Helga Winter is a woodturner, embellisher and workshop instructor. She 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 1981.
She apprenticed 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 and exhibited her wood turnings in various galleries on the East Coast. She was instrumental in founding the Tennessee Association of Woodturners.
After moving to the Northwest in 1987 Helga discovered Pacific madrone (arbutus menziesii) as a turning wood and was the first to explore its orneriness and utilize its instability to her advantage. She turned the roots, trunks, and branches and began embellishing the formerly oiled surfaces of her work with dyes and wax resist. Currently she also uses acrylics, oil paints, and encaustic finishes on her vessels. Helga has taught studio classes from 1988 until present.
Helga is an award winning artist. Her works are included in public and private collections and have been featured in national and international publications.