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Sgraffito Masks Group Project

Sgraffito Masks Group Project

Sgraffito is a very traditional way of decorating ceramics. It has been used for centuries on both decorative and functional wares. In combination with the AMACO® Velvet Underglazes, students have the ability to create wonderful colorful and unique works of art. Sgraffito: Creating design by applying layers of color and cutting or scratching through a top color to reveal the color beneath. This technique has been used in ceramics, painting, and architectural motifs, especially during the Renaissance. This project is suitable for all grades.

Download Lesson Plan

Supplies List

Cut Mask Shape from Clay Slab

Each student will create the shape of the mask.

Add Color

The next student adds AMACO® Velvet Underglazes in color bands across or down the mask to cover 50% of the clay.


The next student sgraffitos/draws into the clay with a sharp edged wooden tool in order to scratch off clay for a design, pattern or illustration.


The next student removes parts of clay with a wooden tool.

Add Clay

The next student adds parts of clay for depth and dimension, which can include texture created by molds or plates.

Add More Color

The next student brushes on different color(s) of AMACO® Velvet Underglazes on top of existing color(s).


The next student creates eyes

More Sgraffito

The next student again sgraffitos (scratches color to reveal color beneath).

Back to Beginning for Finishing

Back to the original artist. (At a worktable for 4, the student who originated the mask should now have it in his or her hands for the third and final time). Final changes/additions can be made. NOTE: Can add more of the same steps to accommodate more students or accomplish rotations.