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sgraffito

[skrah-fee-toh; Italian zgrahf-fee-taw] /skrɑˈfi toʊ; Italian zgrɑfˈfi tɔ/
noun, plural sgraffiti
[skrah-fee-tee; Italian zgrahf-fee-tee] /skrɑˈfi ti; Italian zgrɑfˈfi ti/ (Show IPA)
1.
a technique of ornamentation in which a surface layer of paint, plaster, slip, etc., is incised to reveal a ground of contrasting color.
2.
an object, especially pottery, decorated by this technique.
Compare graffito.
Origin
1720-1730
1720-30; < Italian, past participle of sgraffire to do graffito work, derivative of sgraffio a scratch, implement for drawing, itself derivative of (s)graffiare to scratch, draw on plaster with a pointed tool; see ex1, graffito
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for sgraffito
  • Use slips in a variety of ways from trailing to sgraffito, inlaying and resists.
British Dictionary definitions for sgraffito

sgraffito

/sɡræˈfiːtəʊ/
noun (pl) -ti (-tɪ)
1.
a technique in mural or ceramic decoration in which the top layer of glaze, plaster, etc, is incised with a design to reveal parts of the ground
2.
such a decoration
3.
an object decorated in such a way
Word Origin
C18: from Italian, from sgraffire to scratch; see graffiti
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for sgraffito

(Italian: "scratched"), in the visual arts, a technique used in painting, pottery, and glass, which consists of putting down a preliminary surface, covering it with another, and then scratching the superficial layer in such a way that the pattern or shape that emerges is of the lower colour. During the Middle Ages, especially in panel painting and in the illumination of manuscripts, the ground was often of gold leaf. In wall painting, or mural painting, two layers of different-coloured plaster are usually employed. In stained glass, the scratching is done through a top layer of coloured glass, revealing clear glass beneath; in pottery the pattern is incised through a white or coloured slip (mixture of clay and water washed over the vessel before firing), revealing the body colour beneath. Sgraffito ware was produced by Islamic potters and became common throughout the Middle East. The 18th-century scratch blue class of English white stoneware is decorated with sgraffito patterns touched with blue. Sgraffito ware was produced as early as 1735 by German settlers in colonial America

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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