Three-dimensional ceramic artworks offer vignettes of nature

Heesoo Lee
© Heesoo Lee

Nature is an inspirational muse for many artists, whether they are sand painters, scrap metal sculptors or paper engineers.

Similarly, Montana-based ceramics artist Heesoo Lee finds her creative spark by capturing elements of nature in her delicate works, which feature slender trees, vibrant hand-molded foliage and atmospheric glazes of soothing colours.

Heesoo Lee© Heesoo Lee

Heesoo Lee© Heesoo Lee

Heesoo Lee© Heesoo Lee
Lee was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, and completed an art degree from Ewha University, one of the country's most renowned universities. After moving to Berkeley, California, Lee began her art practice full-time. Her next relocation to Maui allowed her to establish her own studio business. Her next step was to participate in an artist's residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana, where she remains to this day, creating pieces out of her own home studio and kiln.

Heesoo Lee© Heesoo Lee

Heesoo Lee© Heesoo Lee

Lee explains on This Is Colossal about her creative process:

My work, mostly in medium-range porcelain, expanded beyond painted surfaces, my mainstay for many years. I pushed my work beyond the motifs I had been using for many years – flowers, mostly – and built larger than I had before. I was inspired by my children, the landscape of the places where I lived, and my own childhood in Korea, and reflected these themes in my work. I found that working in a place like the Bray, surrounded by other artists who created a supportive, inviting, and welcoming community, gave me the freedom to grow as an artist.

Heesoo Lee© Heesoo Lee

Heesoo Lee© Heesoo Lee

What's remarkable about Lee's works is their are three-dimensional character, with bits of extra clay that are hand-shaped to look like leaves or tree trunks. Lee then paints many layers of underglaze on before the pieces are fired in the kiln. Lee also uses different finishing glazes on each item to create different effects. The result is a ceramic landscape that might offer a vignette of a breezy spring day, a multicoloured autumn noon or a bare-branched, wintry evening.

Heesoo Lee© Heesoo Lee

Heesoo Lee© Heesoo Lee

Heesoo Lee© Heesoo Lee

Whether they are large vases, bowls or smaller cups, these beautiful ceramic works offer one way to remember that nature is a ceaseless source of creative epiphanies. To see more, visit Heesoo Lee on Etsy or Instagram.

Three-dimensional ceramic artworks offer vignettes of nature
Atmospheric glazes of color and hand-shaped clay leaves and tree trunks adorn these beautiful ceramic pieces.

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