Kaolin-coated boards (1: small work)


Kaolin, or china clay, is the principle ingredient in scraperboard (UK) or scratchboard (US), a medium that has long been popular with illustrators. It is typically bound to a lightweight card backing, making the product relatively inexpensive but not very resilient. A hardier version of the product, with a hardboard backing, was developed by an American artist Charles Ewing and is sold by Ampersand. There are several products in the range, including “Claybord” (with a smooth uncoated surface) and “Scratchbord” (smooth, uniformly coated with black ink ready to scratch or scrape off).

I used Clayboard to create a number of new pieces that are currently on display for Hampshire Open Studios at Folly Farm Studios, on the A339 between Kingsclere and Basingstoke.

The surface allows ink to be added (using brush or pen) and removed by scraping. I have used Indian Ink (the coloured inks are not, of course, traditional lamp-black Indian Ink, but are made in a similar way, using pigment, and are waterproof and fade-resistant).

This post has a selection of small works made on Claybord and Scratchbord.

See also: