Andy Balmer grew up in Portland, Oregon and found his way to Berea College in Kentucky where he had the opportunity to learn ceramics from the “design-and-produce-pots-for-use” approach. The apprenticeship program provided experience in production work from throwing to selling that informs his work today. He always felt that he should make useful pots that will be handled, appreciated, enjoyed and eventually worn out or broken and replaced.

Over the years Balmer has taught ceramics at various levels and now works in research and development at Pratt and Larson Ceramics, a ceramic tile studio that sells handmade tile nationwide.

Balmer makes pots with his wife, Pat, at their studio in Southwest Portland. They soda and salt fire porcelain and stoneware, and sell their work at their studio sales and the St. Croix River Valley Pottery Tour each May in Minnesota.

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