icon-account

Timer indicates the amount of time the items will be on hold for you while you continue shopping. If checkout is not completed within this time, they will automatically be available for sale again.

Please refresh your page often to see available works. If you click "Add to Cart" button, and do not see the item in your cart, it means it is already in someone else's cart.

Artist: Zak Helenske


Zac Helenske
Zak Helenske, WASHINGTON
View Artist's Products

I am a studio potter who is interested in the development of form and the exploration of pattern. I look to industrial and architectural situations for formal references and use geometry as a language to communicate my observations. My work is wheel-thrown and hand-built with an aggregated earthenware clay. It is decorated with carved patterns under bright white slip and underglaze. I enjoy the illusionary nature of pattern and how, wrapping the surface of a pot with a repetition of line,  can visually altar or reshape the form.  My approach to functional terra cotta slipware is both a response to its ancient history as well as a construction of my own sensibility in aesthetics and material.  The objects I make describe a connection between architecture and our haptic experience. When making pottery, I think about my blind grandparents, and how they would trace their surroundings with their fingertips. Their haptic experience was of necessity, navigating their world without sight. From their perseverance and dedication my family learned patience and gratitude. I carry this perspective in my work as well as a profound respect for how they understood objects and space. In the studio, labor grounds my energy and propagates new ideas and new directions. I start with an idea of function; this places the work within a craft tradition and an ancient history of objects. From there, I follow the work, allowing each pot to guide the next. I pause at every step in the process, appreciating each job and focusing my attention on the details while, at the same time, look to the periphery of each idea and following my impulses. I am in pursuit of pottery that offers many vantage points, both visual and tactile, thoughtful and functional. I am interested in objects that engage us on a human scale within the intimate spaces of daily life. Pots are versatile depending on their placement, adorning our living spaces and contributing to our stories. They are a part of our domestic infrastructure, facilitating rituals of beauty, nourishment, and gathering. I am interested in the history these objects carry from wheel to home as well as the sentiment gained from their usefulness. I am charmed by the anti-monumental, and challenged by the spatial balance between pottery, architecture, and community.

EDUCATION
2014 MFA, Rochester Institute of Technology, School for American Crafts, Ceramics and Ceramic
Sculpture, Rochester, NY
2009 BFA, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND


SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2019 New Work, Eutectic Gallery, Portland, OR
2018 Medicine Jars + Other Useful Objects, Vetri Gallery, Seattle, WA
2017 Slipware, Shoreline Community College, Shoreline, WA September)
2017 Proximity: Assembled Pots, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA
2013 Records of Resistance and Vulnerability, Powerhouse Gallery, Sloss Furnaces, Birmingham, AL
2012 MFA Thesis Exhibition: Verse, Gallery 311, Hungerford Heights, Rochester, NY
2009 BFA Thesis Exhibition: Organic Progression, Memorial Union Gallery, North Dakota State
University, Fargo, ND


SELECTED EXHIBITIONS
2019 Dallas Pottery Invitational, Empire Room Dallas, TX
2019 Small Favors, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
2018 ClayFest NW, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA (invited auction Artist)
2018 Featured Artist, Asher Gallery, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX
2018 Yunomi Invitational, Clay AKAR, Iowa City, IA
2018 Annual Group Exhibition, Gallery IMA, Seattle, WA
2017 Clay Fest NW, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA
2107 National IV, Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, MT (Juror: Sunshine Cobb)
2017 Ceramic Innovations, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA (Juror: Chris Gustin)
2017 Yunomi Invitational, Clay AKAR, Iowa City, IA
2017 Small Favors, The Clay Studio, Philladelphia, PA
2017 Last Call II, Companion Gallery, Humboldt, TN
2017 50 Years of Pottery Northwest, NCECA, Portland, OR
2016 UnWedged Juried National, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA (Juror: Sandy Simon)
2016 Lillstreet Holiday Show, Lillstreet Art Center, Chicago, IL
2016 Mugshot Monday, Lillstreet Art Center, Chigago, IL
2016 Pottery Northwest Retrospective, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA
2016 ClayFest Northwest, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA
2016 Irons in the Fire, Companion Gallery, Humboldt, TN (Juror: Justin Rothshank)
2016 Strictly Functional Pottery National, Market House Craft Center, Lancaster, PA (Juror: Simon
Leach)
2016 CHEERS, Medalta, Medicine Hat, Alberta, CA
2016 Coffee and Clay, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA
2016 Clay? VI, Kirkland Arts Center, Kirlkland, WA (Jurors: Jaimie Walker, Doug Jeck, Michael Swaine)
2016 Working Pots, James May Gallery, Alagoma, WI (Juror: Simon Levin)
2016 Resident 8x8, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA
2015 Mugen/Infinity, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA
2015 Steering Committee Exhibition, Trim Tab, Birmingham, AL
2015 Clay Collects Clay, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA
2014 XIV International Casting Exhibition, Akademia Sztuk Pienknych, Gdansk, Poland


