DEANA LEE Ceramic Designer

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(photo by Jens Marott)

After a career in marketing which spanned the globe, I decided to follow my passion for sculpting and ceramics and so I returned to the U.K. to study 3D Design specialising in Ceramics at the Richmond School of Art/Thames Valley University. After graduating, I was one of 39 emerging artists to be selected for the Chinese Arts Centre's Professional Artist Development Scheme, through which I received a training bursary as well as a mentoring grant, and more recently I was one of six international finalists for the 2011 Potclays Emerging Makers Award.

Each sculpture that I create is inspired by the natural world. My organic, smoke fired artwork has strong forms and several facets and all are highly burnished as this results in extremely tactile shapes and allows the detail of the smoke pattern to shine through - my pieces are meant to be touched!

As far back as I can remember I have always been drawn to the ancient method of smoke firing and how the smoke and flames paint designs on the ceramic canvas. I have taken these ancient processes and use them in a more contemporary way to create unique effects that have depth and fluidity (see my techniques page for more details of these firings).

I have always purposely broken some of the wall art and dishes, either pre or post firing, and rejoined them with strong resin coated in either silver leaf or 22 carat gold leaf as this creates a beautiful vein running throught the artwork. More recently, I have started breaking them and then firing them in separate metal kilns in order to have dramatically contrasting sections when rejoined.

Of course a considerable amount of planning goes into the decoration design of each piece, but by using smoke firing techniques there is also a significant element left to chance. For me that sense of surprise is definitely a large part of the attraction, especially as my final forms tend to be very controlled.

My work is in private collections around the world, and I specialise in personalised commissions where I can create a piece of art that is specific for people or places by incorporating sand from clients homes, holidays, adventures or special locations.

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