Helene is one of our newest members. Please welcome her when you see her!
Helene Vonnegut is a studio potter whose work functionally enhances home and garden. Helene’s exposure to the arts began during her early nomadic years of military family travels throughout the United States and Europe and continued in her professional life with the Department of State’s Foreign Service. Whether visiting churches in Europe and Central America or taking in the natural beauty of Africa and Asia, the appeal of the art world manifested itself in her ceramic collections. She began more focused exploration of ceramics through study at the Art League in Alexandria and at Northern Virginia Community College. In addition to inspiration from a family of artists — carpenters, authors, painters and chefs — she draws on the community of fellow studio artists and master potters and sculptors.
Her current artistic emphasis includes the exploration of Asian architecture where she finds the construction of Japanese farmhouses –- called “minka” -– especially intriguing. Of particular interest and challenge are the rooftops, angles and textures required to match in clay the creative and uniquely identifiable structure. Her raku fired birds recall the colorful tropical creatures of Nicaragua and the bold textile patterns of Africa. Helene seeks to create work that will provide as much joy to behold as the nourishment it contains to satisfy body, soul and sensibility.
Helene has participated in group exhibitions at the National Institute of Health, Virginia’s Lexington and Rockbridge Studio Tour and the Arlington Lee Arts Center. She exhibited at the Mid-Atlantic Clay Conference in Front Royal, Virginia where she was awarded First Place for her Japanese farm house-inspired garden lantern.
She has participated in workshops at Tennessee’s Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and Master Workshops at Arlington, Virginia’s Lee Arts Center. She is also a member of the Lee Arts Center and the Kiln Club of Washington.