Maria Dondero was born in Yaounde Cameroon and moved to Atlanta, GA in 1983. After High School, Maria spent over a year in Latin America where she took her first classes in ceramics, studying wheel throwing with an accomplished potter in Guanajuato, Mexico. Dondero's work, made from an earthenware clay body, is freely and loosely thrown and is surfaced with fresh, personal decorative motifs. Through the use of a terra cotta body, Dondero has a dark base to build on. She loosely covers this ground with a white slip, sometimes working a small pattern into the surface here and there.
“Making pots is something that I can’t imagine my life without. I find ceramics a thoughtful and fulfilling process from the slow, labor-intensive mixing of clay and glazes, to kick wheel turning of the shapes, to trimming, slipping, sketching, bisquing, glazing, and firing again. I leave traces of the process through which my pots were made, whether by the attachment of the handle, or the fingerprints left from dipping vessels in slip. I choose terra cotta for the rich color and the likeness to Georgia clay. I respond to the form itself with imagery from my life and surroundings. I seek to balance immediacy and permanence when etching a quick drawing into the clay.”