Creating a Sgraffito Design with Dry Sifted Enamel

by Tammy Honaman, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Educator,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

Sgraffito (skrah-fee-toh) is an Italian word that relates to the technique of scratching through the top surface to see the surface below. This technique provides a great way to create patterns and unique effects on an enameled surface.

: : : Materials : : :

  • Dust mask
  • Bench brush
  • Bowl of cold water
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Timer
  • Glossy paper or copy paper for sifting enamels over
  • 50/50 ammonia to water solution when working with fine silver
  • Paragon kiln
Prepare your metal with a counter and top layer of enamel.
Place a trivet onto a folded wire mesh rack and set it aside within arm's reach. Fill a sifter about 1/3 full with a color of enamel that contrasts the color of the top layer. While holding your work over a piece of paper, sift a layer of enamel onto the front side.

Using a tool with a fine point or a fine-tipped artist's quality paintbrush, "scratch" out a pattern in the dry enamel.

Carefully place the blank onto the trivet. If needed, use a beading awl or toothpick to clean any stray enamel.
Fire the piece in a kiln or with a torch. Allow the piece to cool to room temperature before touching it.
Fold the paper to form a funnel-like spout then pour the excess enamels back into the container.

If needed, repeat. If needed or you would like, stone the edges with an alundum stone.

Have a question regarding this project? Email Customer Service.

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