Helga Winter was born in Germany and came to America as a young woman to study Education. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Texas in Austin in 1978 and her graduate degree at Vanderbilt Peabody College in Nashville, TN in 1982.

She apprenticed herself with fine furniture maker and wood carver Paul Pitts in 1982 and studied with wood turners Rude Osolnik and David Ellsworth in 1984.

Helga received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission in 1986.

Helga Winter with wood and chainsaw

Helga Winter

After she moved to Port Townsend, WA in 1987 her turned vessels became her canvas. Helga discovered Madrone as a turning wood and was the first wood turner to explore its “orneryness” and utilize the instability of the wood to her advantage. She turned the roots, trunks, as well as the branches and began embellishing the surfaces with dyes and wax resist.

She took copious notes of her painting techniques on the wooden vessels and discovered that putting her ideas and experimentations on paper opened up greater possibilities.

Artisans on Taylor offered Helga her first show in mixed media paintings in December 2009.

In January 2010 Helga did an Artist Residency at Centrum in Port Townsend, WA where she exclusively painted.

Currently, Helga is pursuing both turning and painting.

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