Helen Bommarito

Helen finds her inspiration in the complex simplicity of Japanese arts and thought, where a seemingly simple form or gesture is the distillation of much thought and experience.

Teaching children inspired her to explore more whimsical avenues in earthenware and terra cotta, clays that allow a wide range of bright and playful colors.

Helen has worked in many different mediums but it was the versatility of clay that drew her in: Organic, structural, fluid, sculptural, functional, decorative or any combination of those. She has worked in clay for 25 years and works out of her Bend studio. Helen teaches clay classes for children and adults at the Art Station and at COCC.

More About Me

For as long as I can remember I have loved making art. Fortunately, my mother recognized that early on and sent me to various neighbors for the occasional lesson in painting, ceramics or jewelry enameling.  I graduated from the University of Washington, Seattle with a BA in Art and spent two subsequent years of focused study in ceramics, as well as jewelry and photography at the University of Texas at Austin.  I owned and operated a music agency for 25 years, and for 14 of those same years hosted a celtic music radio program in the Seattle area.  Currently I live in Bend, work out of my studio, and teach community education classes at COCC and for Bend Parks and Rec at the Art Station.  I am active in the Clay Guild of the Cascades (past President), Oregon Potters Association, and the National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts. And I’m a perpetual student of the fiddle.

About My Work

Pottery:  My stoneware work is functional ware – hand built, wheel thrown, or a combination of both. I often use Japanese style shino glazes, and fire in either a gas or a wood fired kiln. I find much of my inspiration in the complex simplicity of Japanese arts and philosophy, where a seemingly simple form or gesture is the distillation of much thought and experience.

Teaching children has inspired me to explore more whimsical avenues in earthenware and terra cotta, clays that allow a wide range of bright and playful colors. Recently I have been incorporating my space robot characters into usable pieces made from durable and elegant porcelain.

Jewelry:  Natural stones, pearls, crystals, hand made porcelain pieces and sterling silver all feature in a variety of combinations in my earrings, necklaces and bracelets. 

It is my hope that the users of my art pieces will enjoy them often, and that they come to regard them as warm and familiar friends to return to again and again.