Who We Are

The first piece of clay I was ever given was handed to me at the age of 6 through an extracurricular arts program called Artwheels ran by Kathi and Carl Schifano. It wasn’t until I found the Ceramics Studio at Buffalo State College that I fully immersed myself into the media. The first bowl I made through that program was an indelible mark initially made upon the notion that I could in fact fabricate my reality around me and that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

From Western New York I relocated to Brooklyn, NY. The Tri-state area affirmed for me that my goals of pursuing an arts career were bonafide and actualized. Culturally I learned much and needed the experiences I garnered in that metropolis. I found mentors and formed the discipline eventually needed to stay the course on my arts career path. Developing a skillset where multimedia creative problem solving under one roof was key to any success I garnered during this time. I took as many opportunities as I was given to explore a burgeoning arts career.

Being young and hungry I found the West Coast calling. I landed in the ceramics-centered town of Davis, California with experience in Warm/Hot glass I explored the art of electric kiln building North of Sacramento for 2 years

I eventually managed the Ceramics/Glass studio department of an extracurricular Arts program offered by UC Davis. After that Becoming a father was my next calling which allowed me to relocate back to the more urban setting, San Francisco. I found that parenting while pursuant of an arts career was a bit challenging but made it work. My community was burgeoning and diverse, I became involved with several tattoo studios and even more ceramic studios. Forming a collective and showing my work alongside my peers was only third to teaching Ceramics and parenting.

More and more Ceramists were teaming up with restaurants and Chefs to collaborate. After a few such partnerships I sought my own private studio nearly in perfect coincidence with the Shelter In Place order for Northern California due to the Pandemic. The first space I looked at was at Barn 5400. As soon as I walked into the space I knew I wanted to be a part of what’s happening there.

My focus is upon creating durable functional wares that assist our everyday life in some aspect. I am hopeful that following this path will ultimately construct something akin to a legacy. I am in direct benefit from my community and therefore consistently seek to return that dedicated energy. I know the value of challenges and the reward of learning.

Andrew M Kontrabecki

Business Name: Kickwheel
Artisan Type: Ceramist, Clayer, production potter, educator
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 530-220-3157