I hand build with a sandy, groggy terra cotta clay body using the coil method for my larger pieces and a combination of press molds for the smaller work. I start with a simple shape and add eyes, nose, mouth and ears for the heads, or arms and legs for the creatures. A six legged cat or two legged woman seems to make sense. Structurally the more legs the better to avoid the bottom from cracking. The faces tend to be bearded men or patterned cats with an avocado or cherry topping on their head. I make a hole on the top of the head and clay beads in the shapes of vegetables, fishor hearts and glue them on with a dowel after the work is fired. I paint the pieces when they are still wet in the leather hard stage with colored slip. I layer the colors for different color combinations. I cut out stencils and layer slip, later revealing the color beneath in checkerboard or polka dot pattern. I also use a pointed wooden tool to draw texture into the slip. Underglaze is applied once the piece is dry for more detail, usually just the lip color and a dot for an eye. After the piece is bisque fired I glaze with a clear glaze and fire to cone 04 for the final firing.