Once a form has been created from moist clay, it is hand -smoothed while still damp and then allowed to dry completely. After additional finish work each ceramic is carefully transported to the kiln where it is fired for the first time. Firing vitrifies the clay so it is feels something like a terra cotta flower pot, although the clay is much whiter in color. At this stage the piece will still absorb moisture, so functional pieces require a glaze firing. Stains, undercoats and hand mixed glazes are applied before the second firing. Occasionally pieces receive a third or fourth luster firing to add a metallic sheen or overlay effect to the base glazes. Most recent work is made from low fire clay, meaning it is fired in the 1,600 to 1,900 degree range.