Sgraffito Gourd Art

Inspiration often comes from other art forms

Sometimes an inspiration hits us from unlikely sources but when they do Magic Happens.

Sgraffito Gourd ArtWhile working on a gourd that was to be the example for a fall leaf class I gave last October I wanted to find a nice way to outline the leaves. In my own work I would burn a line but my students did not have woodburners. I turned to trying various black art pens. (The Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen turned out to be my best choice). Being the perfectionist that i was, the technique was perfect for the class but I was not happy with the finished product for me, as the artist.

For a month after this class this gourd sat on my shelf teasing me and really bugging me because I hated it. Rather than let it get under my Artistic skin I decided to try sanding off the paint, which was Gourdmaster dyes with a Krylon Clear coat, and redo the piece.

Not a big fan of sanding I preceded to really screw up the gourd and now it was half sanded and looking even uglier!!
One day, in between projects, I grabbed that hideous gourd and slapped on several coats of Ceramcoat Black

On a side note, these are very cool paints. I love the black, it covers very well and does not streak!!  

Much better, but now what?

Fast forward to earlier this week… I was answering some questions in a pottery group on Linkedin and a member of one of the groups who saw my gourd work asked if I ever tried the sgraffito technique on my pottery because, he said, my gourd art looked somewhat like that. I had not tried this technique because i hardly even knew what it was but when I saw it I was blown away.  To see pottery done in the Sgraffito technique check this google image page. 

Wow I now knew what I wanted to try on this gourd.  Since this was my first time trying something like this I chose a pretty easy flowery design, sketched it on very lightly and using the very smallest, teeniest bur I had I carved it into the gourd, removing the black and exposing the white flesh. I was instantly in love!!!
Closeup Sgraffito
Here is a closeup of the carving. It was simple yet extremely effective especially against the very black skin.  After clearcoating to protect the carved out areas I added a dreamcatcher in a bright blue and dark beige.

This was a fun technique and came out beautiful.

So keep your eye on what artists are doing in other mediums and you may just find something new and wonderful too!!

Happy gourding.

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