I often begin the process of creating an urn by trying to conjure up images in my mind's eye. When I'm interested in a shape I've envisioned, I make small, quick sketches of it. I then go to the potters wheel, and 'throw' pieces of the urn. One urn may be comprised of two bowls, a cylinder, a base, and a lid each thrown separately. Once they've dried slightly, I join them together. The feel or character of the urn begins to emerge, which influences the shape of handles or what carved designs I choose to create. Then I let the urn sit until it is 'bone-dry', and do a partial kiln firing. After this bisque-firing, I glaze an urn using multiple colors. I use brushes, a wax-resist process, and dipping. While I do plan which colors to use at this stage, I can never completely predict what the final result will be. The final firing takes about eleven hours and reaches about 2300 degrees. After cooling for about nine hours, I'm able to see open the kiln and take out the finished pieces.