What is sgraffito pottery? Sgraffito (derived from the Italian word “to scratch”) is a technique used in pottery where you apply two or more layers of contrasting slip or glaze to a piece of pottery and then use pottery tools to scratch away the slip and glaze to reveal the color underneath.
At DiamondCore® Tools, we pride ourselves on providing artists with the tools they need to accomplish their sgraffito pottery goals! We have created a lineup of sgraffito tools that can help you to achieve crisp, clean lines while creating sgraffito pottery. Let’s dive into the must-have pottery tools that you’ll need for your collection!
Diamond Stylus Tools
Our L1 Diamond Stylus Tool has a needle tip on one end and a 1 mm diamond ball on the opposite end. The handle gives you a pencil-like grip as you carve, allowing you to create fine sgraffito detailing!
If you’re looking for a sgraffito tool that features a diamond tip on both ends, we have the tool for you! One end of our L2 Stylus Tool has a “crown” tip and the other end features a 0.7 mm diamond ball tip.
“If I could only have one carving sgraffito tool this would be the one! The carving tip is absolutely the perfect size for outlines and thin designs. Also great for signatures and writing. The crown tip is perfect for cleaning up greenware and bisque. This is always my first choice when I'm doing fine carvings on greenware. It feels like DiamondCore made this tool special for me, it's just the best! And of course it is lightweight with soft cushions for my fingers. So even if I am carving for 8 hours my hands are not weighed down from a bulky tool.” - Athena
The L3 Sgraffito Stylus Tool features a small 1.7 mm diamond “football” tip on one end of the tool and a larger 2.5 mm tip on the opposite end. With this sgraffito tool, you’ll be able to create fine detailing on dry clay.
Fine Point Carving Tools
Our FP1 Carving Tool has an additional grip helping to ease hand fatigue during intense carving sessions. Artists will be able to create sgraffito detailing in tight places while also designing shallow details with the 1 mm U-shaped tip.
The arrow-shaped blade of our FP2 Carving Tool allows artists to carve in multiple directions while creating precise lines in tight spaces. The handmade wood handle will prevent hand fatigue during long studio sessions, helping artists to get more done without wearing out the tool or their hands!
“I love this tool! I used to do all of my carving with the P11 V Tip (which I still really like), but this one makes carving curved, organic lines so much easier! The P11 is better for geometric shapes and straight lines. I mostly carve flowers, leaves, and other curved shapes and this is perfect for my process. I can’t wait to get more of these fine pointed carving tools! I also think it’s much easier to use with the large egg shaped grip. So many new possibilities!” - Emily
Straight Tip Carving Tools
Our P12 Carving Tool is designed to create shallow, fine, sgraffito lines in an artist’s ceramic work. You can see for yourself how easily this sgraffito tool cuts through the clay, creating sharp lines that make perfect ceramic work!
Sgraffito Tool Sets
If you’re struggling to decide which sgraffito tool will most benefit your collection, we have you covered with DiamondCore® Sets and Bundles that can help you to get our favorite tools from each collection!
With our 3-Piece Sgraffito Stylus Set, you’ll be able to have our best-selling L1, L2 and L3 Diamond Stylus Tools in one set! You’ll love how these tools will step up your sgraffito projects, making it easier for you to finish your ceramic work with crisp lines, not seen before.
“For fine detail carving and sgraffito this three piece package offers 6 choices that will cover every situation. The L1 and L2 give you diversity to create fine to medium lines for carving and sgraffito. The L3 works great for scratching off larger areas of glaze. The sharp diamond surfaces are great for keeping your carving area where you want it, avoiding peeling off the surrounding areas. I am so pleased with the quality of these tools. - Athena
“I was a portrait artist before I started doing pottery. Now, a lot of my work features sgraffito and these tools feel natural to use like a pencil. They are strong and have nice grips which give them a high quality look & feel. Each end of the tools give different groove shapes; some thin, wide, sharp, etc. Together, they allow me to draw figures with a dynamic look & diverse lines! I love how easily they carve through clay, especially when bone dry.” - Aba
Our Fine Point Set 1 features our FP1, FP3 and FP5 fine point tools. Each features a straight blade that gives you a pencil-like feel as you carve, making it easier for you to create precise lines that can help to create excellent ceramic work! The point sizes on each tool give you a range from 1 mm to 5 mm.
The FP2, FP7 and FP9 sgraffito fine point tools have unique shapes that allow you to create a variety of crisp lines. The points on these tools range from around 3.9 mm to 5 mm wide. With DiamondCore Tools, you’ll immediately notice cleaner lines and less drag each time you carve!
Our Fine Point Set 3 comes with the FP4, FP6 and FP8 Fine Point Carving Tools. The Javelin, Ballpoint and Flat Chisel tools come with 3 mm to 3.5 mm blade sizes. Artists will be able to carve intricate sgraffito designs into their pottery, even in tight spaces!
If you can’t decide which fine point tool will benefit you the most, or if you’re interested in more than just the 3-Piece Sets, we have the ultimate option for you! Our FP Series Diamond Set includes every fine point tool that we’ve created. Nine fine point carving tools are included in this set, and it even comes with free personalized engraving on every tool. Your collection will not only help you to feel more professional as an artist, but your sgraffito pottery will be taken to the next level as well!
If you have any questions when it comes to choosing the right pottery tools for your sgraffito project, we’re here to help! Leave a comment on this blog, send us an email or get in touch with our team on social media — we’re on Facebook and Instagram!