Hand Built Sgraffito Carved Pottery

Missouri, United States · 832 Sales


Hand Built Sgraffito Carved Pottery

Missouri, United States 832 Sales On Etsy since 2011

5 out of 5 stars
Carol Ross

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Carol Ross

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Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
Aaron Channon

Aaron Channon on May 29, 2016

5 out of 5 stars

The picture of this flower pot does not do it justice. The craftsmanship is incredible, I did not expect the exterior to be etched with various textures and was so impressed when I received it. Additionally, Carol responded very quickly to my various questions. I'm very excited for this great, unique item.

Alyson Talley

Alyson Talley on May 26, 2016

5 out of 5 stars

All I can say is that these coffee mugs are beautiful! The colors are clear and vibrant- and they are the most unique mugs I have ever seen. Carol is a pleasure to deal with.


helgadog on May 25, 2016

5 out of 5 stars

This Be Mine Valentine's day inspired cat mug is absolutely exquisite. It is whimsical, cheery and beautifully executed. I love, love, love it!

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I love it when bunnies leap around & around the flower pot!
For a custom order, I added the the baby's name and birthdate. Doesn't it make a super gift for a new baby?!
A custom order for the Cat Bowl - in a whole new color scheme...
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Handmade Pottery for Everyone!

As I drink my coffee from a handmade mug, I'm having a conversation with the mug's maker. I'm learning about intentions and difficulties overcome, about the potter's thoughts on design and color, and about whether the maker is concerned with my comfort and pleasure. You know, we sort of chat and that is satisfying.

I am delighted to make my work with my hands, knowing that soon it will be in your hands.

And I do literally hand build my pieces, from slabs. There is often some wonkiness that comes with slab construction, some warping. A mug might be out of round, a bowl might have a high side - flaws that keep us aware of the tenuous cooperation between clay and maker!

Perfectly imperfect!

The technique that I use to decorate my work is called sgraffito.

sgraffito |zgräˈfētō, skrä-|
noun ( pl. sgraffiti |-tē| )
a form of decoration made by scratching through a surface to reveal a lower layer of a contrasting color, typically done in plaster or stucco on walls, or in slip on ceramics before firing.

When the clay reaches an almost dry stage, I brush on as many as six coats of underglaze. That gives the piece its color, usually its single color. I sketch images and patterns onto the underglaze with a pencil; when I'm satisfied, I carve away the background and expose the white clay body and the image. I love to draw and find that the intensely detailed carving that comes after is meditative. It's a slow process that is fascinating.

My inspiration comes from ethnic folk art. When I'm not in the studio, I spend hours looking at images of vintage folk art. I make sketches, seeing how things fit together and produce a certain rhythm and story and humor. Humor is a critical element - I want to giggle at least a little as I work!

I opened TheClayBungalow so that I could share the work that I love making. I hope the work will evolve, as my thinking and aesthetic are affected by what I see. I love hearing from you, please keep emailing; it's the beginning of our conversation!

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  • Carol Ross

    Owner, Maker

    I grew up in the '50's, the days of frozen vegetables, home milk delivery and imported Japanese everything. And, I loved to draw - people, landscapes, nicknacks - anything that caught my eye.

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Last updated on Apr 5, 2016
Frequently asked questions

Custom and personalized orders

I'm happy to work with you so that I create a piece you'll love! Please send me an Etsy convo and let's talk about it!

Wholesale availability

Yes! My work is available at wholesale prices for galleries and stores. Send me an email or convo for terms, etc.

Currently, I have pieces at:

The Salmon Gallery, Trumansberg, New York
The Palace, Portland, Oregon
Gallery Route One, Port Reyes Station, California
The Garden Gate Shop, MO Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri
Michele Tuegel Contemporary Gallery
Coming Soon:
Java Junction, Madrid, New Mexico