Tuesday, November 26, 2013

2013 Highland Park Pottery Tour

The 2013 Highland Park Pottery Tour is almost here. Please join us! Check out www.highlandparkpotterytour.com

Sunday, October 14, 2012

2012 Highland Park Pottery Tour


Highland Park Pottery Tour 2012
The 2012 Highland Park Pottery Tour is coming on December 8 and 9. You'll be able to meet the potters in person and hopefully buy our work. There will be refreshments at each location. Weather permitting, it's even possible to walk to all the stops, though on-street parking is usually not difficult in Highland Park.
Visit www.highlandparkpotterytour.com for more information.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Please visit www.guerreroceramics.com

I've finally decided to create a stand-alone website for my ceramics work, which essentially means this blog will now be primarily relegated to archive status.

So please, come visit me at www.guerreroceramics.com and keep in touch with me via Facebook and look for my newest work to appear on Flickr.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

2012 Bryant Street Festival

On Sunday, June 3, I will once again be setting up a little table on Bryant Street in Highland Park (Pittsburgh, PA) for the 2012 Bryant Street Festival. The small street festival is in conjunction with the annual Highland Park Yard Sale, which is a spectacle to behold.

This year should be better than ever, with new restaurants now open on Bryant Street such as Teppanyaki Kyoto, who will hopefully be offering some interesting and delicious snack items. I'm sure the ladies at the Smiling Banana Leaf will be selling amazing Thai food, as well.

So come out and say hello if you're in the neighborhood.

(Now it's time for me to make some coffee mugs... I always obsess over the things I want to make at this time of the year, namely tea bowls. Then when this event comes up, I mainly have are Asian-style tea cups and the few coffee mugs that I bring sell out in the first hour.)


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Where has the time gone?

Wow, it's been more than a few minutes since I've updated this blog. This winter rolled into spring, and I found myself traveling a bit (including a trip to Seattle for NCECA) and to D.C. where I got to visit the Freer and Sackler Galleries (and consequently I was able to see all 36 of Hokusai's views of Mt. Fuji).

In Seattle I was blown away by the amazing work, and I was fortunate enough to meet some incredible artists in person, including ones who I've only known through Facebook, such as Sin-ying Ho and Jinhhun Kim.

Speaking of Facebook, if you're a member please "like" my Jeff Guerrero Ceramics page. I update it a lot more often than this blog. But as always, I do hope to dedicate more time to this official site in the future.

In the meantime, I've been working quite a bit in the studio, and learning more about firing gas kilns. We recently got a 40 cubic foot Bailey downdraft car kiln at MCG, so I'm excited.

I also participated in the annual Clarion University spring woodfiring. I'm told the pots came out great, but since I couldn't make it to the unloading, I have yet to see my own pieces.

As far as pottery goes, I've been toying with inlay designs (see the photo to the right for one of my first attempts) and concentrating on making wares for use in the Japanese tea ceremony. I've been interested in the tea ceremony for some time, but only recently have I taken steps in earnest to learn more about it. I'll report back in the not too distant future.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Decorating

It's been a busy winter, and I've been slowly creating a new body of work. For the past two months I've been facilitating an artist residency with Yoko Sekino-Bové at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild.

Her work is amazing, and it's inspired me to focus on decoration. I've definitely become more confident in my use of the paintbrush in the past few weeks, as evidenced by this photo of a current work in progress.

Visit my Facebook page to see more works in progress.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy New Year


I can't think of a better way to celebrate the coming of a new year than with a New Year's Eve woodfiring. And thankfully, Amanda felt the same way and hosted us for the second firing of El Fuego Del Loba. It was nice to spend time with some of my favorite people, and to enjoy a drink or three around the fire.

The firing concluded after three pounds of salt were added, and as you can see, the results were once again fantastic. You can see my teapot up front, which I'm quite pleased with. And you can see just the top of my Big Buddha pot.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

2012 Holiday Wrap Up

Now that the holiday shopping season is over, I feel it's a good time to reflect on the past few weeks. They've been busy to say the least. The main event was the Highland Park Pottery Tour, where I opened my home to the public. In many ways it felt like a huge step in becoming a part of the global ceramics community. Several times in the past few weeks while I prepared for the sale, I imagined potters throughout the ages preparing their homes for such sales. I felt a kinship with these people, and realized how it's as much a part of the culture as throwing on the wheel. 

Another interesting community related thought is how fortunate I am to have met so many of my customers. In the past few years I've sold a good number of pieces to strangers over the internet. With some exceptions, I don't have much interaction with online customers. But meeting people face to face, hearing about what they'll do with my pottery, and how happy it will make them (or their gift recipient) is as rewarding as the money they spend. And I've also made some new friends in the process.

And finally, from an artistic standpoint, this season has been especially valuable for the inspiration, encouragement and critical feedback I've gained. Now I can't wait to get back into the studio in 2012.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Transforming Lives Through Clay - Bill Strickland‬

This is a video I shot and edited for NCECA. It was directed and produced by my friend and mentor Josh Green. Bill Strickland is the founder and CEO of Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, which is where I work as a teaching artist. Bill makes a lot of pots these days, in between traveling the world and collecting awards like the GOI Peace Award he recently received in Tokyo.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Latest Wood Firing Results

And the results... I'm happy.

With wood firing, the highs and lows are quite dramatic, though. I lost a few pieces that I really had high hopes for. And a number just didn't come out terribly well. But the good pieces—wow! I'm so particularly pleased with some of these pieces that I might not put them up for sale. Or at least not yet.

Check out more photos of my latest work in this photo album.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Another Woodfiring Weekend

This past weekend I helped fire the wood kiln at Laurelville. The kiln is operated by the Union Project, and I consider myself fortunate to be involved with such good people (although I am not actually a member of the UP myself).

