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Sgraffito - Scratching through Gold

  • September 17, 2023
  • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM (PDT)
  • Online via Zoom


PRESENTER: Gyounghee Lee

SPONSOR: South Los Angeles Chapter (Solar Nibs)


Sgraffito is a decorative technique that involves scratching or incising a design onto a surface, usually in plaster, clay, or pottery. The term "sgraffito" originates from the Italian word "sgraffiare," which means "to scratch."

The process of creating sgraffito typically begins with applying multiple layers of contrasting-coloured materials, such as different shades of plaster or underglazes on ceramics. Once the layers have dried but are still slightly wet, the artist uses various tools like knives, needles, or styluses to carefully remove sections of the upper layer, revealing the contrasting colour underneath.

This technique allows for intricate designs, patterns, and images to emerge as the scratched lines or areas expose the underlying layers. Artists can achieve a range of effects, from fine, detailed lines to bolder, more textured marks, depending on the tools and pressure applied during the scratching process.

Sgraffito has a rich history and has been employed in various cultures and artistic traditions, dating back to ancient times. It gained prominence during the Renaissance in Europe and has continued to be used in different forms in architecture, ceramics, and visual arts.

In this 2-hour class (plus pre-recorded prep video), we are going to use gold leaf and contrast bold colours underneath. Instead of laying gold leaf according to the design, we are scratching off the gold to reveal the design.

This workshop will be recorded and available for 3 months. 

Zoom invitation and handouts will be sent out a few days prior to workshop date.

There is a materials preparation video which will be available and emailed to you prior to the workshop. 


I have been doing calligraphy about 23 years a few years after moving to Australia from South Korea. Like many artists, I started with a fountain pen set, thinking lettering should not be ‘THAT’ difficult just because I know the alphabets. How wrong! After a year of local community lessons, I found my love of the art and it has been in my life ever since. The more I do, the more I want to learn. Literally there is no end in this art…

I did many kinds of ‘hobby’ things in my previous life such as embroidery, quilting, watercolour painting, etc., I guess that helped my colour schemes and design ideas when I moved to calligraphy world. 

I am very much involved in teaching locally and internationally. Also, I am a perpetual student, so I have been studying with masters, Christopher Hannes, Yves Leterme, John Stevens, Yukimi Annand, and Brody Neuenschwander, and more.

I am interested in both traditional and abstract calligraphy. Since I started teaching, I enjoy seeing improvement in my students lettering. That is my biggest joy. I do take teaching seriously, but I do believe that we can have fun at the same time.

At the moment, I don’t have my own website but you can see most of my works and my students works in my Instagram @gyounghee.


Gyounghee's Sgraffito Materials List.pdf


Note: the workshop date has been changed to Sunday, September 17.

1) First, register by clicking the "REGISTER" button at the top left of this page. This workshop is for SfC members only. 

2) Step 1 first. Then, make payment by PayPal or check. Workshop fee is $33. No refunds will be issued. Send a check for $33 payable to "Solar Nibs" to: Linda Renner, 3223 East First Street, Long Beach, CA 90803, or pay by PayPal using the button below. 


You must be a member of SfC when you register and when the class is held. Your membership must be current at time of sign-up, as well as when class is held. No reservation will be held until your dues are current. Please follow the link on the main website page "Join SfC" to become an SfC member. 

If you have any questions, please email sfc.solarnibs@gmail.com

NO audio or video recording of any program, meeting, workshop or other SfC function permitted without prior consent of both guest artist and a representative of the Board of Governors. You must ask permission of the artist/ instructor to photograph any copyrighted materials, including demos.

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