Barro y Arena by Monica Guerrero

American Made Since 2011

Monica Guerrero

Tampa, Florida
Handmade tableware and decorative pieces in clay and/or glass. Each exhibits utilitarianism and functions as a whole art work when not in use.

Tell us about your business.

I am an art historian who plays and works with clay and glass. My blog “Barro y Arena” ( Mud and Sand), started as diary of my experiences on the potter’s wheel and cutting glass in a studio close to my house. Clay however, has taken up more and more time in my life and therefore the academics have been on sabbatical. For me, shape and surface decoration go together, all my pieces are decorated by hand without any stencils or stamps, I do all my drawings by hand, every piece is unique. The idea for my designs came from many sources, my Peruvian background, nature, illustrations, etc. I have to say that I can be a bit obsessed by details—I have a constant fight, for example, with my tendency to respond to horror vacui. The path to becoming an artist, while not easy has many rewards. Today my pieces are being sold in galleries and museum shops in Florida and North Carolina and I’m aiming for more galleries in the US and overseas will carry my work in the near future.

What makes your business stand out?

All my pieces respond to my desire to tell a story, every one of them serves both a utilitarian purpose and a need for art—while perhaps similar in form or aesthetic, no two are the same. Many of my fused glass pieces are inspired by Peruvian art, particularly pre-Columbian textiles. I honor tradition using a new medium. My obsession for detail is rooted in the intricate grid patterns and symbols of tocapu that were created by the Incas and are still hallmarks of Peruvian textiles today. Each piece embodies my belief that every object can be a piece of art no matter its humble function. Though I enjoy creating an object where the only function will be to provide beauty to its environment, I do favor those which will provide a sense of usefulness.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

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  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 8, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

    Meet the judges
  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

    See the finalists
  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.

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