Helen Otterson – Red Lodge Clay Center

Helen OttersonMorehead, KY

Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident (AIA) 2019

Helen Otterson received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Kansas City Art Institute and a Master of Fine Art from the University of Miami. Exhibited throughout the United States and internationally, her work has been published in American Craft Magazine and Ceramic Monthly. In addition Otterson’s work is published in books such as Cast: Art and Objects Made Using Humanity’s Most Transformational Process, 500 Sculptures, and 500 Figures in Clay. Helen’s ceramic and glass sculptures are part of the permanent collections at the Mulvane Art Museum, Nicolaysen Art Museum, and the Plains Art Museum. In 2016, Helen received the McKnight Visiting Artist Residency at Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis. She has completed artist residencies at the International Ceramic Studio in Kecskemét, Hungary, A.I.R. Vallauris, France, as well as Anderson Ranch Arts Center. Currently, Helen teaches sculpture and ceramics at Morehead State University.

Both in art and nature, a single element repeat itself many times. Many plants follow simple recursive formulas in generating their branching shapes and leaf patterns. One form may find itself nestled inside the same form, but in diminishing size, resulting in striking shapes. Capitalizing on nature’s fractal patterns, I create organic forms that repeat, yet change and are similar, yet distinctive from nature.

Inspired by the mysteries of nature, my ambiguous hybrids of cellular and organic forms celebrate life. Creating forms with fluid movement, I combine materials such as clay, glass or bronze, to capture the beauty of nature’s organic form. These materials are ideal mediums to showcase the rich surfaces and curvilinear components found in nature. The bright color palette draws on aspects in natural world and reflects the celebration of the pursuit of life and beauty of the natural world.