My work is all based on a traditional terracotta body. I use both a regional terracotta throwing body and casting slip. Pieces are combinations of thrown, cast, sprigged and incised design patterns. Firing is to ^04-06 oxidation with some 018 over-glaze highlights.
Glazing is a combination of a traditional majolica formula with the overglazes worked directly on top of the white unfired majolica base, and more often now, a triple fired bisque, base glaze and over-glaze sequences. Most of my work is fired 3-6 times to achieve the depth of color required.
The glazes are all food safe and can be microwaved (except those with metallic overglazes) and put into the dishwasher without concern – though larger platters and chargers are best hand-washed and dried. Our outdoor pieces like our bird feeders and planters have been tested through sub-freezing temperatures, snow and ice and are doing very well every season. www.sierraterracotta.com
Stan Chernen is founder and pottery teacher at Chatham Clay Studio.