Tiffany Scull works from her Dorset studio based on the beautiful Isle of Portland creating ceramic forms decorated by hand with detailed sgraffito drawings of many different plants and animals from around the world. She started her journey and development of using sgraffito 20 years ago and has been a professional ceramicist for over 18 years. Over time she has developed a very distinctive and unique way of painting with clay slips, carving and using sgraffito to draw her designs onto each form.
Tiffany says ‘discovering and specializing in the decorative technique of sgraffito has allowed me to pair up my two loves of drawing and clay work’. She views every unique work as a three dimensional clay painting and a celebration of the natural world. Trying to capture the movement and interaction between different creatures she finds very exciting and hopes to give the impression a bird may take flight from its ceramic home at any moment. Special care is taken to place each creature with in its correct habitat and extensive drawings and research go into all her designs.
Sgraffito – This word translated from Italian means ‘to scratch away’ and has been used by many cultures to decorate buildings, paintings and pottery. It was first used in china during the 11th and 12th century AD and in Europe during the 16th century as relief decoration on buildings.
Every unique design created starts life as a detailed line drawing and once she’s happy this is transferred by hand onto the clay surface. Each piece has been thrown on the wheel, left to slightly dry and then goes through many different processes and techniques developed over her years as a ceramic artist to created her intricate images onto the damp clay surface, this takes many hours and no two pieces will ever look the same.
Once completed these are left to dry for a few weeks and fired in an electric kiln during which she selectively glazes her main themes leaving the rest of the decoration matt.