What is terra cotta majolica?
For hundreds of years, potters in Europe have been making dishes with a creamy white glaze that is stable enough to hold brushed designs in its surface. In Italy it is called majolica. In France it is called faience. We hand throw or shape our ware out of warm red terra cotta clay. Once it is dry, it is fired for the first time, known as the bisque firing. After the bisque we hand dip the pieces in creamy majolica glaze. Then we paint, using proprietary blends of glazes and stains developed solely by us over the past twenty-five years. The pieces go into the kiln a second time and come out finished and ready to be shipped to you.
All of our work is dishwasher safe and food safe. We recommend that due to the high iron content in the clay, you do not use in the microwave. Majolica is softer than commercial porcelain - that’s what makes it so friendly - so we recommend not soaking the pieces in water, as that will weaken the ware over time and make it more prone to cracks and chips. Handle with care to avoid chips and cracks. Minor imperfections in glaze and clay body are a signature of handmade majolica ware and contribute to the charm of the piece. We recommend not using Figware to store acidic food such as tomato sauce, salsa, or anything with high lemon content.
Well, the first thing is that when dinnerware, servingware or weddingware are handmade, each piece is unlike any other. Even when pieces are parts of sets, as in a set of pasta bowls, each one will be a tiny bit different. This is how the hand of the maker is experienced by the user of the pieces. We feel this adds a priceless, friendly quality; a unique patina of the handmade. In addition, each piece is signed and dated, so that over years and generations of use, the piece’s provenance will always be known. This is especially wonderful when the piece is a custom piece that marks an occasion such as a wedding. We can even go so far as to create a design that contains the date of the wedding and/or the names of the happy couple. See weddingware & custom orders for more information about custom assignations.
How did Fig Pottery come to be?
Janis Hallowell, novelist, potter, and founder of Fig Pottery started as a potter’s apprentice to Larry Wright at Two Potters, Littleton, Colorado in 1973 when she was fifteen years old. A second apprenticeship took place to Nick Morrow in Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico a few years later. This was followed by art school and clay experience in Florence, Italy and Minneapolis,Minnesota. From there she made pots whenever and however she could through the years while developing her skills as a designer and a writer. She started making terra cotta majolica ware in 1997 in Boulder, CO at MudLuscious Studio. In 2010 she bought a farm north of Boulder and started Fig Pottery where she uses the experience of forty-five years of clay work to design, make dinnerware, servingware and weddingware, and teach apprentices. She continues to write novels. See janishallowell.com for more information about her books.