Cliff Lee transforms kaolin clay from England’s White Cliffs of Dover into vessels inspired by Chinese Song dynasty porcelain. He is well-known for recreating Chinese glazes long lost to history.
The artist creates two kinds of porcelain art: intricately carved vessels inspired by nature and sleek teardrop shapes narrowing to a slender stem. Both are rare, primarily because it is so difficult to throw, carve and fire porcelain.
Having made the early transition from neurosurgeon to ceramicist after being introduced to the practice by a patient, Cliff Lee’s thrown vessels have developed to combine a precise eye and technical skill with gentle, nature-inspired form — as with the seed or fruit-like shape of this porcelain vessel that gently curves and tapers to a delicate stem. The Chinese Song dynasty remains a strong influence on the overall styling and poetic influence of the vessel, and Lee is credited with rediscovering several previously lost Chinese glaze techniques that give his ceramics such an intense colour and lustre.