From her home in the Blue Ridge Mountains, American sculptor Heather Allen Hietala creates uniquely beautiful pieces inspired by her love of nature and life’s journey. Allen Hietala’s series of canoe-shaped clay vessels in natural tones of red, gray and brown are designed to be held. The shape and size were also inspired by a memorable and meditative experience the artist had when, in order to rescue an injured bird, she had to cradle it in her hands for a long time. The vessels are hand-built of clay and wood-fired; the interior of each contains upcycled glass from pickle jars or wine bottles. This is one in a series.
“Each vessel has undergone a rite of passage, the intense flames and temperatures of a wood fire, a metaphor for life, for surviving the many trials and tribulations that happen and make us who we are, creating the patina of life that gives us each our unique beauty.” Heather Allen Hietala
She studied painting and sculpture at the University of New Hampshire and textiles at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Hietala furthered her studies at Penland School of Crafts, Haystack, and Arrowmont in the US. Her work has been shown in Canada, the US, France and Singapore, and is held in collections worldwide. She has also taught and lectured in the US, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Nepal.