I am a potter who is interested in the exploration of form and the development of pattern. I look to industrial and architectural situations for formal references and social observations for conceptual connections. The history of human progression is a relentless record of pattern. My pots are both a response and resistance to this predictability.
Made of a gritty terra cotta with porcelain brushwork on their surface, my pottery is fired to cone 2. I pay attention to the formless structures within the making process and attempt to harness them with a direct approach to material. A clear glaze captures the depth of these layers and highlights their nuances. I finish the pots by sand blasting the sheen away, retaining the dimension in their surface while softening them to the eye and hand.
Pots are a part of our domestic infrastructure, facilitating rituals of beauty, nourishment, and gathering. I am interested in the history these objects carry and the sentiment gained from their usefulness. I am charmed by the anti-monumental, and challenged by the spatial balance between pottery, architecture, and community.
— Zak Helenske
Now, an Artist in Residence at Pottery Northwest in Seattle, WA, Zak is developing a functional body of work that is informed by his sculptural concepts. He works in several media, building upon his material sensibility in order to stay spontaneous and impulsive. Living in a city in the middle of a major progression, he finds constant visual stimulation in the activities of construction and growth.