Each piece starts our as a formless lump of earthenware clay. I form the vessel on a potters wheel, and use a slab roller to roll out and then cut the tiles. When the piece reaches the leather-hard stage I draw a design onto the surface, and then, using a variety of tools I carve the surface of the clay creating deep relief and detail.

Once the piece has dried to the greenware stage, I lightly sand it to remove any sharp edges. Then I apply the color by painting the surface with terra sigilatta, a refined clay slip.

After the pieces are painted they are loaded into the kiln and fired for the first time (bisque firing). Next, I apply either black glaze or copper wash to the entire surface, let it dry and wipe it off. The glaze or wash remains in the recessed areas, creating the bold black lines. The work is then loaded for the final glaze firing.


The terra sigilatta is made by combining several clays, water, and a defloculent (a material that keeps the clay particles in suspension). I put this mixture into a ball mill and process it for 24 hours.

This mixture is then poured into a jar and left to sit for a week, during which it separates into three layers. I use the middle layer. This is my white base to which I add ceramic stains to produce my basic colors which I then combine to come up with my own palette of colors.