Erickson earned her BFA at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA and her MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI. She later was a summer resident at the Archie Bray and was also awarded a Fulbright to study at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland from 2004-2005. Afterwards, she became a resident artist at the Clay Studio, and taught at the University of the Arts, Rowan University, and Arcadia University. She has earned numerous awards, including first place for the Horizon Award presented by the Museum of Art and Design in New York and honorable mentions at the Korea Biennale International 2007 & 2009 Exhibitions. She was awarded an Independence Fellowship for a summer 2009 residency at the International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark. She was the 2009-2012 Robert Chapman Turner Teaching Fellow in Ceramic Art at Alfred University. In 2012, she moved to Colorado where she taught at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Red Rocks Community College, Colorado Mountain College-Aspen Campus and Arapahoe Community College. The following year she was a visiting teaching artist/sabbatical replacement for the 2013-14 academic year at CU Boulder. Heather Mae is currently an associate professor, Ceramics Coordinator and Mudcats Ceramics Club Advisor at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee and resides in Dillsboro/Sylva, North Carolina.
Erickson is interested in wholehearted teaching and learning, engaged scholarship, and classroom community building. The expanded field of ceramics around the world is one that is built on community. She strives to foster that environment in the classroom to encourage mentorship opportunities among the students and herself, as well as with the Graduate Teachers of Record. Erickson is interested in ceramic design, travel studies, foundations, product design, service learning and community engagement. As advisor for the Mudcats Club, she continue to find ways to extend her student’s service outside of the college to reach the institution, community, and beyond.
Erickson’s research includes ceramics, design, sculpture, education, curation, writing, entrepreneurship, and engaged scholarship. Erickson specializes in prototyping, mold-making, and slip-casting. Her professional service as a leader in the field of ceramics is evident on a national as well as an international scope through her engagement as an internationally recognized mold maker and slip caster. She is known as a community engaged artist, designer, educator and curator. In 2016, along with the WCU Fine Art Museum, she curated an exhibition and produced a 1.5 day symposium titled, “Contemporary Clay: A Survey of Contemporary American Ceramics.”