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T Magazine November 2011

Table Dressing

"The final product had to be made by hand, line by line, just as Chanin’s textiles are produced stitch by careful stitch. Bailey calls the process “etching,” but it is closely related to the sgraffito technique used to decorate walls since the Classical era. In architecture, two layers of tinted plaster are applied to the wall, and then a craftsman scrapes through the top coat to reveal the color beneath. For the new ceramics, a white glaze is sprayed over a base coat of blue, red or gray and an artist then scratches through the top layer with a metal point, exposing the color below. There are no templates: the maker has to look at an example plate and recreate it as best as he or she can, just like Chanin’s stitchers. “The spacing of the marks, depth of the etching and overall feel of the pattern are all expressed by the maker of each piece,” Bailey says."