Viv Lee is a ceramic designer who graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2017 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture. Born in Hong Kong, artist Viv Lee settled in Scotland where she mastered her skills using terracotta and stoneware clays to create sculptural ceramics with a focus on hand built vessels.
Her style is raw and organic, moulding shapes resembling human bodies. The surface of the vessels are either glazed in a palette of whites, natural earthy tones or left unglazed to show the raw body of the clay.
The motivation behind her work is to explore making as a spiritual practice, with the tactility of clay lending itself to this exploration as it allows her to work intuitively and mindfully. Making vessels as a means of expression is linked to her belief in the body as a sacred vessel. By approaching making with this in mind, she appreciates the diversity of forms that emerge and embraces imperfections and flaws, accepting them as the beautiful idiosyncrasies that make each body and vessel unique.
The circular hollow shapes of the ceramics suggest a delicate embrace, while a fragile yet palpable moment of poetry creates itself when you place the vases in a room. They interact with multiple senses through grainy textures and visual harmony to trigger your imagination and please your mind.
‘'The tactile nature of clay lends itself to the exploration of form, allowing me to translate thoughts and feelings that arise during making into formal and material qualities in the works.’' Viv Lee for Thenewcraftsmen.
Her slow hand-building techniques working with stoneware and terracotta, create warm and soothing curves throughout the collections. Each piece is unique and can be filled with water and flowers, allowing the stems to pass through the middle of the Viv Lee ‘Holos’ collection vases.
Build to relax you and bring zen to the room, Viv Lee Vases’s earthy tones evoke a direct connection between the body, the mind and nature. This intricate yet simple relationship is within each of us, sacred. Viv Lee’s vision thrive to embody this idea, leaving behind a soothing memory.
Her collection called ‘Holos’ is based on the Greek word meaning whole or entire and feature a mix of refined curves and finishes. Three different finishes are available: Off-white Glaze, Medium Buff and Dark Brown.
The Off-white Glaze has a smooth light grey textures, as soft as skin. It catches the light beautifully bringing just enough shine to emphasise the organic shapes of each ceramic. The ‘Sympoiesis’ collection is exclusively using this glazing technique.
The Medium Buff has a dark sand colour and feel, its irregularities are full of charm and brings the vases surface closer to the textures of freckled leather.
The Dark Brown finish has a rawer look, portraying with the rich soil of Scotland pigmented with sand and life. So many places on earth thrive thanks to their rich soil, the dark brown finish embodies this idea into a very unique yet familiar texture.
Discover Viv Lee ceramics and full selection of vessels at UJNG.
Written by Thibault Maas