SGRAFFITO TUTORIAL - by Gabor Forgo - Switzerland

  • Leader
    July 19, 2012 11:06 AM EDT

    The following tutorial is a step by step procedure I use with a multicolor background and a single color on the top layer.

     ..............Gabor Forgo, Switzerland

    Let's Begin



    I begin with a pencil sketch on paper for proportions and to jump start my imagination.


    Here I am using a copper sheet which is 1mm thick (18g) and 10 x 10 cm large. The front side is covered with an opaque white - I use #201 from Hiller - Germany) The back side is counter-enameled - and both sides are then fired together at 760 - 780 degrees C for 2 - 3 mins.


    Once cooled, the coloring of the background begins.

    I apply several transparent colors (Ninomiya is my brand of choice) in wet form by    brush .

    I prefer distilled water with my enamels. Observe the usage of a wooden hand support bridge which steadies the hand.


    Continue adding enamel colors until the multicolored background is complete-

    Dry throughly and fire in the kiln.


    I prepare a handle out of masking tape fastened to the rear side of the plate for holding the plate during the execution of sgraffito.


    Begin to apply a thin coat of Painting enamel to the the fired piece.

    Here I use #521 White - Shauer 8(Painting Enamel)

    Painting Enamel is enamel color with fine particle size allowing the  preparation of thin color layers.Cover the piece entirely taking your time. This step needs some exercise.


    This is how your enamel should look. Dry thoroughly. I normally let the piece dry over night. If your piece is still wet when you begin to draw lines, the particles of glass will break out leaving uneven edges and gaps.


    I use steel needles of different thickness to produce varied line widths. These needles can be purchased at any craft store, usually in the ceramics area.


    Begin your sgraffito design. I apply my design free hand resting on the wooden support for steadiness.When drawing your design try to finish one line with one movement, because every new movement will result in a somewhat new trace.


    After scratching out some of my lines, I shake off the loose powdered enamel onto the paper sheet below. This can be put back into a jar for further use.


    Continue with your sgraffito design.

    Total time for Sgraffito - about 3 hrs.

    Once the picture is completed - fire in the kiln


    Fire carefully - for the colors I have chosen I fire at 760 - 770 degrees C. Watch the firing process in order not to lose the top layer, which would sink into the ground if over-fired and you could lose the sgraffito effect.


    After some minor repairs at the edges, I use a low melting transparent top layer to equal out the surface. Fire carefully, watch the process. I use Fonant Finition #619 by Soyer.


    The End

  • Member
    July 19, 2012 12:11 PM EDT

    Very Clear Gobor, Thank you......

  • Member
    July 19, 2012 1:36 PM EDT

    Thank you Vivek and Chris for the comments... Gabor

  • Member
    July 20, 2012 5:29 AM EDT

    Hello Gabor,
    This is a very successful, clear and easily comprehensible tutorial. But in addition to the art, it still requires a lot of imagination in order to make such beautiful and qualityful works as yours is.
    Thank you for sharing your  excellent  knowledge.


  • Member
    July 20, 2012 8:48 AM EDT

    Thank you Edmund for your kind comments ! Gabor

  • March 18, 2015 11:48 AM EDT

    Thank you. I now get it. I have been looking for a way to add a colored base coat. I have been going over you project every once in a while, but I didn't understand what you were trying to accomplish. I now get it. your idea of a colored base coat is exciting. I will look into it for a project in the future. I will fire the colored base coat, then spray a lite white granular coat over the fired piece. Dry the white granular coat with a hair dryer, then begin the sqraffito. This will allow the artist to remove the granular coat if mistakes are made while at the same time keeping the colored base coat.  It's nice to learn something new.

    Charles Winkel

  • Member
    March 26, 2015 4:56 PM EDT

    Yes Charles, you have got the idea! I don't use any dryer, because in my experience air drying gives the best results. Nevertheless, I will be interested to see your results. Gabor

  • March 27, 2015 1:52 PM EDT

    Fantastic. Thank you for the tutorial Gabor.

  • Member
    March 28, 2015 6:47 PM EDT

    You are welcome Leszek! The explanation is understandable - I hope - but to carry out this technique still needs some patience  and exercise. But it is worth the effort.

  • March 29, 2015 7:02 AM EDT

    Gabor would like to do with this technique to the watch dial. :-)

    How Vacheron.

    Pozdrawiam Leszek