Self-Portrait

Jacob, Age 11

  • Mixed media
  • Black slip on clay with a partial glaze
  • 340(w) 450(h) 8(d) mm

This is a self portrait inspired by my Dad’s love of pottery. I began by carving pictures into a pot made by my dad, using the sgraffito technique. I loved the challenge of having only one chance to form images, unlike pencil drawing where you can rub out mistakes.

I explored the process further by making tiles, which I covered in black slip and carved into it when it was partly dry. I did a sketch dividing my face into the same number of tiles to help me get the right proportions. I liked carving into the clay to give texture and show the contours of my face.

After the clay was fired, I added clear glaze to some of the tiles to create depth to the piece. Some tiles cracked in the final firing but I liked the effect as it added a rustic feel to the work.