Since she was a small girl, Tiffany Scull has loved to draw and was encouraged to develop this through her childhood. Her excitement for the magical possibilities of clay began at Art College and these feelings have never faded. Discovering and specializing in the beautiful technique of sgraffito has allowed her to pair up her two loves of drawing and clay work. She is passionate about this time-consuming process and has developed a distinctive and unique style, with each piece being made and meticulously decorated by hand.
She undertook training in design and ceramics during the ’90s Art Nouveau, The Arts and Crafts movement and the natural world inspire her, finding connections with the use of both nature and pattern. Gustav Klimt, Maurice Sendak, Elizabeth Fritsch and Mary Wondrausch are among some of her other influences.
First, detailed pencil drawings are made of the intended subject. She throws each form using a white stoneware clay; they are turned and manipulated whilst leather hard. The smooth forms are then completely covered in slip colours she has developed allowing her decoration to evolve freely.
Over many days the outlines of the designs are drawn on the form, then, using a selection of tools and scalpel blades, the slip between the drawings is removed and scraped away until smooth. This process is slow and meticulous, creating a three-dimensional feel to the slip colours left behind – much like cameo. At the final stages, contrasting slip colour is added and the detail completed using a very thin pointed tool.
After the first bisque firing, she brushes a clear glaze onto the main themes leaving the rest of the piece matt, thus creating a tension between the glazed and unglazed surface.
The final glaze firing is 1180°c in an electric kiln.