Functional and Sculptural Porcelain
About the Artist
Lee was born and raised in Ogden, Utah. During his formative years, family vacations allowed him opportunities to explore the natural wonders of that region. These experiences, combined with his love of the great out-of-doors, helped him develop strong observational skills and an appreciation of the wonders, textures, and beauty of nature. These factors have been a major influence in his artistic development and continue as an important factor in the growth of his professional studio artwork.
Lee began his art studies while attending Weber State University, where he earned a Bachelors of Art degree with an emphasis in sculpture and ceramics. He was recognized by the WSU Art Faculty as the department’s Outstanding Graduating Senior. After completing his undergraduate studies, Lee spent a year doing production pottery work in his own studio, before leaving Utah to attend graduate school in Tucson, Arizona. In 1979 he was awarded a Masters of Fine Arts degree, with an Art History minor, from the University of Arizona. He taught half time while at the university, and was selected as the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant by the College of Fine Arts in 1979. Upon graduation, he was offered a teaching position at Chemeketa Community College, where he continues to teach ceramics classes.
Lee is professionally active in his field, having done post-graduate studies at Pilchuck Glass School, Pratt Art Institute, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has studied with numerous clay and glass artists; among them Rudy Autio, Paul Soldner, Ken Ferguson, Tom Coleman, Seth Randall, Susan Holland, and Linda Ethier. He has traveled extensively overseas, and leads a “Best of Europe” travel tour for the college each summer.
Lee has taught numerous workshops and been awarded several artist-in-residencies. His artworks have been included in over 60 national and regional exhibitions. He has earned awards in juried and invitational exhibitions. Lee’s artworks are in several museum collections, including the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Hickory Museum of Art, the University of Oregon Museum of Art, and Brigham Young University’s B. F. Larsen Museum of Art. He has been represented by art galleries in Scottsdale, Tucson, Portland and Salem.
Although predominantly functional in nature, my work is deeply involved in color and texture. I often times use a combination of liquid slip clay to decorate the wheelthrown porcelain vessel and platter forms that I create on the potter’s wheel, to enrich and enhance their surfaces. The white of the fine porcelain shines from beneath the glazed surface, giving each form a luminosity and bright richness of color.
I also employ a variety of handbuilding techniques in creating my unique porcelain forms. Nature around me provides ongoing inspiration for my artwork; its remarkable textures provide limitless ideas and new directions to explore. I enjoy using found objects and odd tools, frequently repurposing each to create unique surface embellishments on my works.
My most recent works are becoming more sculptural in nature, involve unique shapes, with fluid surface decorations, appendages, and handles. I am heavily influenced by Art Nouveau style, and by artists of the period, such as Rene Lalique, Alphonse Mucha, Emile Galle, and Gustav Klimt.