in Rome by Polidoro da Caravaggio and Maturino da Firenze, 1523.|
The first was a slab formed bowl. It's made from white stoneware with black slip which was carved through with a wire loop tool to create the design.
And another on one of my (badly) wheel thrown beakers.
I love to draw, carve and add colour, so this technique is all of my favourite things rolled in to one! It's also very relaxing to do.