What is sgraffiato?

Sgraffiato (sgrah-fee-AH-toe), means “scratched” in Italian.  The term describes a style of pottery decoration.

To create the sgraffiato effect, a formed clay vessel was covered with a layer of slip, or watered-down clay, of a different color and then allowed to dry. By scratching down through the layer of slip, the artist exposed the contrasting color of the vessel underneath and produced a design.