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Art according to the realm of balance and harmony

Shea Stanfield~ 4/18/2015

“Black Sect Tantric Buddhism, accords utmost importance to the role of the idea, which harmonizes the mind with the physical matter of our life world. In Feng Shui, our life and destiny are closely interwoven with the workings of the universe and nature.” ~ Professor Lin Yun The awareness of our own energy in connection with the wider universe is the inspiration for local artist Christopher Heede’s graceful and elegantly designed ceramic works. 

Chris describes himself as “a late baby-boomer born in Fort Collins, Colorado.” His parents, mother a watercolor painter and father a wood worker, were in sync with the inspirational gifts the natural world offered for expanding creativity. Chris was encouraged to be creative, build things, paint, draw, design, and problem solve.  When he was 8, the family moved to Greece for two years. The experience would bring Chris face to face with ancient inspirational foundations in art and culture. His exploration of ruins and museums throughout Greece, Italy, and Germany, would profoundly impact 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 foundation of creativity for his life’s work. He took classes as part of the gifted art program, mainly in painting and sculpting, but when he discovered clay Chris knew he had found his cosmic muse. Following high school, Chris continued his exploration in ceramics at Arizona State University, graduating in 1982 with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Ceramics.

Soon after graduation, Chris took on a new kind of creative challenge. He bought a lot in north Scottsdale, hired local architect William Bruder to design a studio, and proceeded to live in a teepee, on his land, as he built the studio himself, “with his dog and the coyotes for company.” Chris shares that the experience of teepee life and building a structure with only basic construction skills was scary and exciting at the same time. He also credits this transformational phase of his life with building strength emotionally and creatively, as well as technically.

Throughout the years, Chris has continually looked for ways to develop new and interesting ideas. Early o,n his work consisted mainly 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 and moving 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 to make each custom home “one of a kind.”

Chris reflects, “Working in and being surrounded by nature is what nurtures and inspires my work.” The dichotomy of simplicity and complexity constantly challenge Chris’s quest for achieving harmony and balance in each of his pieces. His dedication to design and creation clearly brings Chris Heede’s work into a beautiful and timeless expression of his life and vision. 

Seventeen inspiring and eye-catching pieces of Chris’s work are on display at the Desert Foothills Library, in Cave Creek, from March 28 thru May 28. The artist reception will be on April 25, from 4-5 p.m. Visit Chris’s Web site to see a broad selection of his work, view informative videos, and to contact him for your project or gift,


Contact arts columnist Shea Stanfield at