I studied ceramics in college, that was my major. But the school kept firing the ceramics instructor, so I was able to get technical information out of the new teacher but not any kind of mentorship in the lines of imagery or story. Luckily I was also taking printmaking; etching was great but mostly I did block printing. For years I pursued these two mediums separately. When I was at a residency at the Kohler Company I was allowed to use all the materials that I could want, as long as they were part of their production. The glazes didnt work for me, so after several weeks of frustration I blended some black dye into a bucket of white slip. I coated a white piece of clay and proceeded to draw on it once it had dried. To expose the white clay underneath i carved away with tools. It reminded me of block printing, and monoprint, and scratchboard, and other reductive ways of working... and slowly I remembered the lesson on sgraffito surface treatment from that college class years ago. It was my two favorite mediums coming together.
I been working with sgraffito since 1999. All images on this site were originally carved into clay, reproductions are either screenprinted vinyl, digital embroidery, or ceramic decal.