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trip to otto heinos' studio

updated fri 21 jul 00


cuzick on wed 19 jul 00

My wife and I took a trip to Ojai, CA to visit Otto Heino at his =
studio. I was interested in seeing one of those $20,000 lemon yellow =
pots that was written about in CM a couple of months ago. Well, I wasn't =
too impressed with the yellow pots, except for the fact that they sell =
for such a fabulous price and that a man in his 80's is able to throw =
such large pots in one piece. We talked about the money thing, he said =
that he made 1.5 million dollars last year selling his pots, he said =
that "there are zillions of dollars out there, you just have to go get =
it." He also said that the prices he gets for his pots helps all potters =
sell their pots for more money.=20
Once the money thing was out of the way I could really look at the =
rest of his work and I must say it is really nice. He does wood fired =
pieces, salt, and high fire reduction. His show room is beautiful, lots =
of wood and glass and pots with orange and brown flashing, very nice =
work. He is very quick to tell you how he gets a particular glaze =
Otto is a charming man, he met us at he in the driveway in his bib =
overalls and a tie. He is not too tall but quite stout, with a great =
friendly smile. He showed us all around his studio. There were 5 or 6 =
wheels and clay mixing machinery and all sorts of kilns to do the =
firings I mentioned. He lives in the house that was once owned by =
Beatrice Wood. Setting out on the back veranda at one of his wheels he =
has a unspoiled view of rolling hills with mountains in the back ground. =
While standing in his studio we noticed a snapshot of Frida Kahlo and =
Diego tacked to a wall. We asked about it and he said that his wife =
Vivika(sp?) had stood up with them when they were remarried. An =
incredible bit of history. He talked about his contemporaries Peter =
Voulkos and Paul Soldner and gave certain insights into those early =
If you get a chance, go Ojai to see Otto, and while you are there be =
sure to go to the Beatrice Wood house, that is another story.
David Cuzick
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