Joan Bolton King

I will be enlarging on some aspects of enamelling outlined in my recent series "Back to Basics" - starting with Sgraffito (Part III, Winter '95 Journal ), but this time using liquid enamels.

This introduction includes advice on what is needed so anyone can be prepared to try out the technique when it is explained in later Journals.

The Enamelling Technique of Sgraffito

In ceramics or interior decorating the Italian term 'sgraffito' involves incising an outer coating to reveal a differently coloured ground and this was first adapted to enamelling by the Japanese. The design is scratched into an unfired layer of enamel over an already enamelled undercoat, or even the metal itself. Firing fixed the exposed drawing against the general background of the top colour.

As previously explained, and at its simplest, a layer of opaque enamel is sprinkled over an already fired coat of a contrasting colour. Scratchings in this second layer are even more easily defined if the powder has first been gummed onto the glazed base coat.

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