Enhancing Clay Surfaces with Sgraffito, Mishima and Color

by Kathy Skaggs

Large sgraffito

Learn about Mishima and Sgraffito decorating techniques. Create designs on leather-hard clay, bisque fire, and glaze with an AMACO LG Series low-fire transparent color glaze.

Sponge on Black Velvet Underglaze

Large dsc 0022

For this project we are using low fire AMACO White Art Clay No.25 and V-361 Jet Black Velvet Underglaze. The underglaze can be brushed or sponged on. The clay should be stiff leatherhard and after adding the underglaze the surface should be dry to the touch.

Select or draw a design

Large dsc 0001

Ancient Mayan designs work well for the Sgraffito process.

Scribble on the back of the design with a soft pencil will help the design transfer

Large 5

Scribble on the back of the design with a soft pencil will help the design transfer

Attach the design to the clay and trace

Large 6

If the clay is still oft enough try push pins to hold the design in place. Trace the design with a pencil or ball point pen

Remove the paper to see the image

Large dsc 0029

Remove the paper to see the image

Outline the image

Large dsc 0036

Use bamboo skewers or pin tools to outline the image

Scrape away areas of the design to expose the clay

Large 7

Once the design is complete create an interesting border

Large dsc 0052

Mishima - working with a variety of lines

Large dsc 0070

Mishima is a technique of inlaying underglaze or slip into a contrasting clay body. Underglaze stays in the incised lines to create an interesting linear design.

Draw your line design

Large dsc 0071

Brainstorm some designs composed mainly of lines. Avoid overlapping lines. The clay should stiff (no flex) but still moist which some potters call stiff leatherhard. Use a tool that will cut a deep groove.

Dab Velvet Underglaze into the lines

Large untitled

Once the design is complete and the clay is stiff but not bone dry dab Velvet Underglaze into the lines

Use a clean damp sponge to wipe off the excess underglaze

Large untitled2

This can be a little tricky. First the clay should be very stiff but not bone dry and second each wipe should be done with a clean sponge with all the excess water squeezed out. Each wipe is done with a clean damp sponge. Wiping multiple times with a dirty sponge will not remove the underglaze from the surface. If your design starts to spear the clay is too wet. Wipe or scrape it when the clay is drier.

Your project is ready to dry and bisque fire

Large dsc 0075

AMACO LG transparent colored glazes are beautiful over Sgraffito and Mishima techniques

Large kskaggs mishima handout 9 15


    Enhancing Clay Surfaces... PDF with Images Download File

Similar Projects