Friday, September 6, 2013

Sgraffito Across Media

Techniques can cross genres. You can do sgraffito (scratching through layers) in a variety of  media. For one, with acrylic inks and gesso. See pages 67-69 in Painted Paper for instructions. I usually use it for texture, occasionally for words.

You can use sgraffito in monotypes. I put a layer of white on the plate, let dry, then drew with a skewer and added more ink on top of the white for the top dog. This is actually a collage of a variety of monotypes made in 2001.

You can do a kind of sgraffito with felt. Really, you are making layers of color, then instead of scratching, you are using a scissors to cut down to a different color/layer (see the silhouette on the right). In this case, I used a sewing machine to outline where I had cut. This is one of my first felted books, probably from somewhere around 2005-06. It has lots of unintentional holes in it, too.

And you can do sgraffito with ceramics. Here is the Sheep Shuffle birthday bowl I mentioned before. I also wrote a story about my experience with the kids in the studio here. I painted three coats of black (Black Lab), then three coats of light tan (Golden Retriever), and carved into it with a needle tool, blowing away and brushing away the crumbs.

This carving feels very familiar to my printmaker hands. Rather like carving linoleum, only you get to do it right-reading instead of backwards.

In a post at the end of September: the process in glaze, step-by-step. Stay tuned.

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