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Artist: E.J. Balistreri

E.J. Balistreri, ARIZONA

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Artist statement

My practice as an artist is largely focused on using the firing process to create dramatic textures and colors on the surfaces of my work. I mostly make functional pottery out of porcelain that is intended to be used either to consume food and drink, or to display flowers. Many of my forms are very simple with smooth surfaces and limited glaze use. This allows me to use the kiln and firing process as a creative tool in my quest for interesting and complex surfaces.  Often my work reminds me of the arid landscapes of Arizona’s deserts and canyons. Although this is unintentional, I think it is natural for an artist to represent something about the world in their work. This drive in my work is a reflection of the beauty and the diversity of landscapes that surround me.


Short Bio 

EJ was born in Denver Colorado in 1995. He grew up in a family that collected and produced ceramics and this was a powerful influence from an early age. Although he never touched clay until he first went to college in 2013, being around and using work made by amazing artists instilled a true respect for this medium. In 2015 he decided to stop going to school and work in the ceramics industry. For the next few years he maintained a home studio and worked with as many ceramic artists and companies as he could. He decided to go back to college in 2018 in pursuit of a BFA in ceramics. Today EJ is finishing his undergraduate degree at Northern Arizona University. He is mostly concerned with using atmospheric firing methods to create captivating surfaces on functional porcelain pottery and plans to continue his education though graduate school. He aspires to teach ceramics at a collegiate level in the future.



Northern Arizona University BFA emphasis in ceramics, December 2022


Employment History 

Coconino Community College Ceramic Studio Tech. / Aug 2019 - Dec 2021 

Northern Arizona University Summer Ceramics Worker / May - Aug 2019, 2020, 2021 

Patricia Sannet Studio Studio Assistant / Oct 2017 - July 2018 

Blue Door Ceramics Studio Assistant / Oct 2017 

Paradise Valley Community College Ceramics Studio Tech. / Feb 2018 - June 2018 

Marjon Ceramics Inc. Retail Sales Associate and General Consultant Oct 2016 - Jan 2018


Past Exhibitions 

Coconino Community College, Student Art Show Fall 2018 

Coconino Community College, Student Juried Art show Spring 2019 Best In Show 

Northern Arizona University, Student Juried Art Show Fall 2019 Coconino Center for the Arts, Foundations Student Juried Art Show Fall 2019


Workshops Attended 

Tom Coleman, Arizona State University 2015 

Chris Gustin, Northern Arizona University 2018 

Sun Koo Yuh, Northern Arizona University 2019 

Stewert Gair, Peters Valley School of Craft 2021 

(NAU Aaron Macy Scholarship) 

Russell Wrankle, Northern Arizona University 2021 

Kyle Johns, Northern Arizona University 2022

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