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The Empire Room

1225 N. Riverfront Blvd.

Dallas, Texas 75207


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Zak is a studio potter who is interested in the development of form and the exploration of pattern. He looks to industrial and architectural situations for formal references while using geometry as a language to communicate his observations. His work is wheel-thrown and hand-built with an aggregated earthenware clay. It is decorated with carved patterns under bright white slip and underglaze. He enjoys the illusionary nature of pattern and how, wrapping the surface of a pot with a repetition of line, can visually altar or reshape the form. Zak's approach to functional terra cotta slipware is both a response to its ancient history as well as a construction of his own sensibility in aesthetics and material. 


"The objects I make describe a connection between architecture and our haptic experience. When making pottery, I think about my blind grandparents, and how they would trace their surroundings with their fingertips. Their haptic experience was of necessity,navigating their world without sight. From their perseverance and dedication my family learned patience and gratitude. I carry this perspective in my work as well as a profound respect for how they understood objects and space.”


Seattle, Washington

Zak Helenske