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Sgraffito is one method of decorating pottery with slips.

Sgraffito is a very versatile way of using slips to decorate your pottery. This particular example uses only one basic types of line, but variations in linear width and depth can also be used to good effect.

Photo © 2008 Beth E Peterson

Sgraffito (noun) is the technique of incising down through a layer of applied slip to the clay body below, in which the clay and slip are of contrasting colors. The term is from the Latin for scratch (as with a stylus) which is also the root for "graffiti" and "graphic" (as in to write).

Sgrafitto has been used in cultures across the globe to decorate their pottery wares.

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