Scratchboard art: I use 1/8" (3 mm) thick professional scratchbord panels a smooth, white kaolin clay ground that is evenly coated with black India ink. The Scratchbord is acid-free and archival, and will not tear, crack, or bend. However, one must be careful with a handling scratchboard since it is easy to leave fingerprints or smudges on the surface. When I work with the scratchboard I use soft fabric to hold it in place and under my hand. Once I have a final sketch transferred onto a scratchboard, I lightly scratch the ink layer with a thin sharp knife to outline contours (like one would on a chalkboard!) Then, I go over established contours a couple of times sharpening and widening lines to create a design by scraping away portions of ink and clay in a similar manner as a carver cuts into wood to create a design. During the whole process the ink and clay layers are scraped off layer by layer using a sharp knife and a chisel-like knife with a concave end to create different line weights that highlight certain parts of the image. I usually go very slow to control the pressure I exert on the knife to control depth of lines and to ensure that line edges are clean and crisp. The finished work is framed and protected by glass.