22.75 x 10 x 10 in.
Museum Permanent Collection
In Jar (c. 1959) Otto Heino explores both expressionist technique and large scale. The swirling black glaze is incised into the surface, providing a circular movement that is reminiscent of the spinning of a potter’s wheel. The large size of this lidded jar was unusual for the late 1950s and can be seen as parallel to the monumental experiments of Peter Voulkos and others. While still a functional vessel, this piece borders on being sculptural, and demonstrates how potters working within the vessel tradition continued to push traditional boundaries.
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.
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