PROFFESIONAL EXPERIENCE
2019 Visiting Resident Artist, Tainan National University of the Arts, Tainan, Taiwan (2 months)
2018 Co-Curator, Clayfest NW, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA
2018 Artist in Residence, Pentaculum, Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN
2017 Committee Member, National Clay Week: North West Open Studios
2015- Board Member, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA
2015 Visiting Artist/Visiting Lecturer, School of Art, 3D4M, University of
2015- Instructor, Pottery Northwest, Seatte, WA
2015-17 Artist in Residence, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA
2015 Steering Committee Member: Demonstrations, National Conference on Cast Iron Art, Sloss
Furnaces, Birmingham, AL
2014 Visiting Artist, XIV International Casting Workshop, Akademia Sztuk Pienknych, Gdansk,
Poland
2013-14 Artist in Residence, Foundry Manager, Ceramics Studio Manager, Sloss Arts, Birmingham, AL
2013 Artist in Residence, Assistant Foundry Manager, Sloss Metal Arts, Birmingham, AL
2013 Steering Committee Member: Demonstrations, National Conference on Cast Iron Art, Sloss
Furnaces, Birmingham, AL
2012 Resident Artist/Instructor, Redbird Studio and Gallery, Columbia, SC
2011-12 Instructor, Ceramics, School for American Crafts, RIT, Rochester, NY
(Instructor of Record)
2010-12 Studio Assistant to Rick Hirsch, Rochester, NY
2011-12 Crucible Projects: Mobile, AL, Rochester, NY, Lake Charles, LA,
Montevallo, AL
2011-12 “Mano” Project, School for American Crafts, RIT, Rochester, NY
2010-12 Studio Manager/Technician Clay Department, School for American Crafts, RIT, Rochester, NY
2011 Visiting Artist, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
2011 Iron Foundry Charging Crew/Cast, Second Act of Matthew Barney’s Ancient Evening: “KHU”


PANELS/LECTURES
2017 Lecture: Artist Talk, Workshop, Shoreline Community College, Shoreline, WA
2016 Lecture: Artist Talk, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA
2015 Lecture: Artist Talk, School of Art, 3D4M, University of Washington, Seattle WA
2015 Lecture: Artist Talk, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA
2014 Lecture: Artist Talk, Akademia Sztuk Peinknych, Lodz, Poland
2014 Lecture: Artist Talk, Akademia Sztuk Peinknych, Gdansk, Poland
2013 Lecture: Glaze Chemistry, University of Alabama at Birmingham,AL
2013 Moderator/Panelist, Heat + Alchemy = Transformation, Sloss Arts
2012 Panelist, Mano Project, School for American Crafts, RIT
2012 Lecture: Artist Talk, State University of New York Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
2011 Lecture, Aluminum Casting, Fine Art Studio, RIT, Rochester, NY
2011 Lecture: Artist Talk, Mcneese State University, Lake Charles, LA
2011 Panelist, Material Integration, National Conference on Cast Iron Art, Sloss Furnaces,
Birmingham, AL


AWARDS
2017 Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist
2016 Purchase Award, “Irons in the Fire” Juried by Justin Rothshank, Companion Gallery, Humboldt,
TN
2016 Jurors Award, “Coffee and Clay” Juried by Noah Riedel, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA
2016 Honorable Mention, “Working Pots” Juried by Simon Levin, James May Gallery, Algoma, WI
2015 Pottery Northwest Wally Bivins Resident Artist Project Grant
2015 NICHE Awards finalist: Functional Ceramics

 


Subscribe to our mailing list

Join Our Newsletter

Receive Newsletter telling you about the Artists, New work and reminders for the Upcoming events!