Vivika and Otto Heino collaborated from 1950 until 1995, the year of Vivika’s death. Their work is distinguished by its clean lines and distinctive glazes. Despite getting under way during the Depression, the Heinos supported themselves as potters throughout their careers. Their world was guided by a strong work ethic and a love of clay. Unfazed by ceramic trends, they remained true to their sense of what pottery should be—traditional and utilitarian.
Otto and Vivika were part of a generation that sought to redefine the art of ceramics in relation to modern art and culture. The “potters,” as the Heinos and their contemporaries were proud to be called, were influenced by the Arts & Crafts movement, Germany’s Bauhaus, and the potters of Japan.
Otto Heino has received the high distinction of a gold medal from the Sixth Biennial International de Ceramique at Vallauris, France in 1978. This accompanies the Diplôme D’ Honeur from the International Academy of Ceramics, Cannes, received in 1955.
Otto and Vivika’s work is collected world-wide and has been exhibited internationally at the Picasso Museum in Vallauris, France; San Francisco’s De Young Museum; Los Angeles’ County Art Museum and Craft Folk Art Museum; New York’ American Craft Museum; Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian’ and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Twentieth Century Fox commissioned them to create 751 pieces of pottery for the film, “The Egyptian.”
Together, Otto and Vivika participated in over 200 national and international exhibits, and were awarded many distinctions and recognitions. In 1978, she was appointed to the Apprentice Fellowship Advisory Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1991, Vivika was honored as Trustee Emeritus for the American Crafts Council in New York.
“True craftspeople do much more than just make things, they live within their work, formulate a philosophy about the field, feel the aliveness of the materials and are aware of the qualities possible in the medium.” Vivika Heino
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