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  • Writer's pictureTurin Clayworks

Drawing in the Design (sgraffito)

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

We can all admit that our lives get busy, sometimes so much so that we get tossed a bit off track. I had hoped to have wrapped up the descriptions of my work by now so that I could move on to other topics for this blog. But as I have learned throughout my life, sometimes it is best to reset your mark and aim it back to where you had originally wanted to go, no matter how many times you must repeat this. By doing so, you remain true to your goal and may actually one day achieve it.

Now that I have a minute to get back on my track, I want to continue: the next step AFTER refining the piece is to draw in the design, the final step before the FIRST (or bisque) firing.

This is probably my favorite part, however, I really like all the stages for very different reasons. Deciding what to draw on each piece is, perhaps, the most creative, although deciding on what form to create and what colors are used to bring the form/illustration to life are also important aspects of any single piece.

I'm often asked if I have a storyline in my mind as I draw. Yes. Yes, I do. The setting and characters are essential, as are the structures, many of which take on their own character. I love story telling and I hope I bring that to each ceramic piece I create. (A topic I hope to cover more in-depth at another time.)

Next the drawing is etched in with a sharp 'needle' tool. There are many tools that ceramicists use for this purpose but I'm a true fan of the needle tool. Mine is a bit blunt from overuse, however, I like it like that as it makes my lines wider so that they hold more color. More on that next time. (Don't you like how I am building my path for future posts. I doubt I will stick to them in a straight line but a winding road is much more interesting than a high speed highway, don't you think?)

Lastly, here is a photo of one of my favorites just after completing the sgraffito work. It has ROBOTS! I'm loving these fun beings as well as my aliens and hope to do much more with them in the future. The remaining pencil lines will burn off in the first firing so no need to worry about removing them. This piece will now go into the kiln for the bisque firing.

We did get to the beach this morning. The crowds, even early in the morning, are starting to pick up here in York, Maine. We love that people come here but often want to avoid the crush so generally wander to the beach early. Those of you who follow us on Instagram/Facebook will often see our beach photos but for those of you who don't, I hope you enjoy this one. Yep, that's my guy's cute feet.

Happy Father's Day to all!!

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