Monday, November 19, 2012

The Illusion of Sgraffito....



Have you ever been to Italy? Florence, more specifically. There are so many wonderful examples of sgraffito on building's exterior walls.



Sgraffito is a process of layering tinted plaster in contrasting colors and then scratched to produce an outline drawing.
I recently had the opportunity to create a little illusion of sgraffito on an exterior fountain wall.



Hardie board was used for the wall and then troweled over with tile mortar. The mortar was tinted three different shades of dusty pink, leaving the strongest band at the top for the design.



Some of the medium pink is seen through the main part of the wall as the last coat was skipped troweled to give partial coverage.
The lion head was an "as is" damaged piece with a large chunk missing from the mane. That was filled in and colored to match and made the lion look good as new for a steal of a price.


The sunlight is beautiful against the trim and lion creating nice shadows on the plaster.


Now for the fun part! I needed an authentic, intricate design to use on the top of the wall to imitate sgraffito. (Yes, true sgraffito was the first option, but when this stencil was found, plans changed) The stencil is from  the fabulous Helen Morris of  Stencil Library and is under the gothic and medieval stencils in the border stencil section.

I used marmorino plaster and pounced it on with a stencil brush due to the intricate stencil design.


Here is the completed project. The illusion is complete!


15 comments:

helen tilston said...

I loved this and thank you for sharing.
Intricate work but worthwhile, you are a true artist

Helenxx

Mark D. Ruffner said...

And what an illusion it is! The final product looks as though it's been around for at least half a millenium. Brava!

Theresa Cheek said...

Thank you Helen, what a nice thing to say.

Mark-thanks for the comments!

Lynne Rutter | the Ornamentalist said...

nice work T!!

Marilyn MacLeod said...

Beautiful Theresa!

Brillante Interiors said...

You are a master. Beautiful images of an almost lost technique.

Annie at PlumSiena said...

Fun project! That stencil was perfect there. I can just smell the marmorino.
Did you use powder pigments or liquid?

Theresa Cheek said...

Oh Annie! When I opened the marmorino, I was transported to many wonderful memories! It is like how the smell of glue paste or a newly sharpened pencil takes you back to grade school!
Since I was using tile mortar, I used concrete colorants to tint. That much red pigment would have been cost prohibitive!

Theresa Cheek said...

Albarosa-we both appreciate lost techniques! Rubelli still does it well with their textiles.

Gina said...

Dear Theresa, I love what you have created. It is truly beautiful. Your color choices are perfect and uplifting. Congratulations on a job superbly executed. ox, Gina

Kirk Dale said...

Dear Theresa,
I am new to your blog, having come via the excellent 'All Things Ruffnerian'.
I am enjoying reading some of your posts and like this one a lot. When we were in Quedlinburg last month some of the buildings were also adorned with sgraffito although not as numerous as in Florence. . .
Kirk

scooter said...

WOW, Theresa!! That is stunning! You know I love sgraffito. Very cool how you pounced the marmo thru the stencil. And I love the smell of opening that can of marmorino.....mmm...mmmm.

Thank you for sharing this.

Cleta

stencil helen said...

This looks so warm and wonderful, the lion's head,trim,plaster and stencil were a fab combination. Now I am curious to smell marmorino. Thank you for using our stencil and thank you again for educating me!

Theresa Cheek said...

Kirk- so nice to meet you! I love Mark's blog as well. I hope you enjoy browsing through my blog. I am off to visit yours now!

Theresa Cheek said...

Cleta-Don't you love marmorino! I had no idea you could pounce it, but the stencil was too fragile for troweling and rolling still presented problems. I am glad it all worked without a snag.

Related Posts with Thumbnails