Kentucky Tourism

Ottman, Marie-Elena — Marie-Elena Designs

Louisville, KY


pottery sculptures

A native of Panama, Marie-Elena has a BFA in ceramics from the University of Louisville. Her ceramic sculptures combine the visual culture of her Panamanian roots with the imagery of evocative animal forms.


Marie-Elena has always been attracted to ancient Pre-Columbian artifacts, specifically those found in her native homeland.  She grew up around the Panama Canal and was exposed to the diverse indigenous cultures, floras, and faunas found in the tropical rainforest. She says the colors and textures of Panama and the rainforest are never far from her thoughts.


Marie-Elena creates her sculptures using the ancient technique of coil building. In her work she combines traditional techniques with contemporary ideas. The merging of these two allows her to embrace her roots while simultaneously exploring contemporary themes.


Marie-Elena’s work can be found in private collections and is featured in various publications including the Lark 500 Series book 500 animals in Clay, where her sculptures is featured on the inside cover.


Marie-Elena’s work can be found at the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea, KY.