Dallas Ceramics Artist Molds Family Tradition Into Career

Marcello Andres was inspired by family traditions to set the table for his future

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When a block of clay and Marcello Andres' creativity combine in his pottery studio, something special happens.

"So I'm waking up the clay," Marcello said throwing a block on his pottery wheel. "This part is really cathartic," Marcello said. "Your hands on the clay; it's very similar to meditating."

Under his touch, a block of clay takes shape.

"I'm going to try to make a copita," Marcello said, forming a small cup. "There it is!"

Marcello Andres Ceramics are the canvas for culinary arts at some of Dallas' hottest bars and restaurants.

"I want the food to be something that you interact with, and that's a little bit more casual and engaging, versus something you have to admire from a distance," Marcello said. "That's just how I grew up eating."

Marcello Andres grew up in a Chilean immigrant family.

"We ate dinner together every single day," Marcello said.

It was family time to connect over a meal. "You got called out if you were quiet at dinner!"

In his studio, Marcello Andres connects with every piece he makes, quite literally. His hands shape the pieces, sand, and glaze them.

"At the end of the day, you really just have to slow your pace and connect with what you're doing. Be present," Marcello sanding out rough edges on a plate. "When you think about it, it's kind of an intimate connection you're having, not only with the piece, but with the people who end up using it."

Pottery was not always Marcello Andres' career plan.

"I went to SMU for finance and economics," Marcello said. An opportunity to show his work in an art installation opened a new career door. " I just kind of decided to go for it one day."

He left the corporate finance world, to mold a new path in clay.

"Once I made that transition, like, my whole life changed," Marcello said. "It was one of the happiest chapters of my life, even though it was one of the poorest chapters of my life."

Marcello Andres found his niche in his family tradition, sitting around a table.

"I'm obsessed with food," Marcello said laughing. "Dallas is a dining city. I think that's a big part of our city's DNA."

One of Marcello Andres' first orders was 900 pieces for Beverley's in Dallas.

"I was not prepared," Marcello recalled. "Like, I'm gonna figure this out one way or the other; I just can't pass up this opportunity."

He takes each day as a learning experience.

"You're never going to be the expert for something at the beginning," Marcello said. "You have to get out of your comfort zone...that's what keeps it fun."

While Marcello Andres makes plates and copitas for restaurants, he is also developing his own retail line, with hopes of bringing people together over a home-cooked meal.

"If these pieces promote that and encourage people to do that, then I will feel like I am successful in what I'm doing," Marcello said. "They're like your little babies, then you put your name on your work. It's hard not to feel like it's an extension of you a little bit."

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