For those unfamiliar with the wood firing process, you have to feed the kiln wood for quite some time, often 24 to 36 hours or more. This requires a lot of labor. Even loading such a kiln takes several hours, and the unloading process involves some fairly heavy duty cleaning chores.

After helping to load the kiln, I took the first shift "stoking" or feeding the fire from 6:30 PM on Friday to 1:30 AM on Saturday. Essentially, I was pre-heating the kiln, slowly bringing it up to 400°F. What's cool about this part of the firing is that you can still look into the kiln and watch the pots start to collect ash. Because this kiln's design doesn't use a bag wall (rows of bricks between the open flame and the pottery) the pots in the front row are going to receive a heavy dose of fly ash.

Needless to say, I'm excited to head out to the kiln site on Wednesday to unload it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Highland Park Pottery Tour 2011

I'm so excited to be a part of the inaugural Highland Park Pottery Tour, I can't fully express myself here. The people involved in this project are simply world class, both artistically and personally. I also have a ton of respect for the Union Project, and if I were in need of a new ceramics studio to work at, the UP would be my first choice.

So, on with the details... Five potters (myself included) will host sales in their homes on December 10, 2011 from noon til 7pm. Each of us will invite one or two potters from outside the Highland Park area to join us. In my case, I have the pleasure of hosting the lovely and talented Yoko Sekino-Bové.

Here's a Google map of the tour: http://g.co/maps/u8c4x

Visit highlandparkpotterytour.wordpress.com for more info.

Gifts from the Guild 2011

Once again, Manchester Craftsmen's Guild is hosting its annual art sale, Gifts from the Guild.


On December 2-4 you can visit the MCG ceramics studio and purchase a handcrafted gift made by students and staff (including Amanda Wolf, Keith Hershberger and myself). 40% of all sales go directly towards youth and arts programming.

• Friday from 10 am – 6 pm
• Saturday from 2 pm – 10 pm
• Sunday from 12 noon – 4 pm

In conjunction with A Billy Taylor Tribute presented by JazzMobile, December 3 & 4, 2011.

Holiday Gift Show 2011

I'll have a small table of ceramics for sale at my friend Lisa's house on December 10th. I made some pieces special for this event, value priced at $15 or less.

Lisa is a great craftsperson, and she's also got good taste. I especially like the fact that she's not afraid to share her opinion, even if it means being critical. At my last sale, she looked at my assortment of tumblers and said, "If these had handles, I would buy one."

So, just for this sale, I've made a bunch of small mugs. I have a hunch the host is going to want one!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Clarion University 50th Wood Firing

I was fortunate enough to be a part of the 50th firing of the Clarion University wood kiln. Professor Gary Greenberg (aka Greeny) describes the kiln as a "bastard anagama".


Click here to check out the photos.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Culinary Odyssey




I'm really excited about this cookbook, and proud to be a part of the efforts to publish it... If you pledge just $3, you get a digital copy of the book when it comes out. $35 gets you a printed copy. If you pledge $200, you get the printed book and a handmade bowl from yours truly. 

Visit Andrew's Kickstarter page for more info.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Wood Firing Weekend

I can't believe I haven't updated this blog since August... I guess it's a testament to the fact that I've been busy. I've got boxes and boxes of pots glazed and ready to be fired, and plans to make even more in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season.

But while money is nice, it's not the cash that drives me to create, it's my love of the ceramic process. The notion that I can sell a lot of pots in the coming months is a pleasant reassurance that I can make as much work as I want without worrying that my apartment is going to be buried in pottery.

Anyhow, most recently I helped Amanda fire her wood kiln, dubbed "Fuego Del Loba," for the first time. We'll see what the results look like soon, but what really matters is that the firing was such a good time. How often do you get to spend 28 hours straight with good friends and interesting company? The two integrated pizza ovens yielded amazing results, and if the pottery comes out half as good as the pizza tasted, I'll be satisfied.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tea Caddy

Some of my favorite pieces come from the inspiration to create a gift, or from the simple utility of needing (wanting) something for myself. This tea caddy was a case of the latter.

I've been buying loose tea for some time now, but my latest favorite tea shop sells tea in clear plastic bags. And while such bags do a great job of keeping the air away from the tea, they do nothing to protect my precious sencha from UV rays. Enter the lidded porcelain jar.

This piece features a carved pattern that I've been developing for some time now. It's almost totally random, and quite pleasant to incise.

The clay body is a mixture of reclaimed porcelain and white stoneware with a liberal dose of fine grog wedged in for good measure. The glaze is our studio's "amber celadon" which pools nicely in the recesses. Finally, the jar is outfitted with an English cane handle.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Cappuccino Cup Design

I was talking with a friend who's a barista, and he was saying that the handles on espresso/cappuccino cups are almost pointless because he can't fit his finger through the loop. It made me think, "Why even bother making a loop-style handle, then? Why not just make a solid handle that you pinch with your forefinger and thumb."

Here's the initial result in white porcelain with carbon trap Shino glaze, reduction fired to cone 10 in Cleveland by Junji Miyazawa.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Amanda's Wood Kiln

A few weeks ago, I participated in a wood kiln building workshop led by Gary Greenberg of Clarion University. The task at hand—to build Amanda's single chamber bourry box wood kiln. We didn't quite get it finished in one weekend, but we all learned a ton from "Greeny."

And despite the fact that we were laying bricks for three days in the 90° heat, it was remarkably fun. Pictured to the right are me with the rubber mallet, Professor Greenberg and Amanda's awesome husband, Mike.

Now it's just a matter of finding the time to finish what we started and fire it. I can't wait!