Otto Heino was born in East Hampton, Connecticut. After serving in World War Two, he returned to the United States in 1949 and through the GI Bill enrolled in a pottery class taught at the League of New Hampshire Craftsman, where his teacher was his future wife, Vivika. They shared a studio for more than fifty years. They briefly taught at the University of Southern California before taking over the ceramics program at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles from 1955 to 1962. Briefly returning to the Northeast to operate a private studio, they went back to the West Coast at the behest of their close friend Beatrice Wood and opened a studio in Ojai, California, where they remained key figures of the midcentury ceramics community in Southern California. Their pots are always signed with by both of them, regardless of who produced them.