Vivien Place, as was her born name, loved art as a child. However, after her father’s death during the Depression, she attended Rochester Normal School to earn a teaching degree. After a year of teaching, she traveled to Colorado and attended the Colorado College of Education, graduating in 1933 with her BA in art classes.
“What you give away you have forever; what you keep to yourself, you lose.” - Vivika Heino
Supporting herself through various jobs, she was able to study at the California School of Fine Arts and the University of Southern California. While at the Swedish Applied Arts, she adopted a Swedish name, Vivika, as was tradition, and kept the name throughout her life. She journeyed back to her home state of New York to enroll at Alfred University in 1942. When she earned her MA in 1944, she became the second master’s graduate from the ceramic program.
She and her husband, Otto Heino, opened a studio to sell their work. Their style, which focused on traditional and utilitarian pottery, was particularly prized for its yellow glaze. Vivika alternated between producing pottery and teaching throughout her career.