My functional pottery is made with a rich, red clay body. It is fired to a higher temperature than most maiolica, resulting in a dense, less porous clay which bonds well with the maiolica glaze, and doesn't chip or craze. I form the pieces, themselves, with the use of the wheel, slab roller, and hand tools, and then bisque the work to cone 06 before I glaze and decorate it. The glaze, which I also mix, is a cone 2 white or cream maiolica, and the colorants are brushed onto the glaze in its dusty, pre-fired stage. The decorating is a little like working with watercolors on dusty blotter paper. Once decorated, the pieces are then glaze-fired in an oxidizing atmosphere in a large, electric kiln, over a period of 17 hours. Cooling takes another day and a half. I love to draw and paint; this is the perfect medium for me to experiment and create in.