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.
“I love pots and am honored to make pieces that people bring into their lives. I love eating and am amazed at the way a delicious meal becomes an even more beautiful experience by being served in a thoughtful, handmade dish. I love drinking tasty things and feel connected to the maker when I choose a particular cup to bring to my lips. These daily rituals creating beauty in experience are what have kept me interested in making pots for the last 20 years. I aim to create friendly pots that are warm, comfortable, loose and vulnerable. Pieces that folks will enjoy having around.
I connect to pottery for the rich, long world-wide history of potters who have made art objects to be used in everyday life. I choose terracotta for the rich color and the likeness to Georgia Clay. I use a kaolin slip to add texture and a surface to draw back into. I respond to the form itself with imagery from my life and surroundings. I seek to balance the immediacy of quickly sketched drawings with the permanence of a piece of pottery that could be around long after I am."