Throughout my childhood and youth growing up in Europe, I loved working creatively with my hands. My first professional choice, however, was to become a physician. After completing medical school, I relocated to the United States with my husband and two children. Here I was drawn back to the love for art and pursued a new, and for me, more fulfilling career, by obtaining a teaching degree in art education from California State University. Then, while teaching art fulltime in New Jersey for twenty-five years and during subsequent retirement, I expanded my expertise in clay, fiber and metal. Presently, I am a Master Artisan at the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and Professional Artist Member at Main Line Art Center. I received five Awards of Excellence at Perkins Center for the Arts, and at Main Line Art Center, the Pincus Prize and Plaza Award. At the Jenkintown Art Fest, I earned 1st place in Mixed Media, and Best 3-D at Baker Industries. One of my ceramic pieces and a fiber wall hanging are permanently displayed at Rowan College.
All my pieces are hand-built, mostly pinched. I treasure the intimate spontaneity of this technique and like to observe the clay to see what it might suggest when I take a chunk into my hands. Much of my work resembles forms from nature with a close connectedness to the earth. Organic shapes often spark ideas which lead to pleasing forms with an expression of their own. During the process of making, I try to remain receptive to the coincidental changes of the developing piece, so that I might preserve a sense of spontaneous, free-form gesture that captures the essence of my inspiration. The Raku method, with its unpredictable effects of flame and smoke, can create magical results. Recently, I have begun combining pieces of found rusty iron in my work. These are a perfect juxtaposition to the shimmering Raku glazes. It is a primeval aesthetic that I strive to achieve, a sense of raw and unadulterated beauty without frills.
PURCHASE WORK BY HELGE SPETH AT JAM GALLERY
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