Maria Dondero was born on May 27, 1981 in Yaoundé Cameroon, the youngest of five children. The family moved back to Atlanta in 1983 where she grew up. In between High School and college at the University of Georgia, Maria spent over a year in Latin America, where she took her first classes in ceramics. In Guanajuato, Mexico, she studied wheel throwing with an old accomplished potter. This cross cultural exploration influenced her choices of majors in college- Ceramics and Spanish. Following in her family’s footsteps, Maria continued to study and work abroad, being particularly influenced by Terracotta in Italy and slipware in Japan. In May 2008, she completed her MFA at the University of Georgia. She now lives and works in Athens, teaching and making pots. In September 2009, she opened up a studio/gallery in Athens called Marmalade Pottery. There she works and show her pots with several shows and sales a year. Dondero’s pots are sold in galleries all over the country, and she participates in many invitational and juried shows. Her work focuses on functional pottery whose aesthetics draw on the age old and worldwide history of ceramics. While subtly referencing pottery traditions from around the world, Maria intuitively sketches images from her surroundings, grounding her work in the Georgia soil.