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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

The Realm of Balance and Harmony

The foundation of many ancient philosophies' places utmost importance on the role of the idea which harmonizes the mind with the physical matter of our life world; our life and destiny are closely interwoven with the universe's workings and nature. The awareness of our energy in connection with the broader universe has guided Arizona ceramic artist Christopher Heede’s elegantly designed ceramic work for over forty years.

Chris describes himself as a late baby-boomer born in Fort Collins, Colorado. His parents were gifted artists in their own right; mother a watercolor painter and father a woodworker, were in sync with the natural world's inspirational gifts for expanding creativity. Chris was encouraged to create, build, paint, draw, design, and problem-solve. He was eight when the family moved to Greece for two years. The experience would bring Chris face-to-face with the ancient foundations of art and culture. His exploration of ruins and museums throughout Greece, Italy, and Germany, inspired Chris's work for the rest of his life.

By the time Chris entered high school, he was well on his way to developing a classically inspired foundation for his life’s work. He enrolled in classes as part of the gifted art program primarily focused on painting and sculpting; however, when he discovered clay, Chris knew he had found his cosmic muse. Following high school, Chris continued his exploration of ceramics at Arizona State University, Tempe graduating in 1982 with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Ceramics.

Soon after graduation, Chris engaged in a new creative challenge; he purchased a lot in north Scottsdale and hired local architect, William Bruder, to design a studio. Chris states, "I proceeded to live in a teepee, on my land, as I built the studio myself, with the company of my dog and local coyotes." He continues, "The experience of teepee life and building a structure with only basic construction skills was scary and exciting simultaneously. I credit this transformational phase of my life with building strength emotionally, creatively, and technically."

"The experience of teepee life and building a structure with only basic construction skills was scary and exciting simultaneously. I credit this transformational phase of my life with building strength emotionally, creatively, and technically."

Through the years, Chris has continually looked for ways to develop new and exciting ideas. Early on, his work consisted primarily of using a propane and wood combination kiln to fire bowls and platters. Later, he began experimenting and refining his process to produce larger vessels. He transitioned into using the ancient Japanese firing method known as Raku. As Chris's reputation for quality, elegance, and simplicity grew, he expanded his art into commission work consisting of decorative sculptures, fountains, tile murals, and sandblasted glass. He now works with clients and custom builders to produce unique and dramatic architectural pieces customized for clients' homes, offices and landscaping.

Ceramic artist Chris Heede is a member of the Sonoran Arts League. He works from a studio just south of the Carefree/Cave Creek which is a favorite destination for visitors on the annual Hidden in the Hills Artist Studio Tour in November for its lush natural landscape. Chris says, “Working in and being surrounded by nature is what nurtures and inspires my work.” The dichotomy of simplicity and complexity constantly challenges Chris's quest for achieving harmony and balance in each of his ceramic pieces. His dedication to intuitively inspired design clearly brings Chris Heede's work into a beautiful and timeless expression of his life and vision.


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