Before using your new clay cookware it should be "cured" to seal the pores. Because of the high quality of the clay, most pieces don't even need this step but to have the most success with your cookware it is highly recommended. If you choose not to "cure" your cookware it can be used for the first time after lightly washing it and slowly boiling some water. Specifically, fill your piece 3/4 full with water and bake uncovered for a half hour at 400 degrees.
Many cultures cure their clay cookware using different methods. One traditional method used in Colombia is to warm the clay piece slightly and then rub the inside with a ripe plantain (or a banana) which leaves a thick coating on the clay. After it dries, lightly wash to remove the residue.
Another method is to seal it with any oil or even filling the piece with a mixture of milk and water and boiling it for a few minutes. Note: during boiling it may seep through the pores which is normal; the boiling eventually seals the pores.
The final step of curing is to sauté some onions or garlic in oil.
Please remember to always use a heat diffuser on the stovetop if you do not have a gas burner!