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Ceramic Review is the magazine for contemporary and historical ceramics, ceramic art and pottery.

Ceramic Review Issue 328

July/August 2024

Specialising in sgraffito, ceramicist Tiffany Scull, takes us step-by-step through the processes she uses to create one of her Moor fish vessels

I fell in love with clay while studying at Worthing Bucks College of Art before joining the second year of a ceramics degree course at The Surrey Institute of Art and Design. After leaving college I worked at Bonchurch Pottery on the Isle of Wight, which is where I learnt to throw. I discovered sgraffito while working at a gallery and pottery in Portland, Dorset. I have always loved to draw and paint and it was a revelation to find I could combine the two art forms. I moved from a small studio at home to a larger space on Portland in 2007. 

I started to specialise in sgraffito 20 years ago, creating very busy vases and dishes that were fully glazed, since then my work has been constantly evolving. I exhibited my first pieces combining a glazed and matte surface at a show in 2015. Over time my decoration has opened up and become bolder with more focus placed on the main themes and the space around the designs. 

Work by Tiffany Scull; photograph by Layton Thompson

Portrait of Tiffany Scull by Layton Thompson

A few years ago I developed a new way of applying my colours and this is how I create pieces today. My work has progressed from being functional to purely decorative, treating the clay surface as a canvas to draw and paint on, seeing each one as a three-dimensional painting in clay. Vessels and flat wall hangings are my preferred shapes to throw, as I believe they show my decoration to its best advantage. I am fascinated with trying to capture a moment in time and the interaction between animals and their habitat. My aim is to create a lovely fluid design that has a unity with the form, using a soft blend of colours and lines, which give the feeling of movement and depth.

I still spend as much time as possible drawing new designs and ideas for forms and have many sketch books full of drawings waiting to come to life. I am also currently working on some coloured clay for throwing, which will allow me to play with more carving and painting. I have exhibited with many galleries across the country and taken part in Art in Clay at both Farnham and Hatfield. From 2–24 October this year, I will be showing some new pieces inspired by the life in tropical seas with Cambridge Contemporary Art. 

This feature shows the process I go through to create one of my Moor fish sgraffito vessels. This process is the same for creating all of my work with the addition of extra colours used for different designs. 

For more details visit tiffanyscullceramics.com

Film by Layton Thompson

Work by Tiffany Scull; photograph by Layton Thompson