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Otto Heino (b. 1915) is well known as part of a team of studio potters that included, until 1995, his wife Vivika Heino (1910-55).When Otto and Vivika began working with clay in the 1940s, ceramics was still largely an unformed discipline in the United States.In the beginning, they gained their expertise through research and hard work, and sought out the insights of established potters when they could.Vivika worked with early American potters Glen Lukens and Charles Harder.Together the couple followed the work of European masters such as Gertrud and Otto Natzler and Bernard Leach and Japanese mingei potters like Shoji Hamada.In this way, they developed a wide repertoire of knowledge.What they gained, they shared, traveling and teaching and always willing to provide instruction and wisdom about their craft.Their dedication to functional ceramics is reknowned and their many students and collectors praise the special vision and ability they possessed.

Otto, the 5th of 12 children raised on a farm in New Hampshire, became interested in ceramics while on military duty in Europe.He had the opportunity to visit the Leach studios in England during one of his 30 day leave periods, where he saw Leach throwing on the wheel.Leachs work intrigued him, but it was Vivika who was his first teacher.In 1948, when Otto had returned to New Hampshire, he settled near Concord, where Vivika was teaching pottery at the Sharon Art Center.He enrolled in her class, and quickly fell for both the medium and his teacher.Soon the two were making pottery together and selling their work straight out of the studio.They married two years later, and over the next 50 years alternated between running a full time commercial studio, teaching, giving workshops, and even making pieces for the movie sets of Hollywood.As a team they were extremely productive and successful, making a living for themselves as commercial potters while also consistently receiving awards and honors for their work.

Since Vivikas death in 1995, Otto has continued working with the same consistency and dedication, producing his finely constructed pots from the home and studio he shared with Vivika in Ojai, California.He is known for his skill at the wheel and his fine eye for the form of a pot.When he goes to the wheel, he lets the clay decide his course, working with it to reach the final form of the vessel.His surface design is then informed by the shape and character of the pot, resulting in unified pieces that exemplify the finest of the studio pottery tradition.


Honorary Member, International Academy of Ceramics
Fellow, American Craft Council
Honorary Member, American Ceramic Society
Honorary Member, National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts

Museum Collections
Ariana Museum, Geneva, Switzerland
Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona
Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
Charles Wustum Museum of Art, Racine, Wisconsin
Cooper Hewitt Museum, New York, New York
Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, California
Everson Museum, Syracuse, New York
Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
Memphis Art Institute, Memphis, Tennessee
Mills College Art Gallery, Oakland, California
Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey
Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Logan, Utah
Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland, California
Picasso Museum, Vallauris, France
Ventura County Museum of History & Art, Ventura, California

Selected Solo Exhibitions

1999     Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica
1996     Frank Lloyd Gallery, Los Angeles
1995     Ventura County Museum of History & Art, Ventura
            Folk and Craft Art Museum, San Francisco
            New York College of Ceramics, Alfred, New York
1993     Louise Bascom Gallery, Highlands, North Carolina
            Contemporary Crafts Gallery, Portland, Oregon
1992     Clay Place, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1991     Ojai Art Center, Ojai, California
            Pewabic Pottery, Detroit, Michigan
1990     Oakland Museum, Oakland, California
            The Gallery, Bloomington, Indiana
            New Creative Art Center, Burbank, California
1989     Pewabic Pottery, Detroit, Michigan
            MOA, Los Angeles
1988     Ojai Art Center, Ojai, California
            Private Stock Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri
            Title Olympic Show, Seuol, South Korea
1987     American Mastercrafts Gallery, Legionnaire, Pennsylvania
1986     Running Ridge Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
1983     Hand and the Spirit, Scottsdale, Arizona
1982     The Potters Wheel, Williamstown, Massachusetts
1981     Bakersfield College, California
1978     Mills College Art Gallery, Oakland, California
            Contemporary Crafts Gallery, Portland, Oregon
1973     Fitchburg Museum of Art, Fitchburg, Massachusetts
1970     Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe
1969     Sharon Arts Center, Sharon, Connecticut
1968     Lexington Art Society, Lexington, Massachusetts
1964     University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire
1955     University of Southern California, Los Angeles
1951     Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire
1941     San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco